Responsibility in “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly Essay
Updated: Jun 24th, 2021
Despite the description of a being created by Frankenstein as a wretch and the evil that he commits, he causes the feeling of sympathy. It is not his fault that he is rejected by everyone. On the contrary, Victor, the “parent,” evokes antipathy since he produces a creature, leaves him alone, and then blames him for his actions. Frankenstein and society are responsible for the chaos caused by the creature.
Frankenstein is a bad parent who is devoid of honor, decency, and feelings. He exposes his “child” to various tortures and trials – first by negligence, and then intentionally. Frankenstein creates a being rejected by society; one who everyone hates and is afraid of, while all he wants is love and care. The creature responds: “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel” (Shelly 78). Frankenstein himself creates a monster for which he does not want to bear responsibility. He brings this creature into the world and renounces it. At the same time, society regards him as a decent and moral person.
This creature is, in fact, quite similar to a human being. If it was not for the surrounding anger and cruelty of people, he could have been different. From the book, it is clear that Frankenstein creates a kind and highly intellectual being with excellent physical characteristics (Shelly 97). This wretch is unpretentious, sensitive, and hardy. Frankenstein puts his creation at the mercy of fate from the first minute. A person is born innocent initially; throughout his or her life, he or she chooses a particular path, kind and sympathetic or cruel and evil. Instead of accepting the wretch as he is, the “parent” and society treat him like an animal.
When the wretch full of despair and loneliness goes to his creator with a request, he receives a cruel refusal, which overturned his inner world and dooms him to eternal loneliness. The creature becomes a monster not only externally but also internally: “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear” (Shelly 115). While the wretch is away from people, he quietly recruits mind-reason and disinterests good deeds. As soon as he tries to make contact with people, they heartlessly reject him, and his soul gradually hardens. Perhaps, the following passage explains the reaction of society: “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change” (Shelly 156).
Thus, the Frankenstein book had a great influence on the human mind as it presents a lot of hidden and deeply meaningful issues, reflecting the truth about human society. This book is not about the skills and ingenuity of the protagonist, rather, it is about how sometimes society is cruel if it sees something new and unexplored. It shows that a person is responsible for those whom they have tamed or created. No matter how difficult the obstacles were and no matter how society perceived the new creature, the responsibility for what Frankenstein did should have been carried.
Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein. Dover, 1994.
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