Is Frankenstein a victim or a villain?Arguments for and against.

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lcassidy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question, and you could day that Victor Frankenstein is both.

When Victor Frankenstein first thought of creating a living being from an inanimate object, he anticipated something beautiful.  Imagine the benefits for mankind with the discovery of such a creation.  He spent countless hours investing his time and energy to create this new scientific epiphany.  Loved by his friends and family, he ostracised himself to the point of making himself ill.  In addition, after having invested and sacrificed so much of himself, he becomes his creature’s object torment.  He loses his brother William, Justine (who is accused of murdering William, and then is punished with death), his friend Henry Clerval, as well as his wife Elizabeth (consequently his father dies shortly after).  He also lives in fear and is constantly threatened by the creature which he put to life.

On the other hand, some will argue that Frankenstein is not a victim, but a villain who deserves exactly what he gets.  To begin, Victor never thought of the consequences associated with creating such an ugly creature.  During his years of planning, never once did he stop and contemplate the repercussions of his actions if he succeeded.  And, to his surprise, when his experiment was a success, he became frightened and disgusted with the hideousness that was his creature.  How was this a surprise?  He was grave robbing for body parts, made a giant version of a human, and sewed them together.  What did he expect? Nevertheless, Victor abandons he creation and leaves him to his own devices.  After countless negative encounters on the monster’s part (being chassed away and rejected by humanity), he decides to wage war on the human race, but mostly on his creator who is the main cause of his misery.  Although Victor has lost much and suffered a greatly during the novel, all of his sufferings could have been avoided had he planned and acted differently.

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