The Loss Of Empathy By Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein Essay

The Loss Of Empathy By Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein Essay

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Frankenstein: Victor Frankenstein’s Empathy
Is the loss of empathy to be justified by the sins of humanity against you? Both Victor Frankenstein and his creature are tormented by humanity and become criminals; but does this necessarily mean that both were unable to retain their humanity. By the end of Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein has lost most of his humanity. This is uniquely shown by comparing him to his own creation, his monster. The unnatural creature conceived in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, has enormous amounts of empathy, whereas his creator, Victor Frankenstein, has very little and therefore has lost touch with his humanity.
By the end of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley wanted the reader to discover that it was not Frankenstein’s creature that was the monster but Victor Frankenstein himself. She was able to accomplish this fully by highlighting the absence of a single trait in Frankenstein; he has no empathy. Empathy, the ability to feel with another creature, is an integral part of what makes us human, what separates us from inanimate objects and animals. It is possible for a person to register another creature’s emotions without truly being empathetic. True empathy requires an individual to merge identities and act upon both their own and the others’ emotions. It is the lack of empathy that fuels human brutality. If an offender were truly able to read and identify with a victim’s emotions it would become impossible for the offender to act against that being.
Victor at times claims to have held compassion for his monster, but was never able to act on it. After the monster had pleaded with Frankenstein to make him a companion. Frankenstein, “compassionated him and sometimes felt a wish to console him, but when [he] loo...


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...kenstein’s and the creature’s brutality in the novel and reveals how one was able to retain their humanity where the other could not. Victor Frankenstein’s creature was able to maintain empathy during and following his crimes, where as Victor himself lost all compassion with the death of his family and never acted on the small amount he once held for his monster. The truth that Mary Shelly shares with us in this novel is simply that humans can be much more monstrous than the monster. This is seen on a large scale in human history and our present world. Though true beasts are not usually involved, one group of humans treating another group as creatures is very common. Colonial and modern slavery and human trafficking are excellent examples of this. When a society is completely permeated with these ideas, it becomes hard to distinguish who is human and who is monster.

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