Frankenstein Unbound

by Brian W. Aldiss

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How does Frankenstein change throughout the novel?

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I assume you are speaking of the scientist and not the creature he created. They are not one and the same, although many people confuse that fact. Frankenstein is a pampered young person who grows up with idealistic views of science and a desire to save the lives of loved ones. This is inspired by the death of his beloved mother, but he soon loses sight of the humanitarian aspect of it and becomes obsessed with the fame and fortune aspect. It is only after the creature has discovered the nature of his existence and the identity of his creator that Victor begins to change. Mostly, Victor is selfish and consumed with himself--becoming "ill" whenever things don't go his way. He is not very responsible at the beginning and into the middle of the book. Victor eventually begins to think of others beside himself as he considers creating a female creature to keep the male creature company. He considers the evil they may do, the children they may create, the fact that they will become bored living in obscurity and come down into the company of humanity to "rule". As Victor vows to destroy the creature, the creature kills everyone Victor cares for...thus creating a symbiotic relationship between them. They each live for revenge. It can be argued that Victor changes from self-involved to a more responsible, caring person. However, in the discussions he has with Walton, it is hinted that he would not do anything differently.

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