Who is at fault for the events in Frankenstein, the creature or Frankenstein himself?

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Ultimately, the answer to this question is up to each reader, but here is my take. At the end of the day, Victor Frankenstein created and abandoned his creation, which led to the creature becoming a monster. These facts don't negate the horrible murders the creature enacted, but if we trace the lineage of this story back to its origin, it begins with Victor.

Victor's hubris got the best of him. He craved the unknown and wanted to discover something that no one else had discovered. This curiosity grew into an unhealthy obsession. He learned about reanimation and made his dream come true, but when he saw his creation, he was horrified. He ran from it, leaving him to fend for himself. This choice was not only selfish, it also lacked complete empathy for the "newborn" creature.

The creature ends up fending for himself, seeking out people for comfort and necessity, but he is turned away multiple times and literally beaten in the process. He starts out as a kind being who wants to learn and grow and be loved, but over time, multiple rejections cause him to become a monster. The creature begins harming people, especially those who are close to Victor. These evil acts of revenge are premeditated and violent, but this information brings us back to the original question—who is at fault?

In my eyes, the creature is a product of his environment, and while he has free will and could have made better choices, Victor brought him into this world and set him up to fail. There were multiple times, including during Justine's trial, where Victor could have come clean and stopped the monster's senseless violence, but he acted cowardly and refused to take responsibility for his actions. All the creature wanted was to see and talk to his creator. Without Victor's original choices, this situation would have never happened. In my eyes, Victor is at fault.

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Victor Frankenstein is primarily to blame for all the many bad things that happen in the story. He was the one who abused his scientific genius to create a hideous creature that, unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, causes considerable havoc. Frankenstein may not have been able to see the consequences of his crazy experiment, but that doesn't make him any less responsible for what the Monster gets up to.

In any case, Frankenstein's plans were bad enough in the first place. He wanted to create a race of creatures that would populate the globe and bow down before him like a god. Even if this race of monsters hadn't gone round killing people their very existence would still have led to serious consequences for humanity.

At the same time, the Monster could be said to bear some responsibility for his actions in that he develops into something resembling a human being as the story progresses. That being the case, it's possible to pin the blame on him for the murders he commits. If the Monster's desire to be treated like a human being is to be respected, then it's also the case that he should be held to account for his actions just like everyone else.

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein creates a very curious problem: who is the reader to blame? The necessary idea behind the answering of this question lies in the understanding of the question--who is to blame for what? 

Victor's Blame

Victor is to blame for numerous things. First, he is to blame for desiring to possess forbidden knowledge. Without this desire, Victor never would have reanimated life. Second, Victor is to blame for the creature's abandonment. One could argue that if Victor would have embraced his "son" that none of "this" would have happened. Third, Victor is to blame for the deaths of William, Justine, Henry, Elizabeth, and his father. While not directly responsible, meaning the deaths were not by his hand, he is responsible for creating the being which was responsible for the deaths. Lastly, Victor is responsible for his own death. His great ambition, or tragic flaw, is directly responsible for his downfall and ultimate death. 

The Creature's Blame

Directly, the creature is responsible for the deaths of William, Elizabeth, and Henry. Although he set up Justine as the murderer of William and she was found guilty, he did not physically take her life. Really, this is all the creature is directly responsible for. Indirectly, he is responsible for the deaths of Justine and Victor's father. Outside of these, the creature does nothing morally wrong. 

In the end, one must decide what the true question is. Is Victor the reason why everything happened as it did, or did the creature's actions force Victor's hand? 

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