Ethics as a Theme in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


Frankenstein is a classical novel designed by Mary Shelley. It explains the process by which human beings can create monsters. The novel brings to the fore many aspects relating to morality and ethics. In the novel, some names used in reference to the monster include the demon, the ogre, the devil, or the thing. The name Frankenstein owes its origin to the creator of the monster, Victor Frankenstein.

From childhood, Frankenstein has been having an interest in science. Still, he later develops more interest in chemistry and goes ahead to assemble humanoids and creates a living creature, the ogre. The creature goes out of Frankenstein’s control and kills several individuals, including Frankenstein’s younger brother William and Elizabeth. Therefore, this essay argues that the story of Frankenstein is about a monster that goes mad and provides moral judgments concerning the scientist, Frankenstein, and the monster.

Frankenstein’s Story

Frankenstein is a story about a monster designed by Victor Frankenstein after developing an excessive obsession with the concept of creating a living thing, especially in chemistry. From the novel, it is evident that humans drove the monster into a state of madness when they subjected it to hatred and rejection, and thus the monster’s madness emerged due to the treatment it receives from society.

After its creation, rejection and hatred subjected to the creature made it run out of control, and as a consequence, Frankenstein runs away from his creation. The monster undertakes many horrific activities soon after its creation.

The horrific activities awakened by Frankenstein’s creation scares Frankenstein, and he runs away from the creature. Some of the scary activities that the ogre engages in include murder of people such as Elizabeth and Frankenstein’s younger brother William. When the monster becomes lonely, it beseeches its creator to make a female monster to act as his companion and relieve loneliness. After Frankenstein refuses to create a female companion, the creature avenges by killing Elizabeth.

Monster Gone Mad

According to Shelley, the novelist, the creature becomes mad when it realizes that everyone in the society does not appreciate or like its existence. Frankenstein, the monster’s creator, runs away from it, thus commencing a series of rejections subjected to the monster. The monster decides to kill human beings after it fails to receive love, affection, and appreciation from them.

The creature expected to find love and acceptance from society; however, it encounters hatred and rejection. These feelings of hatred and rejection of the society make the monster mad, and it develops a negative attitude towards humankind, which compels it to avenge by killing.

From the novel, the monster is a sensitive, emotional, and intelligent being, as it has learned the basic human duties like dressing, speaking, and reading within 11 months. Therefore, the novel clarifies that the madness of the monster is due to rejection and isolation it experiences. The rejection and isolation of the creature drove it to a state of loneliness and anger towards humanity.

In the novel, the monster appears to be a lonely creature, especially after everyone in the society, including his creator Frankenstein, rejected it. This loneliness is clear when the creature begs Frankenstein to design a female companion of the same kind. In her novel, Shelley depicts that the monster has the sole objective of sharing love, affection, and feelings with another one of its kind.

However, loneliness, hatred, and rejection lead the monster to kill a quest to avenge humanity. Hence, the monster had no intention of killing or engaging in any vice, but since society fails to show love, appreciation, and compassion, it decides to engage in the vice of killing. Hence, it is clear that humans made the monster to become mad. Furthermore, Frankenstein’s refusal to create a female companion maddened the monster.

Moral Judgments

From the ethical and moral perspective, Frankenstein is determined, goal-oriented, and purpose-driven, which are the qualities of a morally praiseworthy individual. Frankenstein works hard until he succeeds in creating a living thing regardless of objections and discouragements from friends who raised questions about the animal’s existence. Individuals who have moral praiseworthy have traits like determination, goal-oriented, assertiveness, passion, and self-control, Feinstein practiced these traits.

Thus, the novel portrays Frankenstein as a determined young man who is morally praiseworthy. On the other hand, the monster fails to meet the ethical and moral requirements, since it starts to kill humans when it realizes that they do not like its existence. The monster fails to create a positive impression in the minds of individuals but, in turn, embarks on a mission to avenge by killing humans.


Frankenstein is a myth that demonstrates how the monster goes mad due to the treatment he receives from society. Some of the factors that make the creature to become mad include rejection, hatred, lowliness, and isolation from society. Therefore, the monster decides to kill humans since they fail to love and appreciate their existence. As the monster becomes lonely, it beseeches Frankenstein to make a female companion, but when Frankenstein refuses to do so, the monster goes mad and starts killing humans.

From the novel, the ogre fails to meet ethical requirements like assertiveness, love, compassion, and self-control. Frankenstein demonstrates determination and objectivity until he successfully creates the monster despite the discouragements from society. However, the monster fails to adhere to the ethical principles of society, but it decides to avenge by killing humans.

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