Why did Victor create the creature? What responsibilities did Victor have toward it?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Attending the university, Victor becomes excited by the prospect of everlasting knowledge. He studies the processes of death and decay in the human body, often forgoing sleep and food in his fervor. Eventually, he discovers he can create life in nonliving matter. He is thrilled with this achievement, but also wary of the knowledge. He knows that the consequences could be severe, but he continues, convinced that he will be able to create life and ultimately help humankind. He hopes that one day he will be able to restore life to human beings who have died. So his outward motives are benign, but there is certainly a sense of personal achievement and gain under the surface.

It is difficult to pinpoint the responsibilities Victor has toward his creature. It really depends on your own personal values. I feel that Victor's responsibilities toward his creation would be the same as any father's for his children. Obviously, shrieking and running away from the creature was not an appropriate first reaction, especially if bringing it to life was your goal in the first place. Even if Victor could not care for or educate his creation as a parent, he should have given it a safe place, away from a society that fears and torments it. His actions in the story are equivalent to a parent leaving his/her child alone in the wilderness to fend for itself. However, some may argue that Victor had no responsibilities toward it, as it was an unnatural creation, and that everyone was better off with it segregated from society.

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