Frankenstein As An Instrument Of Suffering

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In the novel Frankenstein, the main character, Victor Frankenstein, functions as an instrument of suffering to many of the other characters in the story. Frankenstein spends two years painstakingly constructing a creature he fully expects to be beautiful and superior to humankind. When he is faced with the reality that what he has created is grotesque and as far from humanlike as possible, he refuses to accept responsibility for his creation. Unable to be nurtured and cared for by his master, the creature is left to fend for himself in a cruel world that judges a person by appearances first. Because of his inability to interact with society and have a female of his own kind to love, Frankenstein’s creature eventually turns to murder as a means of punishing his creator. In chapter five of the novel, Shelly describes in great detail the dreariness of the night in November when Frankenstein first infused life into his creation. As rain fell hard against the window panes Frankenstein describes his first reaction to his creation, “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe…the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelly 1831). He turns and runs in horror from the one being who should have been the most important responsibility in his life. From the very beginning, Frankenstein refuses to take responsibility for his creation. It is much later in the novel, chapter eleven, when the creature is given the opportunity to recount his helpless first days of life. The creature describes himself as “a poor helpless, miserable wretch; I knew and could distinguish nothing; but feeling pain invade me from all sides, I sat down and wept” (Shelly 1831). It is clear from this example how ... ... middle of paper ... ...that things could have been different. He could have softened the creature’s hard life realities and likely the creature would have been accepted, at least by Frankenstein’s own family who is described at the very start of the novel as loving and accepting. In conclusion, Victor Frankenstein is responsible for the suffering his creature, his friend, his family, and ultimately himself. He spent a good portion of two years in secret creating a creature that he had hoped would confirm him as a master in his studies as a scientist. Unfortunately, as result of his refusal to take responsibility for his actions, he is forced to suffer the consequences. He could at any point in the story changed future outcomes by accepting responsibility of his creature. The creation that was born in innocence became an instrument by which Frankenstein’s entire life is ruined.

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