Created in Despair

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
My take on the true villain of the classic fable Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley.

Submitted: July 24, 2017

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Submitted: July 24, 2017




In Shelley’s classic fable Frankenstein, Shelley uses conflict to demonstrate that Frankenstein’s monster wasn’t a groaning beast who roamed the countryside, he was an eloquent and articulate being who came into existence in the most unfortunate of ways. Although he coined the title of ‘monster’ I do not believe that he is unmatched in his villainy. Frankenstein himself is equal in his villainy, if not trumping the being he created. Frankenstein did not kill anyone, but he did inflict an excruciatingly high amount of pain on his poor creature. He created life, and at the first chance he had he cast him away to exile. In ways it is not just Frankenstein who is the villain of the story, but the race of man itself.

What does one do when they have to parent or guardian to teach them? They must look to themselves and their surroundings. No one taught Frankenstein’s monster right from wrong, therefore there is no validity in the argument that the being was purely evil. He surely was not born that way, he was molded into the revenge-seeking creature that he became by the desolation he experienced and lived through. Frankenstein was a selfish man, who became so obsessed with his work that he failed to distinguish the ability to do something from his moral obligation as a human being to know right from wrong. He was feeling the high of his first reanimation, and was so full of adrenaline and confidence he believed he could do anything, but failed to ask whether he should. “I doubled at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organisation; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man.” (32). Frankenstein realized he had the power and ran with it. However, when his creation was finally complete after years of work and study, he was utterly disturbed by the results. “The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure to the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room, and continued a long time traversing my bedchamber unable to compose my mind to sleep” (35). A deeply perplexing though about this is that Frankenstein put so much effort into this being and yet he hated the outcome. He was ugly and appalling, but hadn’t he been staring him in the face before the reanimation? Based simply on the basis of how the creature looked Frankenstein aborted him. The creature had never previously created an act of terror, he had never once before attacked a human. He was a newly created being.

The creature was as pure a life as one could find. He had happiness in his heart, he would help the cottagers who lived near him in ways that no human would rightly do for free.  “‘Happy, happy earth! Fit habitation for gods, which so short a time before, was bleak, damp, and unwholesome. My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope, and anticipations of joy’” (81). This happiness held the creature in high hopes until the unrelenting and prejudicial ways of man found its way to tear the poor beast down. The cottagers who he had been helping to survive in the harsh conditions of the earth were repulsed by him and would not allow the being to speak, instead they fled their home in fear of him. Human beings are so blindly ignorant that even the kindest of folks can be repugnant and xenophobic when in the presence of the unknown. Once the abominable acts of man pierced through the heart of the giant, he laid waste to mankind. “...from that moment I declared ever-lasting war against the species, and, more than all, against he who had formed me, and sent me forth to this unsupportable misery” (97). It is wrong, I believe, to blame the creature for his actions. Although revenge is not the proper course of action, no one was there to teach him right from wrong nor show him the “true meaning of life,” he didn’t have a purpose. One of the essential stepping stones for life is interaction with others, the beast was neglected of this and therefore had no plausible way to make a decent living among the humans.

The creature leaves Frankenstein to feel the same way he does: alone, “Know that, one by one, my friends were snatched away; I was left desolate. My own strength is exhausted” (146). Frankenstein makes it clear many times throughout his narration that his life has become that of wretched proportion, but it is all because of his own doing. He created the monster, he abandoned him, he left him to fester and rot like an open wound, and when the infection finally spread, Victor Frankenstein became infected with the same forlorn and miserable feelings and life that he had bestowed upon his creation.

In the end it was the troublesome acts of mankind that led to the dramatic and tragic events depicted in Frankenstein. Every single human being that the monster came across cursed and despised him, for no reason other than his looks. Frankenstein was a man of high intelligence, yet his power went to his head and he thought he could play God. This in turn made way for his own demise. One being cannot be the accused villain in this story, for it is a narrative that well depicts the good intentions and malice of mankind.


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