The Negative Impacts of Littering on the Economy, on the Environment, and on People’s Health
Although not tangible, destiny is a force that is considered omnipotent, a power that humanity uses to often justify their actions. Whether they use destiny to justify great accomplishments or to justify missed opportunities and laziness, destiny’s purpose is often clouded and unknown. In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores the idea of destiny as a catalyst for human achievement through her creation of Victor Frankenstein, a character that is often overtaken by his ambition and pursuit of ultimate knowledge. Although Victor Frankenstein perpetuates the idea that humans are simply a product of destiny, the creature that Victor created serves to break that mold by refusing the tragic life he was given and attempting to forge his own path through unjust methods.
Destiny is used to motivate Victor Frankenstein’s actions throughout the story. Frankenstein was passing on his story of ambition to an Englishman named Walton, and while reflecting upon his descent into madness and complete devotion to reanimating the dead, he claimed that “destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction”. Frankenstein represents humanity’s weakness in character as he refuses to take blame for the monstrosities that he bore onto the Earth through the creation of his creature, rather he blames destiny and claims that destiny forced his hand in creating the creature. Victor can be seen abusing the idea of destiny later on in the passage as well when he claims that his professor’s words about the power of the knowledge that Victor was seeking were “the words of fate”. Victor truly believes that every step in his journey, from formulating the idea of creating the creature to studying relentlessly in order to bring it to life, was a product of destiny that he had no actual control over. When beginning the actual journey of creating the creature after researching even more, he set out on his journey with the words “thus ended a memorable day to me; it decided my future destiny”. Frankenstein’s over emphasis on destiny creates the idea that Victor is not his own individual, rather he is just a product of what destiny wants him to be. This reliance on destiny to dictate his life serves as an example of how humanity depends on fate to justify failure. Victor uses this concept of destiny as a coping mechanism, as he does not want to admit his own shortcomings and ill judgement. It is easier to blame his destiny as the reason for why everything befalls him, when in reality it is his own weakness and narcissism as a character that does not allow him to accept that there are actions to his consequences.
Although Frankenstein serves as an example of how humanity relies on destiny to define who we are, Mary Shelley uses his creature as an example of how the mold of an all controlling destiny can be broken, as the monster strives to forge his own path in the face of an undesirable destiny. The monster was put into the world to be hated by humanity, an outcast among society with no hope for a better life, as even his creator refused to give him affection. The monster realizes this and attempts to change his own path by swearing war against Victor, claiming that “if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear . . . because my creator, I do swear inextinguishable hatred”. Instead of accepting his destiny, the creature decides to take destiny in his own hands, and go to war with his creator in order to achieve a companion for himself, to prevent the ultimate loneliness that he was supposed to endure throughout his life. Although the actions that the creature was carrying out were unjust and even evil, the creature shows a kind of strength that no other character in Mary Shelley’s novel held. He had the ability to make a decision for himself and decided to use his destiny not as a motivator to fuel achievement, but as something that could be proved wrong. The creature is very accepting of his transformation from a kind being into a murderous creature, as although it is an evil transformation, it allowed him to pursue his own self-interests and attempt to improve his own life. On Victor’s deathbed, the creature reflects and claims that “but it is even so: the fallen angel has become a malignant devil”. The creature never truly accomplished what he desired, and lost his humanity on his journey to become his own man. Is this the fate of those who desire to break free from the mold that destiny gives them? The creature serves as an example of one who tried to fight destiny, and he is rewarded with constant misery and ultimately death. Even though he lived an unfulfilling life, he made his own destiny, which is an act that no other character in the novel can claim.
Destiny is a concept that plays a vital role in society, as humanity uses destiny as an excuse for shortcomings as well as fuel for motivation. Shelley utilizes the idea of a reliance on fate through the character of Frankenstein, as Frankenstein blames fate for causing him to create his creature. Although the creature is given a terrible destiny filled with isolation, he attempts to break free from this mold and shape his own future. Shelley creates the ultimate lesson that although we are given a destiny at birth, it is up to each individual to decide how to respond to their destiny.
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