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frankenstein

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Compassion and empathy are often described as human-kind's greatest quality. Yet, many things can distract or overpower our compassion to allow room for things like cruelty, selfishness, and the need for vengeance. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein has no compassion for his creation; however, his creation is born with large amounts of compassion, but Frankenstein ignores and abuses his monster. Victor’s lack of compassion towards the monster, makes the monster lose his own compassion in a need for vengeance to make his abuser feel the same pain he does.
The monster is the only character who has compassion even though compassion is never shown to him. Even before he knew had any role models to teach him, the monster shows that he is born with compassion by helping unknown others. His time watching the cottagers taught him what true kindness is. His benevolent actions of helping the cottagers without them knowing proves that he did not need to learn compassion from a creator. The monster is horrified to learn that his good nature does not show on his physical appearance, and he was “...unable to believe that it was indeed [the monster] who was reflected in the mirror; and when [he] became fully convinced that [he] was in reality the monster [he] was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification.”(Shelley 417). He is kind to the blind cottager in hopes of getting the compassion back that he always craved; however when he is rejected by even his ‘cottage friends’ he realizes how unjust it is that “no entreaties cause [them] to turn a favorable eye upon thy creature, who implores thy goodness and compassion,” (Shelley 360). Though the monster, who is human-like, is born with compassion the hum...

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...yself,” (Shelley 868). The monster realizes that his need to hurt Victor ruined himself, more than it ever ruined Victor; while, Victor's need to get revenge on the monster hurt Victor more than the monster.
As the monster is abused by Victor is loses its compassion, and only seeks revenge. Victor, who never had any compassion for his monster, wants to get vengeance for the people who his monster killed. The monster has compassion at first, but the more Frankenstein tries to seek revenge on him, the less compassion he has. Frankenstein was shown compassion all his life because of his loving parents and their money so he does not have any compassion. Both the monster and Victor try to get revenge on each other, but neither succeeds. Overall, Mary Shelley is trying to prove that vengeance can take the place of compassion, but vengeance is pointless.
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