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In Frankenstein, what pain and suffering does Victor cause?I'm having trouble...

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falcons7394 | Student, College Freshman

Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:21 AM via web

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In Frankenstein, what pain and suffering does Victor cause?

I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts for this essay. First, I am unsure of how to start a strong introduction. Then I want to have two body paragraphs, but I'm just not sure how to organize my ideas into two coherent points that all support the essay question. 

My thoughts so far are a paragraph about how Victor, keeping his secret, causes many people to suffer/die (William, Justine, Clerval, Elizabeth, Father).  Then, a second paragraph about how Victor's initial decision to make the monster causes many people to suffer. Yet again, here I fear that the two paragraphs are too similar because in both cases the same people suffer.

Any help at all is appreciated. Thank you so much. 

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

Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM (Answer #1)

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In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor causes much pain for those around him given his obsession with reanimating life and the consequences of his success.

Victor's "quest" does cause pain and suffering for many throughout the novel: William, Justine, Clerval, his father, Elizabeth, and the creature. (One way to break the essay into sections, or paragraphs, would be to differentiate between the creature and all others--Victor's creation of the creature caused the creature pain and suffering, while the creature directly caused the pain and suffering of Victor's friends and family because of what Victor did to it).

Specifically, when Victor creates the creature, two things cause the creature pain and suffering. First, given the creature is unaware of its ability and senses, the pain it feels comes from it inability to understand what is going on. The careture's suffering, on the other hand is a result of Victor's alienation.

As for Victor's family and friends, the creature is the one directly responsible for their pain and suffering (indirectly, Victor is responsible given the creation and alienation of the creature). William, Justine, Clerval, and Elizabeth all die horrible deaths. Their pain is obvious. Their suffering, on the other hand, is very different. William suffers based upon the fact that he is frightened by the creature. Justine suffers given she is accused of the murder of William. Clerval and Elizabeth suffer given one can assume that he feels for Victor during his illnesses (brought on by the worry for Victor but, associated with the creature). They also both die at the hands of the creature.

Victor's father is the only one who really suffers without pain. One can assume that his death, brought on by the tragedies which have overwhelmed his family, is painless. Instead, his death is the result of his suffering.

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