Mary Shelley Essay
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Victor neglects his paternal duties as soon as he realises them. He runs away from the creature at the moment of birth and shows negligence immediately to his child. This highlights how pathetic Victor is, he cannot commit himself to anyone apart from himself . In comparison the creature desires a family so he won’t be alone, unlike Victor. He goes to great lengths in a quest for a companion, he makes threats and kills people to ensure himself of a companion.
Victor has a family who care for him very much, but he shows very little regard to them and their feelings, however the creature is dedicated to a family who don’t even realise is existence. The creature expresses an ongoing desire for companionship, whereas Victor never expresses that he is lonely, he just wallows in his own self pity. Victor has all the creature wants, whereas Victor couldn’t care less, it is this ignorance of other’s feelings that makes Victor a much lesser man than the creature.
The creature however is not perfect, once he is divorced from the De Laceys he becomes incredibly vindictive and spends the rest of the novel inflicting pain. The way in which the creature does this to Victor is by hurting Victor deeply then waiting for him to recover from the loss of another family member, then hurts him again. These murders are also pre meditated, he kills essentially in cold blood which may be a product of his upbringing but it makes him a killer. The creature says, “I gazed on my victim,” about William, this is evidence that the creature is a cold blooded killer.
Another example of his vindictiveness is the way in which he leaves notes behind when being pursued by Victor, he taunts him when Victor is a broken man. In the novel Victor is not a killer, he never sets out to hurt others intentionally. He becomes blinded by his work, but never sets out to kill in cold blood. This highlights the point that Shelley may be stereotyping the creature as most people would as a killer, but it shows that the creature cannot be considered as a man.
A most significant contrast between the two is how selfless the creature is in contrast to Victor. The creature helps the De Laceys with their work out of the goodness of his heart, as well as that he feels remorse for stealing their food and tries to make up for it by helping them. He is never greedy or self obsessed, he just wants to be accepted. Victor is incredibly selfish throughout the novel, emotionally especially.
Clerval shows huge dedication to his friend throughout the novel, he cares for him when ill, but Victor never reciprocates this care. When with Justine in prison he claims, “deep and bitter agony that she will never feel,” to himself, he thinks he is suffering more than someone on death row. In the entire novel Victor never helps out anyone, which is why the creature is a better person than Victor. Victor is also self obsessed with his own feelings after the deaths of William, Justine, and Clerval he generally thinks about himself and his own feelings.