The Madman Behind Frankenstein English Literature Essay

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"Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see."(Franklin).

Could this be somewhat of the feeling that Victor's creation (Frankenstein) had? All Frankenstein wanted was to be acknowledge by his creator. He wanted his "father" to be a part of his life. Victor was blinded by his own glory though. He thought he could take on a task that only God should be able to do and suffered miserable consequences from it. Could you imagine your creator being completely disgusted in you, and wanting no part in your life? In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Victor did just that.

Victor's journey of his creation began when he was just fifteen years old, during "a most violent and terrible thunderstorm," he sees a magnificent tree shattered by a bolt of lightening: "and so soon as the dazzling light vanished the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump."(Shelley, Frankenstein 23) From then on Victor was determined to know everything about electricity, creation, and the science of life and death. He was eager to learn and wanted to know anything and everything on how and if you could possibly give life to someone or something. He read upon books by time wasting philosophers. Soon his father encouraged him to attend the University at Ingolstadt, to further his education and Victor accepted. He exchanged his farewells to his beloved family and was on his way.

Arriving at Ingolstadt, Victor pursued studies in philosophy and science and over the next few years strived to figure out what he had wondered about his entire life (how to give life to something or someone that was deceased). He was a prisoner of his laboratory where he worked and studied day and night with little sleep. During these few years he had no contact with his family except for occasional letters. He was alone, locked in his laboratory of doom with no worries but his evil project. He made a few attempts to give different things life, but failed. On this on particular night he was more than determined to create human life. He waited until the night of a horrible lightning storm to begin. Not knowing that his plan would be a success, after so many failed attempts, Victor Frankenstein had no idea what he was in for. He was a madman and did not look through to the consequences that were soon to take place. He should have thought through the importance of life and what would take place and how his actions would play out if he should succeed, but he didn't. This decision in Victor's mind reflects not so much to the failure of the male to procreate as the failure of one man to value life. Upon discovering the secret to reanimating dead corpses, Victor attempts to create a being like him. Yet in doing so he admits that he may not fully succeed but rather only lay the foundations of future success"(Shelley 31). Victor doesn't value the life he is to create so much as what the creation will give him-a place in history as the (in)famous father of restoring dead flesh. As the electricity surged through the body, and "the monster" took its first breath, Victor went into panic mode. He fled the laboratory and completely abandoned his creation. He hated the one thing he always dreamed of doing. "Mary Shelley suggests that, because of his isolation, Victor's creativity results in a deformed and hideous being." (Wohlpart 2) It was Victor's "work of art," his creation; he should have taken full responsibility for his actions and took him in.

This evil project that Victor had been planning out for years was keeping him away from the ones he was supposed to care about the most, his family and friends. Throughout the novel Elizabeth and his father continually write him letters in hopes to see him soon, but he is so overcome by a creation that he could care less about and he abandons them also. "To prove the way in which his relation to the female has been destroyed as a result of his "study," he describes a dream vision which he has immediately following the liveliness of his monster. In the dream, Victor sees Elizabeth who is at first "in the bloom of health" (Shelley 34) and then transforms into the corpse of Victor's dead mother. Significantly, immediately after the monster is brought to life, a transformation occurs in Victor, symbolized by a new awareness of the world outside: "It was a divine revive in my bosom..."(Shelley 38). Both family and nature once again influence Victor now that he is no longer in the process of creating his monster (Wohlpart 2).

Overtime Frankenstein became envious and very angry with Victor for abandoning him. All he wanted was for his creator to acknowledge him, but Victor wanted no part in his life. After this the creature thought Victor should suffer as he has and murdered Victor's loved one's one by one. "Alphonse Frankenstein describes the first murder, that of Victor's younger brother William, in a letter. He notes that, when they discovered William's body, "the print of the murder's finger was on his neck.(72). As if to represent an extension of Victor's creative act, an act akin to artistic creativity and thus to writing, the monster leaves his print on the body of his innocent victim."(Wohlpart 2). This seems to me that Frankenstein looked up to his creator for creating him. Maybe, not knowing how to act around people or show feelings, that was in his mind a work of art. The murder of little William led to one of Victor's close friends (Justine) being guilty and blamed for the murder, and her punishment was death. Victor did nothing to stop this knowing who the real murderer was.

