What are three major conflicts in Frankenstein, By Mary Shelley?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel Frankenstein is rife with conflicts, mainly stemming from one soufe, which is Victor Frankenstein himself. This is because Victor's fixation with creating life became the driving force of his actions, and a particular whim that created a lot of collateral damage.

Three conflicts are:

Victor versus Victor: Throughout the novel we witness many facets of Victor's behavior. This shows that the man is not stable in the first place. When Victor wants something, he obsesses about it without thinking about consequences. When he finally achieves his goal of creating life, and he realizes the horrid aftermath of his activity, he falls into a deep depression and becomes ill. The creature he wished to create he ends up despising to a sickening point. He essentially sets himself up for failure.

Creature versus creator: In a conflict that mirrors our own existential debate with the higher powers that be, the creature and his creator are in consistent fights. For once, the creature comes to realize that his life is miserable, that he is unwanted by the world, and that he was merely an experiment gone wrong. Sadly, the creature is also  sentimental, feels empathy, and vies for love. The persecution that the creature and Victor engage into is essentially one wanting to destroy the other. It is actually a very tragic conflict.

Creature versus nature: The creature has to undergo his first days of life in solitude and discovering the world as he goes.

By degrees [...] a stronger light pressed upon my nerves, so I was obliged to shut my eyes. Darkness then came over me, and troubled me. 

Unfamiliar with the world, he has to forcibly defend himself from the elements, such as sunlight, darkness, fire, rain, heat, and coldness. He also faces hunger, exhaustion, the need for safety and, saddest of all, the scorn and hatred of the people. If being alone is bad, his kind of loneliness would have been unbearable.