Why is it so difficult for Victor to decide to make a female creature?

Expert Answers

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

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor is obsessed with creating a creature. His motivation is sound: he wants to stop death in its tracks. But he plays God, for no man should be able to create life, and when he realizes what he has done, he is horrified. The...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor is obsessed with creating a creature. His motivation is sound: he wants to stop death in its tracks. But he plays God, for no man should be able to create life, and when he realizes what he has done, he is horrified. The creature is monstrous in Victor's eyes: where he thought he was creating something "beautiful" with white teeth and black flowing hair, he realizes he has created an abomination to man and God. He runs away, never assuming responsibility for the creature he has created.

Being rejected by Victor, the creature wanders the earth, learning about nature, how to live, and the cruelty of people. The creature becomes very lonely. When he meets young William Frankenstein, he believes a child cannot at such a young age feel discrimination against one such as the creature for he has not learned this kind of hatred and rejection.

William, however, becomes hysterical and struggles to get away. When he uses his father's name to persuade the creature to release him, the creature hears Victor's last name, and decides to punish Victor by killing his youngest brother.

Once the creature does this, he also arranges for the death of Justine. Victor hates the creature and wants him dead, which is unrealistic with the monster's speed and strength. When the creature gets Victor to sit and listen to his side of the story, Victor begins to feel responsibility for what he has done to his creation. He finally agrees to create a mate for the monster, who assures Victor that once he has a companion, they will disappear forever.

Victor goes about traveling to other countries to speak to those who can help him, while buying and collecting what he needs. However, he begins to worry that if the monster has a mate, they could create twice as much havoc as the monster has already done. And at the last minute, disgusted by what he is doing (with eyes wide open as they had not been the first time), Victor decides he cannot create the monster's mate, which spells destruction for others that Victor loves.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team