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Do Humans have freewill or are they products of their environment? Everyone is different, everyone lives a different life, which factor cause a person to be the way they are nature or nurture? In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein human nature causes Victor Frankenstein to become the real monster of the novel. First of all let’s start out by analyzing Victor’s childhood. Victor came from a renowned family in Geneva. “I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic” (page 17). Also along with this he was born into a family full of love, in fact he was given almost all of the attention and love from his parents.
“Much as they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me.” (page 19). So Nurture can not be held responsible for Victor’s monstrous persona, it must be because of nature. This shows that people have a predetermined personality, but this also shows certain parts of person’s personality can be reveled and or amplified due to changes in their environment. An example of this would be Alphonse Frankenstein’s disapproval of Victor’s scientific interests. Consequently forcing Victor into solitude, and revealing his obsessive tendencies. This is because Victor feels the need to measure the onward race for achievement against the yardstick of benefit to the human community. As a result of this human nature causes Victor to become a monster.
Various factors influenced the development of Victor Frankenstein. For example, Victors unsupervised reading and education. This illustrates Victor’s natural obsession for knowledge. This shows the value of the human fulfillment of the pursuit of knowledge, and the importance of individual creative effort. Another example would be the immoral desertion of his creation. This shows that Victor cares little about anyone else’s interests and wellbeing.
This is because Victor is extremely narcissistic and fails to assume responsibility for his relationship with others. Another case in point is the actual creation of a living human being. This shows that Victor has an innate passion for pushing the envelope of modern sciences. This helps illustrate the value of the need to measure the onward race for achievement against the yardstick of benefit to the human community. As a result Victor has a fascination for bending the laws of human nature.
It seems a part of Victor’s personality goes into his creation. If you look closely at the novel you can see that there is a direct link between Victor Frankenstein and his monster, almost as if the two are doubles. For example, all of the murders Victor’s creation commits, could it be that Victor actually wants these people to be killed? Could Victor’s creation actually be another other side of him, much like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? “I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.” (page 61)
Look at people that were murdered, Henry Clerval, Victor’s closest friend since childhood. He is Victors intellectual opposite, and quite possibly his rival for success. William, the more charming and spirited sibling, “when he smiles [William] two little dimples appear on each cheek, which are rosy with health. He has already had one or two little wives…” (page 56). And what else could explain Victor’s judgment for not protecting Elizabeth from the monster. Victor is entirely aware that the monster will only kill the people close to him, and he is clearly warned that the monster will be with him on his wedding night, “It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night.” (page 153 ). Does he tell Elizabeth, does he tell anyone what he knows? Absolutely not. The only time he tells anyone about his monster and its correlation with the murders is after everyone is already murdered. Coincidence?
Some might argue that Victor’s creation is the real monster in the story because of free will. This is a valid argument but not necessarily true. Yes, it’s true that the monster had free will and that it was his decision to murder those people, but you have to understand the position the monster was in. He was abandoned by Victor as soon as he was created, and he was looked at as a hideous beast by anyone who laid eyes upon him. He was not given an equal opportunity to find acceptance among people because of his appearance, not because of his actions. An example of this is when he tries to save a young girl from drowning.
He rescues the young girl, but as soon as someone else sees what is happening he automatically assumes that he is trying to murder the young girl. “The whole village was mused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country, and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel, quite bare, and making a wretched appearance after the palaces I had beheld in the village.” (page 91). What people forget is that the monster was created by Victor which is not a natural occurrence; therefore the rules of nature do not apply to him. The monster is the way he is because of how Victor created him.
The only difference between the two is that the creation was not accepted in his environment, thus bringing out a hidden persona. A monster can not just be created; a monster comes from within the creator, and in the end Victor’s creation becomes his death. “Blasted as thou wert, my agony was still superior to thine; for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them for ever.” (page 205).