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Who is more of a monster--Victor or the Creature? Please explain specifically what...

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beto510 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM via web

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Who is more of a monster--Victor or the Creature? 

Please explain specifically what sort of individuals both the creature and Victo are. Which of these two people deserves the most sympathy? 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

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

Posted September 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Definitely Victor and this is why:

The creature educated itself, tried to make amends with the world, intended to be kind and liked, but definitely his condition and appearance did not allow him to be a part of society. And that was all because of greedy, arrogant, old Victor.

Opposite to the creature, Victor DE-educated himself by following stupid practices in medicine which he already knew did not work such as, for example, the experiments with lightning and electricity, and the summoning of foreign energies. He was obsessed with creation, and ended up creating: The poor creature that had to end up nurturing itself.

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:44 AM (Answer #2)

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The creature made by Victor Frankenstein is the "noble creature" of Jean-Jacques Rousseau; he is untouched by society, uncontaminated by any genetic predisposal or any environmental influence. Even when Victor rejects him, the creature yet seeks love and performs unselfish acts such as providing the DeLacey's with firewood throughout the cold winter.  Without their having extended any reciprocal acts of kindness, the creature vicariously shares in their lives as he watches and listens to them with great love in his heart.  It is only when the blind old man's son enters and attacks the creature that he feels any antipathy toward the family.  And, it is only when Victor rejects him again and refuses to make a female for him that the creative becomes retributive.

Victor, on the other hand, rejects immediately what he has created and seeks to destroy him, even though he is at fault for the deaths of his brother William and Justine because of his rejection of the creature; and, he is culpable of putting his friend, Henry Clerval, and his fiancee, Elizabeth in danger when he does not admit to his act of creation and when he refuses the creature a companion.  At the end of the novel, Victor yet retains his self-righteousness while the creature condemns himself, feeling much guilt for his actions, vowing to rid the world of himself:  "No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine." He also expresses far more human feeling that Victor has ever exhibited:

" for while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires.  They were for ever ardent and craving; still I desired love and fellowship, and I was still spurned....Blasted as thou [Victor] wert, my agony was still superior to thinke; for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them for ever....Soon these burning miseries will be extinct....My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus.  Farewell." 

 

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

Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:04 PM (Answer #3)

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I think that you can get several arguments on each side.  In my mind, I think Victor is the closer to a “monster” than his creation.  I get into trouble because of the ease with which I answer it.  For me, the simple truth is that the monster did not ask to be created.  Creation was not out of his will, but rather Victor’s.  For this, I think that there has to be more responsibility placed at Victor’s feet.  While the monster does some fairly reprehensible things in the novel, the fact that he was created and then abandoned by Victor makes him more of a hideous figure than his creation.  I think that when the monster first approaches Victor, looking for nurturing and then being exposed to a reaction of revulsion, and then approaching him again for companionship with deferral and negation at both points makes him much more sympathetic than Victor.  Naturally, Victor is not as responsible for as much destruction as the monster is.  Yet, I cannot help but feel that the monster did not understand any better for there was no guidance given to him.  Simply put, Victor had the capacity to distinguish right from wrong and knew better.  It is because of this that the monster is more sympathetic than Victor.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM (Answer #4)

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To me, Victor is more of a monster than the Monster is.  The reason I say this is that Victor had much more of a choice with regard to how his life would be.  The Monster really had very little choice about the circumstances of his life.

Victor is a monster in my eyes because he willingly brought to life this thing that, as he should have known if he had thought about it at all, would not be able to have any sort of a normal life among human beings.  He ought to have thought through what he was doing.  Instead, he selfishly conducted his experiments and they led to the creation of this creature.

Of course, the creature is not blameless.  He did not have to kill all the people that he killed.  However, he was put in his untenable situation by Victor.

So I think that Victor is the one who is more morally blameworthy.  He acted for selfish reasons and, thereby, caused the Monster so much pain and helped drive him to his own atrocities.

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