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What are some character traits for both Victor Frankenstein and the monster in the...

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claire10415 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 6, 2010 at 1:54 AM via web

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What are some character traits for both Victor Frankenstein and the monster in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:11 AM (Answer #1)

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Victor has been raised in a very loving family. His father and mother were kind parents who loved all of their children, and even adopted some children. Victor, however, grows up a little indulged and perhaps because of this, he is selfish. He is stubborn and unyielding about many things. For years he studies all sorts of "junk" scientists who claim many false things such as alchemy. When Victor goes to university, his professors make fun of these scientists and yet Victor stubbornly sticks to their theories for a long time before he starts to believe the professors. When he creates the monster, he never once thinks about the wisdom of doing such a thing, and then when the monster proves hideous and fearful, Victor thinks of himself, lets the monster get away and does not do anything to fix his mess, even when the monster starts killing off all of Victor's loved ones. Only once does he try to convince the authorities about the monster's danger and when the authorities don't believe him, he gives up and decides to pursue the creature himself. He reacts in a very cowardly and indecisive way towards the monster because he is conflicted. He has created the beast, and yet he feels guilty about destroying his own creation, especially because when he encounters the monster, he realizes that the monster is a thinking and feeling being, not an animal.

The monster changes in the story. In the beginning, he is a frightened creature who does not know who or what he is. As he grows, however, he realizes that he is a sentient being who has a mind and feelings. He teaches himself to read and to talk, but he also learns that he is hideous and frightful to humans. The way the humans treat him turn him bitter. He tries to convince Victor to create another being, like him, with whom he can have fellowship, but when Victor refuses, this sets the monster over the edge and he because an evil, vindictive beast.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:16 AM (Answer #2)

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Victor's character traits are: Ambitious, daring, challenging, God complex, intelligent. He questions nature the way that he questions authority, and everything surrounding him. He is highly intelligent, caring, and actually a good person, but it was his ambition and God complex which ultimately drove him to ruin.

The creature is equally intelligent, and also questions his surroundings, authority, and in existence. However, as he discovers the reality of his life, he grows angry, vengeful, and hateful. He is a creature which educates itself, and tries his best to fit into society, but knows that this task is nearly impossible, and so his anger rages on.

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