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What evidence does Mary Shelley give in her novel Frankenstein that Victor Frankenstein...

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justtcallmejayy | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2013 at 3:56 AM via iOS

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What evidence does Mary Shelley give in her novel Frankenstein that Victor Frankenstein is, in fact, guilty for the deaths of William and Justine?

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 5, 2013 at 9:05 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the main themes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the idea of man playing God and having power over life and death. The protagonist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, creates a man out of body parts that he re-animates. Instead of taking responsibility for his creation, Dr. Frankenstein turns his back on the creature. In return, the creature is angry and confused because he does not know right from wrong or why he is even alive. He is like a newborn with no guidance from a parent but in the body of a grown man. He sees that people are afraid of him. In his inability to control his own actions and unaware of his strength, the creature kills Victor's youngest brother, William. The housekeeper, Justine Moritz, is blamed for the death and executed for it.

The case for Victor's culpability is strong. He is the creator of the creature; he brought it to life; therefore, he is responsible for what the  creature does, just as a parent is responsible for a child. Power comes with responsibility, and Victor wants the one without the other. His remorse is also a strong indicator that he, himself feels guilty.

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