In Frankenstein, how do Victor and his creature's view of themselves and the world change?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The two main character in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein change dramatically over the course of the novel (when it comes to how they see themselves).


In the beginning, Victor is unconcerned with what society will think about his "experiment." Instead, he is only concerned with creating life.

A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.

Later, after Victor realizes the catastrophic mistake he has made, he becomes very concerned for the welfare of his family and how society will look at him (since he is the one who brought the monster to life). Therefore, Victor's initial disregard for how the society looked at him (given his complete self-indulgence in wanting to create the life) is illuminated by his compounded concern seen in the middle of the novel on.

The Creature

The creature, being alienated upon "birth," seeks out companionship. More than anything he desires the world to embrace him. Given his initial confrontations with mankind, he begins to realize that mankind will never accept him. Therefore, he understands the importance of his own view of himself. At one point, the creature realizes his monstrous appearance (and he does not seem to blame those who attacked and ran from him).

I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man.

The creature, therefore, recognizes his inability to be a part of mankind. Therefore, his initial desire to be a part of the world ended when he realized how the world reacted to him.


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