Victor refused in helping his creation in any way and it eventually resulted in the deaths of his loving friend Henry, Justine, his wife Elizabeth, and his father. This brought on an overwhelming sickness that Victor just could not shake and also eventually ended in his own death.

Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein", was a well thought out novel. It really got me thinking of how everything was created and how precious life really is. Victor was a very educated young man and he should have thought through his responsibilities beforehand. Though he created a "monster", he should have gained control over his actions and befriended the creature instead of abandoning him. Victor should have given Frankenstein that chance to enjoy and live life to the fullest as he once did. When Victor chose not to be a part of his creation's life, you could tell how bad it upset and hurt him. Frankenstein had no one. He was all alone in this new world he knew nothing about. He had no friends, no family, nothing. All he had was Victor and even he was too embarrassed and disgusted in the creature to take any responsibility at all for what he had done. This made me feel sorry for Frankenstein. I could never imagine being stuck in a world where I had no one to turn to.

After reading "Frankenstein", I really saw through to the sadness of him being lonely and all the struggles he went through that drove him to murder Victor's family and friends. It is a very depressing thought and this reminded me of a song that I think could go along with this novel.

"Well I know the words, but I can't really speak them to you. And I hide all the pain, that I've gained with my wisdom from you. And I'm eaten alive, by what I hold inside. All the things that I live with, I can't easily hide. And I'm left here with nothing, nothing to live for, but you. It's not easy to hide, all this damage inside. I'll carry it with me, until I'm not alive. When you look at

my face, does it seem just as ugly to you? And I can't seem to erase all the scars I have lived

with from you. I'm so sick of this place, and this taste in my mouth. Cause of you I can't figure

what I'm all about. And I'm left here with nothing, nothing to live for, but you. It's not easy to

hide all this damage inside I'll carry it with me, until I'm not alive."(Staind). I believe that the words in this song describe exactly how Frankenstein felt when Victor left him out in the world all alone. He knew he was different and it hurt him mentally. This song captures that. He was left with nothing to live for, but Victor and Victor let him down.

Frankenstein pleaded for Victor to at least create a female mate, so he would not be so alone in the world. "You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do; and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse"(Shelley 98). But Victor was even to careless and selfish to do this. Victor had took a risk of creating Frankenstein for no other reason than that of he could do it and just wanted to prove to himself that he could! Why couldn't he just prove he could do it one more time, to give Frankenstein some kind of hope for happiness and save Frankenstein from living in a world where no one wanted him? Why couldn't he see how much hurt he was causing his creation? It just sickens me for someone to be so cold hearted. Frankenstein no longer wanted to live in this never ending darkness that the world and his evil creator casted him into. He became very self-conscious and had so much hatred towards himself and his image. When Victor passed away he had nothing to live for and no one that knew anything about him. He was doomed on this earth to be lonely forever. "But soon," he cried, with sad and solemn enthusiasm, "I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of the conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell." "He sprung from the cabin-window, as he said this, upon the ice-raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in the darkness and distance." (Shelley 156). Frankenstein blamed himself for Victor's death, but really Victor was more than responsible for his own death. For Victor to have so much passion for the project he always dreamed of, he sure didn't show it. Maybe if he would have reached out to Frankenstein and showed some interest in his life, neither of them would be surrounded by the horrible darkness that death brings on.

A scripture from the Bible reads, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me (St. Matthew 25:35-36). This is how Victor should have acted towards his creation. He should have helped him through everything that he struggled and needed help with. If his actions would have been different, he would not have to go through the hardships of losing his closest family and dearest friends. When Victor was out to seek revenge on his creation, he became very ill. He met a man named Walton, who gave him shelter, food, and tried to be there for him as a friend in hopes that Victor would, in time, overcome his sickness. Though Victor never became completely healthy and his overwhelming sickness eventually resulted in his death, at least he had someone to care for him and wanted a part in his life. Walton listened to Victor's time consuming stories and found them very interesting. Part of a letter that Walton wrote his sister reads, "My unfortunate guest regards me with the tenderest compassion. He endeavors to fill me with hope, and talks as if life were a possession which he valued"(Shelley 148). This shows the good in Victor. Walton was nice enough to give him life's little things to help him survive, if Victor could have only done the same for Frankenstein, life may have been much better for the both of them.

