How does the Mary Shelley seem to feel about Victor Frankenstein? About the creature?I'm really not good at figuring out how the author feels about his/her novel, and this is one of those...

How does the Mary Shelley seem to feel about Victor Frankenstein? About the creature?

I'm really not good at figuring out how the author feels about his/her novel, and this is one of those questions. So your input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Concerning your question about Shelley's Frankenstein, one can find it difficult to determine what a work reveals about an author's views, since authors create personas to serve as narrators.  And in this novel, multiple narrators are involved, making any determination even more difficult.

To determine what Shelley thought about Victor and his creation (and one should be cautious doing so, since we can't speak for a writer; we can't go back and read her mind), you should look at the ideas/themes revealed. 

Victor takes science too far.  His science is irresponsible science.  His science is unethical science.  He doesn't consider the consequences of his science before performing it.  This suggests Shelley sees Victor in just this way.  He is brilliant and amiable, but irresponsible.  Of course, Shelley is really commenting on science, and using Victor to do it.

Shelley seems to be sympathetic to the monster, based, again, on the ideas raised by the monster's experience.  Here the key issue is nature vs. nurture.  The monster is neglected by his "father," denied love and attention, denied an education, etc.  In short, he is not nurtured.  The monster's crimes are heinous, but Victor is much to blame. 

In short, Shelley appears to have viewed Victor as irresponsible and dangerous.  Dangerous in the sense that he creates a being without considering the consequences, then rejects him due largely only to his appearance.  Shelley's sympathies would seem to lie with the "monster," who is denied any chance of having a normal, human-like life.  These conclusions are based on the ideas/themes revealed in the novel by the characters' actions and experiences. That's one of the ways to determine how an author feels about her characters.

Unlock This Answer Now

Read the study guide:
Frankenstein

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question