Frankenstein: Victim or Villain
Mary Shelley’s capability to create such multidimensional characters in Frankenstein proves that writing is an effective tool that has the ability to provoke vastly various viewpoints amongst readers. Despite the fact that each private reading the story reads the exact very same words, their analysis of those words often results in opposing views in regards to the fate of the characters. The creature, in specific, has actually been a popular subject of discussion when carrying out a close read of the novel due to his arguable flexibility as a victim and bad guy.
The principle of the bad guy has progressed throughout the years, nevertheless its basis still rests upon the basic fact that as a character in the story, their actions are an outcome of malicious intentions eventually negatively affecting the other characters in the story; that is they are the villain. Whether it is Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet, the wicked witch of the west from The Wizard of Oz, Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter, or Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein, all villains have specific characteristics that categorize them in this classification as the “evil-doers”.
Bad guys are usually selfish, do not have regret, amazingly obsessed with attaining their objectives despite the consequences of their actions, and entirely concerned with obtaining power. Conversely, the victims of these stories: Romeo and Juliet, Dorothy, Harry Potter and the creature, respectively, end up being a part of the collateral damage that results from the actions of the bad guys. This applies for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the sense that the animal is a victim of circumstances, always needing to respond to the selfish actions of his developer Victor Frankenstein.
The animal’s journey and fate render him a victim in this story based upon the following criteria: he is basically an orphan deserted by his creator; his “wicked” actions are driven by his yearning for love, not vengeance; his actions are not malicious as there are a response to the wicked acts of Victor; and he feels regret about the lives he took, proving his compassionate nature, a trait that is not present in any villain.
The creature’s birth is most likely the most important event in the story, for the easy fact that in hindsight, had it turned out in a different way, the creature and Victor could have evolved into completely various people and maybe changed the fate of the other characters. The birth marks the start of the creature’s long journey as a victim. Although the birth is not natural, in any sense, he is still essentially a newborn. With this in mind, it is simple to see that the animal’s actions are misguided due to the fact that he is doing not have an appropriate understanding of the world. Maybe if Victor had valued the life he developed– and assisted the beast at this critical moment– he would have prevented most (if not all) of the devastation that follows”, (175) describes Lunsford. This is really informative in regards to the creature’s function in the story. He is the innocent offspring of a science experiment and Victor’s absence of attention to his upbringing sets him up for a type of failure. As Lunsford expresses, attention to the animal after his conception and birth could have altered the occasions of the story and potentially conserved Justine, Elizabeth, and William.
The animal is a victim due to the fact that his daddy leaves him and he need to take care of himself. He has the innocence and vulnerability of a child and this is a pitiable scenario. Kids that are raised without one parent are frequently considered to be at a drawback, however the creature’s circumstance goes even further than this; he only has one real moms and dad, who immediately deserts him at birth. It is natural to feel a sense of compassion for orphans, nevertheless due to the creature’s physical look and actions in the future in the story, readers typically discover it difficult to consider him in this manner. This, nevertheless, is where the problem lies.
It is essential to understand that although the animal is comprised of adult parts, his personality is that of a child and so his upbringing need to be reflect that. Mellor likewise talks about Victor’s heinous choice to leave the creature: “Frankenstein’s inability to sympathize with his child, to look after or even to understand its standard needs, soon takes the extreme kind of putative infanticide” (42 ). Her analysis is in fact quite true due to the fact that in the most minimalistic description, Frankenstein is making the choice to desert his child and the chances of survival of a newborn on its own are next to none.
This is rather a profound option that foreshadows the challenges that the animal will soon deal with and likewise means the remarkable reality that the creature carries out in fact endure to have a long life. This is also briefly gone over by Butler: “the creature’s career deals with 2 levels, as a survival-story like Robison Crusoe’s, and as an allegorical account of the development of mankind over eons of time” (xxxix). The animal’s determination and amazing capability to conquer his presumed infant death permits him to be perceived as an underdog of sorts, who will continue to fight versus the chances.
This perseverance and continuous battle is the mark of a victim trying to make it through. Additionally, Victor’s lack of obligation shows his selfish nature and total disregard of the repercussions of his actions, making the creature a victim of Victor’s actions. This abandonment is a major consider distinguishing the animal as a victim rather than a bad guy. Lacking any parental assistance from Victor, the creature is left to figure out how the world works on his own. This suggests that he is not supported or informed about the ways of the world requiring him to make uninformed decisions.
The absence of a parent figure deeply injures the monster which he reveals:” [b] ut where were my buddies and relations? No father has actually viewed my baby days, no mom had blessed me with smiles and caresses” (97 ). The creature plainly feels the pain of not having a parent role in his own life. More importantly, he determines himself as an infant in this passage. This is an essential element to his function as a victim because he himself feels that he was a child at that time, and although he is a grown male in the physical sense, intellectually and mentally he is simply a child.
