Mary Shelley’s story “Frankenstein,” is about a young man who has a large interest in science. Frankenstein was largely interested in animation, bringing someone back from the dead. This interest in science eventually takes over his life and leads to his downfall. Victor does not expect the creature he created to become a monster. Creating the creature started all of Victor’s problems, after its creation he ran into one problem after another. Victor Frankenstein learns early on, after the creation of the creature, that some knowledge is better left unknown.
Mary Shelley shows in her novel the how unhealthy obsessions can become and the negative effect they can have. When Frankenstein’s creation is born, Victor and others already have an opinion about him. Many people label the creature as the monster because of his appearance and because of how he treat Victor.
However, the creature is very calm and loving by nature. He is just confused and lonely. Frankenstein abandons his creation and the creature is left to learn right and wrong all on his own. The creature has to cope alone through all the challenges he is faced with. Victor Frankenstein’s creation is not the monster in this novel, Victor himself is. Frankenstein throws morals out with window when he starts to create the creature, going to morgues and stealing body parts.
Victor also has an obsession with becoming a famed scientist and being seen as some form of a god, an example of this is when he says “a new species would bless me as its creator and source” (44). That backfires when Victor abandons his responsibilities as the creatures creator when his creature is brought to life not thinking of the consequences of doing so. Victor’s desire to be godlike is very unnatural. He has a frightening obsession to find out all that he can about the answers to immortality. To achieve this desire he creates a creature that will never know love. He believes that the creature should see him as a god for bringing him to life. Daniel Chandler once said, “The fact still remains that a true monster is evil, inhumane, and lacks remorse or caring for things that a normal, emotional human being should care for.” Victor possesses all the traits of a true monster.
He treats his creation harshly, abandoning him right as he is brought to life, refusing to make him a companion, and acting cruel and hostile every time he interacts with his creature. All of this leads to the creature acting the way it does and to Victor’s downfall. The creature begins to hate Victor and wants revenge. Victor does not seem to catch on that maybe him treating the creature the way he does is part of why the creature wants to hurt him and his family. He brought him to life and left him alone. To the creature, this is enough to justify him wanting Victor to be as lonely as he is. Victor says after his creature comes to life, “I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (47).
Here he is realizing that he should not have meddled with animation. Victor recognizes that he has made a mistake, that some things are better off left unknown. His obsession is not a natural one, people can be interested in things but Victor’s interest in science was not healthy. It led to the creation of a rejected create and to Victor Frankenstein’s downfall. Victor Frankenstein’s father tries to dissuade his obsessions with the unknown when he sees one of the books Victor has been reading, “My father looked carefully at the title of the page of my book, and said, “Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash” (31). However, Victor pays no attention to his father’s discouragement and continues on with reading about Cornelius Agrippa and others like him. Victor also had a best friend growing up, Henry Creval, who was the exact opposite of himself.
“Creval occupied himself, so to speak, with the moral relation of things” (30). Henry, unlike Victor, had no interest in science. Henry wanted to be famous like Victor did but not for the same reasons.
He was a gentleman and an adventurer, he wanted to be known for his adventures. Victor knows that if he told Henry what he was doing that Henry would try to stop him. However, Henry and Victor’s friendship is not healthy. Henry cares for Victor with “ardent affections” (155).
When Frankenstein requests that Clerval follow him to England, Clerval does so without asking any questions. It is very simple, Victor Frankenstein is the true monster in Mary Shelley’s novel, “Frankenstein.” Victor was a selfish scientist who wanted to achieve fame in the scientific world without thinking of the consequences of finding the key to immortality. He brings a creature to life and abandons it when it needs his help and guidance the most. This causes the creature to become depressed and resent his creator. Blinded by his obsession with natural philosophy Victor Frankenstein does not see how morally wrong what he is doing is.
It’s not until he has already created his creature that he realizes his mistake, even then Victor does not take responsibility for what he has done. He goes from wanting to be famous in the science world to wanting no one to figure out what he has done. This novel teaches people not to judge by the way someone looks, not to meddle with things that should be left alone, and that obsessions are not healthy no matter what they are over. By the time Victor Frankenstein realizes all of these, it’s too late, he has brought a creature that should not have ever existed to life and it will lead to his downfall.