Jun 11 09:23 2006 Max Weber Print This Article

“…Life is a gift. I don’t think anybody will argue on that with me. But after it’s given no one can take it away and it becomes the responsibility of the creator. Can a human be responsible enough to give life?

... If we look around we’ll see a lot of families where parents gave life to “new people”. And not only had they given life to them but really showed responsibility… So it’s all about responsibility…” – these were my first thoughts after I read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.

Victor Frankenstein’s parents were very much in love with each other,Guest Posting and for the first five years of his life he was their only child. They gave him life and filled his days with immense love and gentleness. It is him who says “…they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them on me…”(p.24).   They thought that his future “was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery”(p.29). It even seems that they felt like they owed something to him because he appeared into this world: “… With this deep consciousness of what they owed towards the being to which they had given life, added to the active spirit of tenderness that animated both, it may be imagined that while during every hour of my infant life I received a lesson of patience, of charity, and of self control, I was so guided by a silken cord that all seemed but one train of enjoyment to me…”(p.67). ”…We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed…”(p.75)– this quote shows exactly the way Victor Frankenstein grew up. Victor Frankenstein had a childhood full of love. But is love by itself the only ingredient of the recipe of becoming a decent man? Shouldn’t parents give their children lessons about what is right or wrong, morality and so on? This is one of the questions Marry Shelley raises in her book. It’s strange how his mother introduces Elizabeth into their house. She believes her to be a “pretty present for my Victor” and, of course, little Victor took it as it really was like that:  “…she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally, and looked upon Elizabeth as mine-mine to protect, love, and cherish…”(p.95). This moment was very important and basically was one of the things that led to the future outcome for it was the moment when he learned to take a living being as his property. And it wasn’t only that. He also learned superiority. Later on Frankenstein gets taken away by “thirst of knowledge”: “…My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned, not towards childish pursuits, but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately…”(p.115). He starts studying Cornelius Agrippa and begins following the wrong path. And what do his parents do with it? They continue enormously loving Victor, but don’t even take a chance to explain to him that the principles of the works he’s studying “had been entirely exploded”. Looks like they didn’t even take a little notice about what he was doing. They just “loved” him. Victor Frankenstein himself came to the conclusion that if his father cared enough to explain him the uselessness of everything he did: “…It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin…” (p.104). He was self-taught, which is strange for children and in the first place – dangerous. Frankenstein’s life was cloudless, until his dear mother died after she saved Elizabeth from a severe illness.  “My mother was dead, but we had still duties which we ought to perform; we must continue our course with the rest, and learn to think ourselves fortunate, whilst one remains whom the spoiler has not sized…”(p.119). Though he did talk about pain, but mostly it was the understanding that he won’t be ever able to see her, whom he saw every day of his life.

He left to study to Ingolstadt, and there, after he discovered that everything he learned before was of no use anymore, he started his studies all over again. Later he gets to the moment when he learned everything he could owe himself and his tutors. “… more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation…”(p.127).This was the moment to make this words come true. He decided to try to create life by scientific methods. He isolated himself from his tutors, family, and his friend and worked all on his own. He never stopped for he believed he will achieve his goal. “…After days and nights of incredible labor and fatigue, I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter…”(p.141). Before starting talking about the main point of the novel – the creation of the Creature, it’s interesting to sum up what kind of person was Victor Frankenstein back then. What were his personal qualities at the moment he brought his creature to life? He was a selfish kid of his parents, an obsessive child.  He was not mature, though he was intelligent in a scientific kind of way. He was a person who grew up without guidance, who didn’t know what’s wrong or right, a person who got used to feel superior. He grew up in the world of science, all isolated from real life. His parent made an enormous mistake by bringing him up the way they did. I consider these to be the main reasons he wasn’t ready to take full responsibility for what he did. Finally his work was done, and the creature he wanted to be the master was alive. But what he felt terrified him: “… I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart…”(p.161). He got scared with what he created. He spent so much time creating it, and at the moment the Creature came to life he realized that he didn’t know what he is supposed to do with it. And he did a thing that all little children do when they get scared – he ran away. There’s no need to prove his immaturity by any other deed. It is just enough! Frankenstein left his creature. What he saw in it was : “he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.”(p.169) 

But think about the Creature…  Did it know it was ugly? Did it really have cruel intensions towards its creator? It was still pure inside. All he did was he came into this world, or I should better say he was brought to life and the first thing he met with was rejection. How would it feel for any living being to be rejected? Afterwards, when Victor Frankenstein came back to his apartment and found out the Creature had escaped he “clapped his hands for joy”. So easy just to forget about something that needs to be solved. Out of sight – out of mind. 

And what about the Creature? It got rejected by everybody, his master, by townspeople… and he didn’t even understand why. It suffered a lot, it was lonely and nobody even cared about it. He was guilty of nothing! Frankenstein forgets about what happened until the desperate, lonely living being he created kills his little brother William. The Creature follows Frankenstein and begs for a mate and companion. Everything the Creature asked for was somebody to love. But the only thing he gets - are words that hurt even more than silence: “…Devil ... do you dare approach me? ... Be gone, vile insect! Or rather, stay that I may trample you to dust! ... Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! The tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! you reproach me with your creation; come on then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed.”(p.182) Frankenstein destroyed all the good feelings that the “miserable creature” had inside and his own life turns to misery too. Victor decides that the best answer to the Creature and his only reason for living in this world would be revenge.

But let us stop right here. Life is a gift! Who dares to take it away? Victor brought his creature to life, didn’t even care enough to give it a name and even more that that – he hated it. But can we accuse the Creature in anything? The only thing it did was it just appeared into this world and didn’t get any sympathy at all. It was unhappy. It just was Victor’s toy! But doesn’t that sound familiar… Wasn’t Victor a toy of his parents, too? Can we blame him for not knowing what it is to be responsible? If his parents would’ve taught him that and supported it with their own example things would’ve been different. Seems life Victor is a creature, too, a creature of his parents. Mary Shelley gave us an impressive example of how important is parenting and some mistakes can have terrible consequences. A life - is not a toy to play with!

I won’t dare to call neither Victor Frankenstein nor the Creature a real monster. They are just victims. Victor is the victim of the mistakes his parents did, and the Creature is a victim of Victor’s ill perception of reality. It’s like an iceberg – we see only the top, yet the biggest part of it stays under the water. The top is Victor’s creating a monster that killed all his dearly loved people and what we see under the water - is real reason of things. What I would really like to call a monster is the people’s blindness. Blindness to mistakes, to the pain of other people, even to love. What I learned from this book is that things are not always the way they appear to be. And what seems terrifying may turn out to be just the pain of someone’s heart. Just like Frankenstein, just like his creature…

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Max Weber
Max Weber

Max is a senior writer at Custom Essay Writing Service. He is an experienced custom essay writer and will be glad to share his experience of custom essay writing with you.

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