Victoris the true villain in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein because of his selfishness,his disregard for humanity, and his obsession with playing God.
Victor devaluedhis creation’s life for personal gain, which led inevitably to his own greatpersonal suffering and the suffering of those close to him. The tragedy ofVictor Frankenstein and the tragedy of his creature is the same – it is thetragedy of loneliness and confronting the world. The creature would have neverbecome a monster if it got the love it strived for. Victor Frankenstein wouldhave never converted his creature into a monster if he knew how to love andtake responsibility for the ones we bring to this world. “My sister’s in pain, and I’m relieved. What does thatsay about me?” (Picoult 61).
It is often argued that rather than Victor being themonster, the creature is the real monster. Of course, this is true when thecreature ruthlessly murders William and inevitably pins the blame on Justine. However,the creature only acts out of violence because of the way society has rejectedhim. The creature wishes nothing but pain and destruction upon his creator throughoutthe novel all with good reason. Victor tookthe first step into turning the creature less human by running away. If Victorhad not of abandoned his creature at first sight, maybe the creature would neverhave had to act the way he did.
Since Victor created the creature, he isindirectly the cause of everything that has happened. Victor is only concerned for his ownlife that he completely forgets about his newly bride, Elizabeth. He is flabbergastedthat his creature murders Elizabeth and not him; even though that is precisely whatVictor did when he demolished his female creature who would have been thecreature’s companion. Throughout the novel Victor tries to hide the creaturefrom Elizabeth’s knowledge, not once thinking of her safety and only caring abouther not loving him as much. Due to Victor’sselfishness, it is not hard to feel sorry for his creature.
“She was there,lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down, and herpale and distorted features half covered by her hair. Everywhere I turn I seethe same figure – her bloodless arms and relaxed form flung by the murderer onits bridal bier. Could I behold this and live?” (Shelley 193).”Justine also was a girl of merit andpossessed qualities which promised to render her life happy; now all was to beobliterated in an ignominious grave, and I was the cause!” (Shelley 66).
Victor admits to himself that he is culpable for Justine’sdeath. However, he thinks he was responsible because he created the creature,not that he withheld crucial information. Evenafter he learns that it was his creature who has committed all the awful actsin town, Victor cowardly allows Justine to take the blame for William’s murder.
Victoris also to blame for Elizabeth’s, his wife’s, death. Victor describes the scenewhen he founds her body as:Victor is naturally a very selfishperson. Hismost selfish act stems from the murder of his brother William. Victor is fullyaware that it is his creation that has murdered William, yet he does notconfess.
He withholds knowledge that could have spared Justine’s, the servant,life. Unfortunately, Victor isrevolted by his creation and, unlike God, cannot handle the repercussions. Victor defies the power of Godwith his obsession of controlling life and death. Once the creature discovers that even his own creator ishorrified by his existence, he increasingly despairs about his position in theworld.
He faces the tragedy of his existence –that he was made human on the inside, but without the capacity for fellowshipwith others.”Accursed creator! Why did you form amonster so hideous that even you turnedfrom me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after hisown image, but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the veryresemblance” (Shelley 130).Since an early age, Victor had always been curious with life anddeath; and as he matured it invested into obsession. Victorbelieves that “a new species would bless me as itscreator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being tome” (Shelley 52). One can see from this how Victor sees himself and hiscreation.
Not only does he build up his own egothinking his creature will worship him, but he also makes himself out to be a humangod. He reveled in creating new lifethat would look to him as a creator. Victor’s complete disregard for humankindis the reason behind everything that goes wrong in the novel. Fromthe start Victor does not once think about the creature as a human being, onlya piece in his game. Victor does not regard the consequences that may come inthe future when creating his creature: “Nor could Iconsider the magnitude and complexity of my plan as any argument of itsimpracticability. It was with these feelings that I began the creation of ahuman being” (Shelley 51). Victor’s decisionto create this creature even after thinking carefully of all that could gowrong shows how immoral and corrupt he is becoming. Not once while he was gatheringbody parts for his creature did he think of the souls’ whose remains he perverted.
Victor states: “I could hardly believe that sogreat a good fortune could have befallen me; but when I became assured that myenemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy, and ran down to Clerval”(Shelley 59). When the creature haddisappeared, Victor did not care what had happened. Once the creatureis created, Victor abandons it, and he leaves it to fend for himself. Victor’sdisinclination to accept that what he did will have consequences not only forhim, but for others too, demonstrates his disrespect for humanity. Victor does notconsider the consequences when it comes to his actions, nor does he think of others. “Life isn’t nearly as stable as we wantit to be” (Picoult 380). Although Victor Frankenstein said to becreating his creature for the advancement of humankind, it’s more probable thathe did so out of egotism, and his desire to become godlike. Since a youngage, Victor’s interests fall into the category of chemistry; mainly that of thebalance between life and death.
While at the University of Ingolstadt in Germany, Victor becomes obsessed withthe idea of reanimating life out of inanimate objects. Victor seemed to thinkthat by creating this “new human” he would be doing humanity a service. However,this is not the case. In Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, a young girl issuing her parents for the rights of her body. Victor’s creation in thisnovel is not a monster. He is a being that has been misguided and rejected bysociety. The creature is not a real monster.
It is just a victim. The creature did not begin its life as amonster but became one after Victor Frankenstein rejected it and refused torealize that he must take care of this creature from now and forever and be responsible.The creature was born defenseless in this world. Victor ran away for theCreature was ugly, but the Creature did not have any cruel intentions for beingas a newborn it was evil-free. The Creature did not do anything bad. Thecreature did not come into this world on its own accord.
The first feeling thecreature was met with was rejection. His complete disregard forhumankind, obsession with playing God, and his selfishness throughout the novelare all evidence as to why Victor Frankenstein is the true villain in thestory.