Many of the problems that Victor Frankenstein experiences are brought on by his self-centered absorption in his project and related failure to anticipate its likely effects on others—including the creature himself. After he learns that his creation has killed his brother, William, Victor admits that the creature is a version of himself: “my own spirit let loose from the grave. ...”
As Victor recounts his story, the reader can see his long-time tendency to prioritize his own wants and desires. He even attributes this to his parents’ indulging him as “their plaything and their idol.” Setting himself apart from his family and fellow students, he was drawn to arcane esoterica that would get him closer to understanding the secrets of existence. Victor became so obsessed with the idea of creating life that he cut himself off from society and worked exclusively and secretively on the project.
Although many so-called anatomists and medical students were clandestinely obtaining corpses to cut up, their objective was primarily to gain medical knowledge that might help cure diseases. Victor, in contrast, wanted to re-animate the dead. The idea of “playing god” is what kept him going, even more than the fame he would gain if he succeeded. When he does bring the creature to life, he finds him (or “it,” as he uses both terms) abhorrent; rather than a beautiful man, like him but even better, he is appalled by the creature’s looks. The issue for Victor is the lack of reward for his efforts, as he regards “the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form. ...” His own self-image is so damaged that he cannot properly deal with the consequences but runs away, thus leaving the creature to his own devices.