Responsibility of the Creator Essay

Responsibility of the Creator Elizabeth Shute May 11, 2011 Literature Mrs. O’Kelly I believe Victor Frankenstein was responsible for his creature’s actions. He had many chances to help but he was a too much of a coward. For example, Frankenstein could have helped Justine but he was too scared to speak up. It was his fault she was in jail and it was his fault she died. She was accused of killing William because Victor’s Monster put the necklace in her pocket. Frankenstein felt responsible for his younger brother’s death when he realized that the monster he created murdered William. Frankenstein started to feel as if he himself had committed the murder because of his role in the monster’s existence. Everything the monster did was Frankenstein‘s fault because he was the creator. Rather then he blaming the monster for his downfall, Frankenstein blamed himself because he created the monster’s life. Victor also felt as if he, himself, murdered Justine because she was executed for a crime the monster committed. Elizabeth was altered by the injustice of Justine’s death, and Frankenstein felt responsible for that alteration as well. The chain of events that the monster set off with William’s murder began not with the monster, but with Frankenstein’s desire to create life. He shows his obsession with creating life when he says, “…I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make. ”1 When the creature was complete he rejected it. He could barely look at the disgusting face which he had brought to life. He even says, “…Breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. ”2 The weight of remorse about his role in the deaths of William and Justine adversely affected Frankenstein’s mental and physical health. His responsibility for their deaths and whatever other destruction the monster may have wreaked on humanity overwhelmed him. When the monster came to Frankenstein to plead his case and tell his story, Frankenstein realized that he had some obligation to the monster because he created it, in the same way that he bore responsibility for the monster’s actions. Frankenstein was no longer simply responsible to humanity for the monster’s actions, but he was also responsible to the monster for his happiness. Being the creator of a life was more responsibility than Frankenstein planned for. The monster called upon Frankenstein to fulfill his obligation of providing for his happiness by creating a female companion to keep him company. Out of his sense of obligation to his creation and out of fear for his family, Frankenstein agreed to make the female monster. His responsibility to humanity carried greater weight than the idea of his responsibility to his creature for the actions of the original monster and the new one he agreed to create. He hadn’t yet realized the full weight of responsibility he would bear for the actions of both monsters. Before Frankenstein could marry Elizabeth, he had to complete his obligation to the monster so that he could be completely rid of him and the responsibility for his actions. As a result, Frankenstein postponed the wedding and took a trip to England to work without the danger of being discovered by his family. His obligation to the monster was not only to ensure the monster’s happiness, which Frankenstein felt obliged to do as the monster’s creator, but also as a way to protect his family from the monster’s vengeance. Before he completed the female monster, Frankenstein realized the weight of responsibility he would bear if together the two monsters destroyed any other human life or reproduced, and the thought was just too much to bear. Rather than deal with the responsibility for two hideous, superhuman creatures, Frankenstein would rather deal with the wrath of one, so he destroyed his work on the female monster. So began the battle between Frankenstein and the monster. Frankenstein was responsible for Henry’s death at the hands of the monster, and this grief rendered him ill for a long time. Frankenstein is once again in the position he found himself with William and Justine’s deaths. He didn’t murder Henry, but his friendship with Frankenstein made Henry susceptible to the monster’s wrath because he used Henry to get back at Frankenstein. Although the Irish magistrate acquitted him, Frankenstein knew that he was responsible for Henry’s death because he had defied the monster’s wishes and the monster repaid him by killing his friend. Frankenstein, feeling responsible for Elizabeth’s death as well as his father’s, vowed vengeance. The only way to absolve his responsibility for the monster’s actions was to kill him, so that’s what Frankenstein set out to do. He was responsible for the monster’s creation and its actions, and he planned to be responsible for the monster’s destruction as well. Frankenstein never admitted to his family what he had done, never admitted or took responsibility for his actions. He might as well have killed Elizabeth, William, Justine, and Henry with his own hand. The so called “Monster” only wanted companionship; he did not want to murder those people. The circumstances forced him to commit murder. Frankenstein was the instigator of those circumstances. Victor certainly created something that caused destruction, not only in his own life but in others lives as well. Justine took the fall for Victor, dying for his secret. Elizabeth died because Victor chooses not to create another monster. The monster did not necessarily want another monster-like companion, he just wanted acceptance. Victor brought about his own destruction. Victor’s ability to deal with the real world was almost nonexistent. He had only one friend, Clerval. His choice for a wife was a person he called “cousin”, but in fact was his adopted sister. Did Victor create this so-called “monster” to have a friend, the one thing the monster wished for? Victor denied his friendship to the monster, but why? The joy of creating life, the monster, overruled his judgment. He was denying the fact he had committed such a vile act upon humanity. He even says, “A being whom myself had formed, and eluded with life, had met me at midnight among the precipices of an inaccessible mountain. ”3 Victor may have admitted to creating the monster, but he denied that he had driven the monster to commit murder. He needed to admit, not only to himself, but to his family that he was the one responsible for William’s murder. By not admitting this, he allowed his friend Clerval and his wife Elizabeth to be murdered as well. His determination that his secret not be discovered became his downfall. Victor was responsible for every action of his own and for the actions of the monster. Frankenstein’s monster only wanted to be accepted for what he was. The monster needed a friend. Someone he could talk to, someone to love him, and someone to love back. Friendship was not possible. Unfortunately, the human race is very shallow. In the monster’s own words he says, “…they spurn and hate me. ”4 We tend to judge the appearances of others, rather than getting to know the person inside. A person’s appearance is only the shell in which they live, it never reflects the person they are. Frankenstein’s monster wanted a friend, not judgment; but even his creator rejected him, not once but multiple times. The second time Victor rejected him he says, “Devil’, I exclaimed, ‘do you dare approach me? And do not you fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? Be gone, vile insect…”5 In the end, Frankenstein didn’t care whether he lived or died. Victor wants the war to end. He has lost every battle he and the monster have fought. I only think that He wished death upon the monster so that the murders will stop. Even in the end Frankenstein was selfish. He did not want anything to stand in the way of science. Had he learned nothing? At least Walton had learned that maybe people should take responsibility for their actions. Walton did let the crew turn the boat around and not face the inevitable, death. Frankenstein made his bed, and now he’s lying in it. In the end, Frankenstein died while the monster survived. So in the end, Frankenstein lost everything. Frankenstein led himself down the path of destruction. He lost his friend, wife, and brother. He was loved by no one. All those whom he had cared about were dead. His experiment had turned him into a shell of hatred and despair. His focus on his creation, led him to a black hole, from which there was no escape. Frankenstein’s ambition did lead to disaster, but he was also the monster with no regard for human life. Now that Frankenstein was in the afterlife, the monster could now end his own life. His quest was over.


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