Frankenstein

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“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?” (Shelley, 42) In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein, who has spent two long years laboring in Ingolstadt to create this scientific marvel known only as “the monster,” wrongly assumes that his creation is pure evil. Frankenstein reaches this conclusion without even allowing the monster to demonstrate his kind heart. Eventually, the monster goes on a mass killing spree because of Victor’s detrimental psychological neglect. Victor’s neglect is caused by his hatred of anyone who is unlike himself. Victor also disregards the monster’s right to a true name, only referring to him using despicable names, such as “wretch,” “thing,” and “catastrophe.” Thus, the monster’s humane qualities, including compassion, loyalty, and intelligence contrast to the wretched traits of his creator, making the horrible references much more suitable for Victor. Unlike Victor, the monster shows great compassion despite his appalling appearance. For instance, he demonstrates his love for others during his time spent observing Felix and Agatha while in the village. He wishes “to return to the cottagers, whose story excited in [him] such various feelings of indignation, delight, and wonder, but which all terminated in additional love and reverence for [his] protectors…” (106) Even though the monster had never actually met the De Lacey family, his ability to feel compassion is proven through his love of them only for their wonderful hearts and kind actions. In doing this, he shows more love for a family of strangers than Victor could ever have for his own family. He also demonstrates unconditional love for these “protectors” by not killing Felix during their fight. On the contrary, Victor shows a lack of compassion for his creation after the monster requested a female companion. In response to the monster’s patient, rational inquiry, Victor exclaims, “Shall I create another like yourself, whose joint wickedness might desolate the world. Begone!” (130) In this senseless refusal of a sincere request, Victor proves once and for all that his true feelings for the monster are those of unjustified hatred and scorn. He has no basis for these feelings other than that of his undying prejudice against the monster. As a result of the opposing emotions illustrated by maker and creation, both are in constant conflict with each other and therefore can never live in harmony.

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