I believe that God is my creator and he has helped me through a lot in life and never once abandoned me. God created life and he makes no mistakes. We were born and created by him for his purpose and to be his servants. There is a certain purpose for every living creature on this earth. He gave us life for us to seek out that purpose, live life to its fullest, and learn and grow in him, and learn from our mistakes. Through him everything is possible. He wants the best for everyone whom he created. As long as you live your life for him and obey in him, your life will be everlasting. He not only created us, but also the heavens and the earth. He is God Almighty and there is nothing he cannot do. However, to my beliefs he is the only one who can create life. Every living thing on this earth is God's own work of art. No one or nothing that he created was a mistake and he never abandons anyone!

In this novel, to me it seemed as if Victor was trying to be a mockery of God. He knew it wasn't right for him to do, yet he still strived to get what he wanted. Though when all was said and done, Victor betrayed his creation, he left him with no one or nothing to turn to. This filled Frankenstein with so much hatred! "Hateful day when I received life!" 'Cursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust."(Shelley 88). Victor had no heart though; he never cared. He just kept on with his devilish ways and paid for every heartless mistake he made. Never thinking of the painful emotions his creature must have felt, or the saddening struggles of making it through every day, Victor deserved all the mental pain that came to him.

In Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein," I believe the real monster in this novel is Victor Frankenstein. He cared of no one but himself. He did nothing to help the creature he created. Much hatred grew between the two and it is all Victor's fault. Victor also sat in silence when all the murder's of his family and close friends began. He knew who the murder was and kept his lips sealed to save himself. Victor could have prevented the death of Justine, but was too embarrassed to speak up and tell the truth about his monster being the cause of all of this devastation. He was very greedy, sick, and twisted and just watched as everything was being torn apart. This is what I call a monster; a greedy, self-less monster! He cared for nothing other than himself. "Perhaps if Victor had valued the life he created-and helped the monster at this critical moment-he would have prevented most (if not all) of the devastation that follows. But he fears what people will think of him for creating a monstrosity and abandons his creation at the moment it enters the world, thus preserving his reputation but placing his family (and the world) at risk.(Lunsford 1). But he didn't. This is exactly why I believe Victor Frankenstein is the monster, he could have prevented a lot of hurt and agony, but chose not to. He is evil, and I believe that is why he had to suffer the horrible consequences that he did.

Overall, in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," I think Victor was at fault for all of the hurt that was caused on both his side and his creations side. He tried to accomplish work that only God should be able to make possible. Victor was evil and had devilish ways of dealing with the situation. He kept it a secret and should have owned up to his responsibility, but was too big of a coward to do so. Victor should have been there for Frankenstein as a father/creator should be, but he chose not to. Victor deserved to live with the hurt that came to him. "What goes around, comes around," and that's exactly how it played out in this novel.

Work Cited

Franklin, Aretha. Amazing Grace. The Complete Recordings. Atlantic, 1999. CD.

King James Version Bible. World Publishing, 1989. Print. St. Matthew 25:35-36

Lunsford, Lars. "The Devaluing of Life in Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN." Explicator 68.3 (2010):

174. MasterFILE Premier.EBSCO. Web. 24 Nov.2010

Shelley, Mary "Frankenstein of The Modern Promethus" A Norton Critical Edition: Mary Shelley Frankenstein. Ed. Paul Hunter, New York: Norton, 1996.(5-156.)

Staind.Excess Baggage/Black Rain:Dysfunction.Flip/Elektra, 1999. CD.

Wohlpart, A. James. "A Tradition of Male Poetics: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as an Allegory of Art." Midwest Quarterly 39.3 (1998): 265. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.