What is the relationship like between Victor Frankenstein and the Monster? Include quotes include if necessary.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Victor is in the process of creating life out of inanimate parts, he is not thinking ahead to what this creation might be like. When the creature springs to life, Victor is horrified at the monster he has created and runs off, rejecting his creation. As the creature says to Victor:

I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel [devil] . . .

The creature looks to Victor as a parent, whose love and nurture he desires. When he can't get it from Victor, he turns elsewhere, but all of humankind rejects him in horror when they see him. The creature therefore persuades Victor to create a female companion for him, but when Victor destroys it in disgust and from fear the pair will create a race of monsters, the creature's relationship with his maker completely deteriorates. The monster goes on a murderous rampage, determined to hurt Victor. The creature says,

There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.

The two have a highly dysfunctional relationship and much of the blame lies with Victor, who does not accept responsibility for what he has created or have the empathy to give the creature the love and acceptance it needs and craves. As the monster says:

I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, the author uses the following archetypal relationships to juxtapose Victor and the Monster:

Doppelganger: The Monster is a doppelganger, or ghostly twin, of Victor.  He haunts his creator, vowing revenge against his family.

Foil: The Monster is a foil, or a reflection, of Victor.  He is his master's dark side made flesh.

God/man (Adam): Victor is analogous to God, and the Monster is Man.  Victor likewise abandons his creation. 

Father/son: Victor is the father (more like a dead-beat dad).  The Monster is a (abandoned, orphaned) son. 

Protagonist/Antagonist: Victor is the story's main character, and the Monster is his primary adversary.

Ego/Id: Victor is the side which he reveals in public, but the Monster is the Id, the overgrown child with selfish desires, which he wishes to hide.

Avenged/avenger: First, the Monster is the Avenger and Victor the avenged.  Then, both man and monster try to take revenge on each other in the land of ice.

Zeus/Prometheus: Victor is much like Zeus, who punishes Prometheus for giving fire to mankind.  The Monster is like Prometheus, the god who is forever chained to a rock and tormented by his creator. 

Here's a quote with shows several of the above relationships:

"'All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.'" Chapter 10, pg. 83

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team