In Shelley's novel Frankenstein, what are Victor’s weaknesses? Give examples to support your answer.

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dymatsuoka's profile pic

dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Although he is a brilliant scientist from a wealthy family and is much loved, Victor's basic orientation is selfish.  He is egotistical and overly concerned with how he appears to the world - he first decides to push the limits of the unknown because he wants to leave his mark on the scientific world, and refuses to testify for Justine because he fears what the townspeople will think of him.  He is also single-minded to a fault.  During the time he was creating the monster at Ingolstadt, he completely isolates himself from family and friends, effectively cutting himself off from any sources of interaction and input that might have helped advise and temper his decisions to challenge the limits of "accepted" science.  Also, in his quest to capture the creature in the Arctic, he relentlessly pushes Walton's crew - who are already going out of their way for him - calling them cowards when they want to abandon the chase and return home. 

Victor's refusal to accept responsibility for his creation also stems from his basic self-centered nature.  The creature repulses him, and to acknowledge him before the world will make him look bad, so for the most part he just hopes it will go away.

plagas99's profile pic

plagas99 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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One of Victor's flaw could also be similar to MacBeth's: Ambition. A tragic flaw and normally valued in society, Victor can show what happend when one is overambitious. He strives to learn the secret of life that he cares more for the goal than for the Monster. This attributes to his later disgust and fear to the Monster when it finally awakens. This ambition is also witnessed by Walton as Victor's thirst for revenge drives him to an earlier death if Walton's crew hadn't rescued Victor.

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mrou03 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

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In addition, one could say Victor suffered from "tunnel vision".  Though a grotesque creature lay before him as it was being constructed, Victor did not see the horror or reality of his creation.  Having only focused on the scientific aspects of its creation, Victor did not consider the fact the he had created a human.  Once the creature was alive, Victor's choice of ignoring the problem, as if the creature did not even exist, further displayed the disparity between his thought process and the reality of what was happening.  Victor's behaviors show his selfish, immature nature.

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