Through the text, what is Shelley saying about compassion?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems to me that one of Shelley's fundamental points about compassion is that more of it is needed.  Wherever one goes in terms of leanings towards specific characters, compassion is needed and is sorely lacking in the traits of the specific individuals in the text.  Victor's initial rejection of the creature when he first reaches out towards his creator is a moment where compassion is needed and is lacking.  His entire premise that the creature will do damage to other human beings is a compassionate position towards humanity, but lacks any such compassion towards his own creation.  This becomes one of his major character deficiencies in so far as there is so little compassion that he possesses towards the creature.  For his part, the creature becomes so filled with anger towards his creator that there is little room for compassion within him, as well.  Yet, I think that Shelley is suggesting that compassion is a behavior that has to be taught, instructed to others.  In this, one can see the creature's lack of compassionate affect as being reflective of the deficiency that is within Victor.  If he lacks it, reason stands that he would be unable to teach it to his creation.


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