No matter his size, the creature is a newborn and thus is really impressionable. These initial months of his life are vital for development however he was deserted and thus ends up being a victim of bad parenting, or absence of parenting completely. Eventually, Victor’s choice to leave the creature functions as the driver for the occasions that follow and therefore the creature is a component of the process and not the reason for the outcome. The creature’s role as a victim is strongly established later in the story through the thinking behind his actions; that is, he is yearning for love and neighborhood and not acting out in anger or looking for revenge.
William’s murder, particularly, provides insight into the a number of measurements to the creature’s character, none of which suggest a destructive nature. Mellor constructs on the lack of parenting problem by discussing how it forms a cycle of bad behaviour discussing that, “Frankenstein represents a classic case of damaging parent who produces a battered child who in turn ends up being a battering parent: the animal’s first murder victim, we need to keep in mind, is a kid whom he wanted to adopt” (43 ). With the regrettable nature of the animal’s solitude, he is victim to the scenarios that are now connected with that life.
This likewise explains his desire to adopt William because he desires somebody to share his life with. William is frequently considered as the very first victim of the animal’s criminal offenses, however this requires to go one action further back. William, like the creature, is a victim of Victor since his decision to desert the creature directly leads to the mad action from the creature. If Victor had not left the creature in the very first location, the creature would not have felt sensations of betrayal and anger, implying that when he satisfied William he would not have any animosity or advises for retribution.
It is likewise arguable that if the animal had not been abandoned in his early life, then the interaction with William would not have even occurred. This would have a domino effect in the sense that it would have likewise saved Justine from her terrible fate. For that reason, Victor’s actions indirectly result in the deaths of William and Justine, through the animal even more establishing his status as a victim. Moreover, his desire for a companion results in another essential event in the story in which he demands a mate.
The creature explains to Victor, “we shall be beasts, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more connected to one another. Our lives will not enjoy, however they will be harmless, and devoid of the suffering I now feel” (120 ). The discomfort that he feels can be understood with these lines as he accepts his sad fate: he is doomed to be unhappy however does not wish to cause that upon others in his life. On the contrary, he wishes to seclude himself from the world with a mate that is similar to him and after that they can continue their presence and discover happiness with one another.
The creature’s existence is one that stimulates a sense of pity. Once again, due to the nature of his being, this can not be taken in the basic kind of unhappiness and readers tend to not feel sympathy for him. He is a specific that is entirely alone, facing adversity and rejection from the start of his life. All he desires is for somebody to be with him nevertheless this is not easy considering that he has no control over his life. The request for a mate ordeal continues and provides more insight into the characters. ‘Shall each guy,’ cried he, ‘find an other half for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of love, and they were requited by detestation and scorn'”, (140) recalls Victor as he describes the interaction with the creature regarding a possible mate. The animal acknowledges that all other beings have buddies and love of their mate, whereas he is constantly facing rejection at every turn. The actual idea that he has to request a mate when again shows his incompetence as a specific since he is not able to discover sociability on his own; it needs to be requested for.
This is crucial due to the fact that victims are often defined in terms of their inability to control the situation, which results in their fate. They are typically put in a specific scenario or hurt in a specific situation due to the actions of other people and these external occasions lead to their misfortune. This is exactly what occurs to the creature; he has no control over his existence, can not find a mate since there is nobody like him, and has no choice but to continue his life in this form. Due to the external aspects of Victor, the creature must pay the price.
Now, the occasions that follow Victor’s destruction of the mate and the animal’s response in the form of an alerting to Victor also exhibit that the creature is still a victim, and not the destructive beast that Victor portrays him to be. The repeating concept here is that although the creature does dedicate these murders, he is acting in action to the uncalculated choices of Victor. Lunsford also discuss this briefly specifying,” [s] uperficially, the monster is to blame; he kills Elizabeth, and her death concerns her dad with too much sorrow for him to bear.
But really they die due to the fact that Victor has yet to admit to anyone that he developed the monster” (175 ). Victor’s inability to take responsibility for this development leads him to abandon the animal, in turn planting the seed for developmental problems to develop. Victor’s decisions are constantly having a ripple affect and the creature is a victim of those decisions, just like William, Justine, Elizabeth, and his dad. All of these events are centered on the animal’s desire for a buddy. The root of his choices is based upon this yearning for love and desire but they are regrettably not perceived in this way.
