Human relationships and revenge in Frankenstein

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Human Relationships and Revenge in Frankenstein

In Frankenstein, Shelley uses the creature, who Victor Frankenstein creates, to

illustrate many themes. Some of the main themes are human relationships and revenge.

Shelley shows human relationships between the creature and Victor and the creature and

society. The creature seeks revenge on Victor for creating him to be so unwanted and for

not creating him a companion. In Frankenstein, Shelley uses the themes of human

relationships and revenge to illustrate the need to be loved by someone.

Victor and the creature’s relationship is based on strong hate and revenge.

In the essay Responsible Creativity and the ‘Modernity‘ of Mary Shelley‘s Prometheus,

critic Harriet Hustis says, “Victor openly acknowledges that the most he can feel

towards his creation is a fleeting sense of “compassion”, but it quickly turns into disgust,

horror, and hatred after seeing his creatures horrific appearance” (2). Victor has spent a

lot of time locked away in his room working on his experiment. He has created a

monster, but as soon as the creature comes alive Victor is terrified by its appearance and

abandons him. Victor Frankenstein exclaims, “How can I describe my emotions at this

catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I

endeavored to him” (42). In Readings on Frankenstein, critic Timothy Madigan explains

how Victor Frankenstein does not live up to his role model. He lacks compassion and

moral responsibility by refusing to disclose his experiment to the community around him


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...nothing more for him to do but to kill the monster himself. Victor is so

furious with the creature that he dedicates the rest of his life to hunt down the evil

creature before he can destroy any more of his family.

Shelley uses the themes of human relationships and revenge to illustrate the

need for everyone to have a companion. The creature is so unwanted by society that he

despises Victor for creating him to be so hideous. As a result of the creature’s revenge,

he becomes very malicious. All the creature wants is someone to love him so that he

does not have to be alone. Human relationships and revenge are the main themes in

Frankenstein that illustrate Shelley’s main point of the need to be loved.
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