Human Nature and Frankenstein

Humans are not perfect beings. However, they are sadly quite often responsible for not only their own life, but the lives of others as well. This is shown in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a story about Victor Frankenstein creating a monster, fearing it, abandoning it, and facing the consequences of having his family and friends killed off by the vengeful monster.

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Frankenstein does not take responsibility for the monster, and several times lies and tricks the monster, and sees nothing wrong with his actions, besides creating the monster in the first place. His hubris, fear, and lack of responsibility ruins the lives of his friends and family, the monster’s life, and his own life as well.

An example of Frankenstein’s hubris is when he decides to create a man rather than practicing on something easier. He discovers the secret to making life, and he is debating what to make with the unknown process. I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organization; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complete and wonderful as man. (53). This shows that he is arrogant, and does not think about what could happen, he just wants to think about what he wants to have happen. He does have some doubts in the beginning, but he quickly sweeps them aside with his arrogant optimism, blinding him to the consequences.

Frankenstein is afraid of the monster, and he shows this after he is finished making it. He suddenly finds it ugly and terrifying, and realizes that he has spent two years making this creature, but he is scared of it, so he abandons it. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. 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 (59). This shows that he is horrified, and doesn’t want to have anything to do with it anymore. Another example of his fear is after he decides to make a companion for the monster, he goes back on the agreement out of fear. I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged (203). He tears apart the monster’s future companion, and enrages the monster because he is scared about what they could do. The monster had already said that he would take his companion and leave Europe, going to South America, and the monster has not lied. These examples show that Frankenstein is fearful of the monster, and is not entirely rational.

Frankenstein’s lack of responsibility is shown by the fact that when he gets sick and is dying aboard the ship, he tells Robert Walton that he finds nothing wrong with his actions, and instead blames the monster for everything that went wrong.

During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blamable. In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bound towards him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being. This was my duty, but there was another still paramount to that. My duties towards the beings of my own species had greater claims to my attention because they included a greater proportion of happiness or misery. Urged by this view, I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature. He showed unparalleled malignity and selfishness in evil; he destroyed my friends; he devoted to destruction beings who possessed exquisite sensations, happiness, and wisdom; nor do I know where this thirst for vengeance may end. (269)

He does not find it blamable to create the monster, abandon it, and lie to it several times. He even tries to make it seem that the monster is pure evil and he doesn’t know why it became that way. This is not something that he should have done, as it is not true, the monster told him why in his story, the reason is because of humans.

Frankenstein’s hubris, fear, and lack of responsibility has ruined the lives of many people. Even though this is just a fictional story, it can be used as an example of what could happen if people are not careful about what consequences their actions have on the lives of people around them, including their own. This is important as many people, as they are imperfect, do not think about what could happen, only what they want to have happen. If everyone is more careful about the results of their actions, the world would be a better place.

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