The creature does not eliminate to deny the world of these relationships. On the contrary, he is killing since Victor is picking to deprive the animal of this relationship. The animal is completely knowledgeable about his responsibilities as a being. Mellor states” [w] hat the creature does understand is that a kid denied of a loving family ends up being a monster. Once again and once again he firmly insists that he was born excellent however compelled by others into wicked” (45 ). Based on this analysis, it can be concluded that the animal is innately a good being, nevertheless being a victim f circumstances he is forced to commit wicked acts. Murder is unquestionably a terrible criminal activity, nevertheless the animal’s killings do not contain premeditated vengeance and anger. He is constantly adapting and reacting to what is taking place in his life. For that reason, even though his developer leaves him on his own from the beginning, each time he is reunited with him, the animal is forced to deal with some type of disappointment which causes a lot of the awful deaths that take place. More notably, the animal’s interactions with the DeLacey family supply a various perspective of his character.
All of the acts that would signify the creature a bad guy or monster are associated to Victor in one way or another. Nevertheless, the animal’s journey while seeing the DeLacey family is rather different, they remain unhurt, perhaps suggesting that without Victor’s interference the animal is an excellent person. This might just be a coincidence, however the more likely possibility is that they are left untouched since the creature is not actually an evil character. All of his wicked acts are dedicated in relation to Victor’s choices throughout crucial moments in the story.
The DeLacey household likewise provides a needed component to the creature’s advancement. By viewing the household engage with love and love, the animal ends up being aware of language, human friendship, relationships, and the general movements of life. With this understanding the animal has the ability to identify himself as one that does not fit in with anyone else around him. “I can not explain to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me; I tried to eliminate them, however grief just increased with understanding” (96 ).
The idea of knowledge also victimizes the creature in terms of its debilitating effect on his development. Victor uses his tremendous understanding to produce a track record for himself whereas as the creature’s understanding increases, he is just able to additional grasp how different he really is from everyone else. Knowledge creates a disturbing scenario for the creature because it just advises him of what he does not have and reaffirms how badly he actually desires it. Despite the disturbing realization that the animal receives by observing the household, he still gains a sense of respect for them.
This is why when Felix confronts him, the creature responds by leaving and not acting out in an aggressive or violent manner. “I could have torn him limb from limb, as the lion rends the antelope. By my heart sunk within me just like bitter sickness, and I refrained”, (110) explains the creature. The creature is able to acknowledge his strength and ability to stop Felix, however he selects to display restraint. His comparison to the lion and antelope is likewise indicative of his understanding due to the fact that he sees that he could treat Felix as his prey and devour him.
The animal, nevertheless, pities his circumstance and this sadness overpowers any feeling of anger towards Felix or the DeLacey household. By having the tools to inflict pain and selecting not to use them is a really profound declaration as it reveals that the creature is not a malicious character. Finally, the animal’s final self-reflection after the conclusion of all these events and aspects lead to the conclusion that the animal is certainly a victim after all. Even after facing misfortune, fighting his solitude, and continuously being declined by all those surrounding him, the creature is still able to show remorse and regret.
He never has the ability to please his desires or achieve his objectives and somehow he is still able to look at the body of his creator and acknowledge his faults in life and progress deciding to embrace his seclusion and live the rest of his life in peace. Unlike Victor, who is never ever able to completely understand the atrociousness of his actions, the animal is completely knowledgeable about the pain he has caused and takes responsibility for his actions. The ending of the story offers the last insight into the damned fate of the animal as a victim: “You, who call Frankenstein your buddy, … and lost in darkness and range” (189-191).
Throughout this reflection the animal explains how nobody can comprehend the misery that has been the basis of his whole life, how his hopes and dreams never came true, how he was a victim of discrimination and rejection at every turn but likewise how he has actually accepted his fate and will never ever subject any human to his existence ever again. This dynamic self-reflection and inner monologue shows the grief that fills the creature. He feels remorse for his actions and feels discomfort that after all that has occurred he is still misconstrued. He will die a victim.
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The animal’s fate determines that he will never ever feel love or empathy or neighborhood, all of which were his only real desires in life. This approval of his fate strengthens his function as a victim. Even after all the hardships he has had to face so far, he must accept that he will never be made up for his agony and will never ever feel relief, at least until he dies. If the animal were genuinely a villain he would have continued to hurt other people after the death of his creator but he does no such thing. He is not evil in any sense. He is merely orced to welcome his bleak future understanding that his life will end the method it began: completely alone. In conclusion, the animal is a victim given that he is abandoned at birth, his craving for love is the driving force behind his actions and he ends the story by expressing his remorse and grief. Most significantly, however, is that he is just another one of Victor’s casualties. If just Victor had not disowned the animal at the beginning of the story, the whole course of events could have been considerably different. Sadly, this is not the case and the animal is condemned to his pitiful life.
Unfortunately, the creature never discovers true joy and passes away a victim of incredibly confining situations. Work Pointed Out Butler, Marilyn. Frankenstein: Intro. New York City: Oxford University Press, 1969. Print. Lunsford, Lars. “The Devaluing of Life in Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Explicator. 68. 3 (2010 ):174- 176. ProQuest. Web. February 23, 2012. Mellor, Anne. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Beasts. New York: Methuen, 1988. Print Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. Print