What are some examples of cause and effect in Frankenstein?

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

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One excellent example of cause and effect is Victor Frankenstein's abandoning his creation to fend for itself. Victor is terrified both of the social stigma if his actions are discovered, and of the Monster itself, which he sees as inherently violent because of its physical appearance. Victor's abandonment is the direct cause of the Monster's later behavior.

I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him.
(Shelley, Frankenstein, gutenberg.org)

This act causes the Monster to feel animosity towards Victor, who he views as a betrayer of his responsibilities, and in revenge the Monster kills Elizabeth, Victor's only love. If Victor had been more courageous and taken responsibility for the Monster's education and socialization, this might not have occurred. The Monster directly blames Victor for shaping its worldview through Victor's cruel and thoughtless abandonment.


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