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Actions of the Monster in Frankenstein and the Responsibilities of Victor

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Who’s Fault is it?

In the book, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley many murders are committed by Victor Frankenstein’s monster. Because Frankenstein created the monster, he finds himself responsible for the atrocities committed throughout the novel just as a parent can be found responsible for their child’s actions. Victor Frankenstein wanted to bring the monster into the world due to his passion for science but does not think of the possible consequences to playing the role of God. Although the monster is portrayed as a free thinking being, it is not very good at solving problems in a nonviolent manner.

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The monster wants revenge on Frankenstein for bringing him into the world as he is hated by nearly everyone, so he begins to kill off those whom Victor care about such as his best friend Henry Clerval, his wife Elizabeth, and his brother William . At the beginning of chapter 8 Frankenstein says, “During the whole of this wretched mockery of justice I suffered living torture.” He says this because he knows it is truly his own fault for the murder of Victor and now Justine is going to be put to death for something she never did. In chapter 21 Henry Clerval is strangled by the monster. Upon seeing the lifeless corpse of Henry, Victor exclaims, “I called myself the murderer of William, of Justine, and of Clerval.” This presents more evidence that Victor is the one truly behind these murders . Through the murder of Elizabeth, the reader is able to completely comprehend the monster’s plan for Victor; for Victor to suffer in the same way the monster has. The monster asked his creator for a companion but Victor destroyed her right before injecting her with the gift of life. The murder of Elizabeth was especially brutal for Victor.

After the monster lived next to a family of peasants for an entire winter he began to learn about the importance of companionship and the value of family. When the monster first “moved in” he stole food from the family, but he quickly came to the realization the family is already poor and has little food as it is. This prompts him to gather firewood for the family and attempt to do some basic chores. This high moral stance is soon diminished as the monster learns how to read and speak after listening to the family. In his pocket, the monster finds the plans Frankenstein used to create him. Reading the plans greatly upset him, but he has such a strong desire for a social connection that he works up the courage to talk to the blind old man living with the family. The conversation comes to an abrupt end when the family comes back as the monster tells, “Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage. Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father, to whose knees I clung, in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick” (chapter 15). It is at this point in the story when the monster begins to change his attitude toward himself, especially when he says, “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” (chapter 16). By saying this he is blaming Victor for his poor lifestyle .

As the monster’s hatred for Frankenstein grew , his desire to live greatly decreased. The only reason the monster wanted to live was to be able to get revenge on Frankenstein and destroy his life so he could feel the pain of his creation . Besides the occasional conversation with Victor, the monster did not want anyone to ever see him. The monster says, “I generally rested during the day and travelled only when I was secured by night from the view of man” (chapter 16). After some time, the monster threatens Frankenstein into either making him a female companion or he will face the worst pain he can imagine. Victor assumes this is an allusion to the monster to the monster killing him, but it is later revealed that the monster was referring to Victor’s childhood friend and fiance, Elizabeth. She is killed on the night of her wedding with Victor . After months of chasing down the monster for revenge, Victor dies on Captain Walton’s ship. When Walton comes into the room to view Victor’s dead body he witnesses the monster crying over him .

It is clear that Frankenstein regrets the decision to bring life into the world as he says so and he loses loved ones because of it. Victor understands that he is responsible for all the wrongdoings committed against him and he paid the price for his creation. Throughout the story, Victor makes it clear that the murders are his fault. He states this several times to himself, although he never admits it to others as he is deeply afraid that he will be persecuted the same way Justine was . As is learned through the story of Frankenstein, when a human tries to play the role of God something is almost always going to go wrong .

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