In Frankenstein, what would you say is the social disorder created when Victor brings the Creature to life?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Shelley is fairly direct in suggesting that the social disorder that is created when Victor brings the Creature to life is the fleeing from responsibility that accompanies it.  Shelley develops Victor as a rigorous man of science.  However, all of this goes away when Victor creates the Creature.  When the monster comes to life, Victor facilitates social disorder because he abandons his responsibility.  It is the abandonment of one's rightful responsibility to others and to the maintenance of the social order that results in disorder.

When Victor sees what he has done, he abandons the responsibility he should have held towards society.  Victor says that "the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."  This helps to develop the idea that social disorder results because Frankenstein's dream disappears.  He no longer holds a dream that is socially redeeming.  Rather, it is steeped in horror, the result of which is social disorder and chaos.  Victor later says that "I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe."  This helps to reaffirm the idea that social disorder is the result when one abandons their own commitment to maintaining the social order and acknowledging the bonds that exist between individuals and the collective whole.  Victor violates this in the pursuit of a dream of creation, something that terrifies him and causes him to withdraw.  This withdrawal is a lack of responsibility, and a desire to no longer accept the implications of one's action.  In abandoning such responsibility, social disorder ensues.  Through such a characterization, Shelley is saying that when individuals forego the bonds that exist between them and other people, social disorder is not far behind. 

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