Frankenstein is an intriguing, passionate and romantic novel written in the early 1800 century. It is told through the romantic lense of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a young driven man, fascinated by science. Through his strang studying at the University of Ingolstadt, Victor becomes madly obsessed with being able to create a living being from the dead. To put his imagination to the test, he steals mainly human body parts and assembled it into a giant human in an attempt to give it life.
After months of slaving away his work shows fruit and the being awakens, alive and searching. But upon seeing the creature alive, Victor recoils in horror and abandoned it.
Venturing out into the world alone, the newborn like creature quicking learns how to speak and read but most important about human concepts; judgment, family, and happiness. Months later, Victor receives a letter stating to come home immediately because an unknown assailant killed his youngest brother, William. The family maid, Justine, is accused but Frankenstein knows his monster is the real murderer and is shortly confronted by him.
The monster demands, with violent threats, from his creator that he makes him a companion, for loneliness and rejection was what caused him to act so evilly.
Dr. Frankenstein reluctantly agree, for is fearful of the monsters threats but when it is finishing the body of his companion, he has a dramatic change in heart that causes him to rip apart the body of the companion. The monster is enraged and, true to his promise, kills Victor’s best friend, Henry, and afterward his love, Elizabeth, on their wedding night.
Victor is torn mentally by this and makes it his life goal to destroy the mistake he created. His shortened, sad life comes to an end when he pursues the monster into the Arctic Circle where he dies upon a ship of fever. Surprisingly, the monster is in grief over Victor’s corpse and full of remorse and sadness. He resents the horrible things he’s done but slightly justifies it by claiming it was because he was alone unloved and harshly rejected. The monster says he will now build his own funeral pyre for the misery and pain of it all he cannot bear.
Throughout the book, Frankenstein is confronted and loved by his friends and family even in his hardest times. His friends and family made and continuously shape who he is as a person. But the monster who never had anyone, moreover was harshly rejected by humankind. What complaint can you have against him? When Victor lost all of his loved ones he seems to lose all logical thinking, surely the monsters personality development is strongly affected by the lack of them. In Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, she stresses the concepts of friendship and family and how it affects character development, mainly Victor Frankenstein and the creature.
In contrast to the creatures, Victor Frankenstein had a happy, self-centered, even spoiled, upbringing surrounded by loved ones. He grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, and at a young age his family adopts Elizabeth, an orphan, which his mother calls “A pretty present for my Victor”. As a young adult, Victor plans to leave to University to study the sciences that always fascinated him when Elizabeth suddenly takes ill. His mother selflessly takes care of her and nurses Elizabeth back to health but sadly at the cost of her own life. This and his strange interests in old science inspire him to try to devise an experiment in which he will give assembled body parts life. Driven by his huge ambition he slaves away and finally is successful but at an unimaginable cost.
When planning to create the creature, Frankenstein is blind to the consequences of his actions and his abandonment to it. When the creature awakens for the first time and opens its eyes Victor is horrified, exclaiming after, “ Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance.” Dr. Frankenstein bolts away from the house frighted of the monsters hideous appearance, and questions what he has done. Victor is mentally scarred and frighted but when he meets friends and family again he thinks “…And in a moment forgot my horrors and misfortune; I felt suddenly, and for the first time during many months, calm and serene joy”. But the consequences of his action were only beginning and his first loss was his youngest brother, William, which he feels responsible because he alone knows it was his creature that strangled the young boy. He journeys out in the wilderness to refresh and calm his tortured soul when he is confronted by the creature demanding to Victor, “Make me [him] a mate of my own”. Dr. Frankenstein reluctantly agrees partially due to the monster’s promise of leaving to South America and never harm another human again. But Frankenstein has doubts that the monster will keep his promise and who is vouching for the second creature? This all contributes to Frankenstein’s decision to destroy the creature’s mate thus betraying their deal, provoking the monster’s wrath and threatens to, “Be with [him] on [his] wedding night’. The monster’s first victim to fulfill his threats was Victor’s time old friend, Henry Clerval, and he arranged the body to frame Frankenstein. Even when he is proven innocent, Victor’s conscience is crushed and he feels deeply guilty, miserable and responsible. He then travels home to his father to marry Elizabeth and take several precautions to ensure his safety on their wedding night. But due to his slightly narcissistic mind, he misinterprets the monster’s threat and rushes to the bedroom too late to save Elizabeth’s life but not to see the creature running off. A few days later Victor’s father dies from old age and weakness from seeing Elizabeth die.
Having nothing left, Frankenstein embarks on a seeming pointless mission to kill the monster that he created and is responsible for and any cost. In this period of Victor’s life, we saw a civilized, warm man turned savage and irrational because the friends and family that shaped who he was were taken from him. The reader sees the importance of friendship and family and how it dramatically develops and creates a character.
After the monster confronted Victor after Willaim’s death he exclaims that as his creator Frankenstein must hear him out stating even humans believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”. When Victor agrees, the book shifts into the perspective of the creature and begins to say his story from the beginning till Willaims murder.
Shortly after waking, he wanders out into the woods he found that people were afraid of and hated him due to his appearance which caused to him to automatically hide from people. While living there alone, he stalked a humble family living in the woods and learned from them how to speak and read. One night, while looking for food, he chanced upon a jacket with a notebook and letters that were lost by Victor. From the notes, the monster learns of his creation and was in total shock and disgust that a human created him, yet, Victor abandoned him. From the family, he learned about family and being loved; in general happiness and madly wants it too. Dismayed by the discoveries of his creation, he tries to befriend the family hoping they will be able to see past his ugly appearance. Initially, he was able to converse with the blind father alone, but the rest of the family returns. They fear and reject him to the point where he is shot and the family moves away to escape the monster. This level of rejection from mankind severely impacts the mind of the creature and he concludes that he will never be able to live with human ever in peace.
At this rejection, the creature swears revenge on all mankind especially his creator for abandoning him. He strongly believes that he will never be accepted by humans and therefore demands that Victor has a responsibility to him: To give him a chance at happiness and must make for him a mate. When seeing firsthand when Dr. Frankenstein goes back on his word, he outraged and sees his acts of revenge against Victor justifiable.
Since the moment the creature was alive he was spurned and considered a mistake and a monster by all. That level of hatred and scorn directed towards the creature from the start of his existence severely negatively affected his character development and personality. He was able to commit murderous deeds because of the misery and hate inside of him. The monster lying beside Frankenstein’s corpse, says about Elizabeth’s murder, “ The author at once of my existence and of its unspeakable torments dared to hope for happiness… of which I was forever barred, then impotent envy and bitter indignation filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance”. The monstered justified his murders, saying because he had or ever will have happiness, his creator wasn’t entitled to it either. When Victor passes, the creature loses all social interactions he is truly miserable and full of remorse to the point where want to commit suicide. Because, according to the creature, death is preferable than a life without love, and Victor seems to agree after losing all of his loved ones.
In conclusion, the social relationships that Shelly create in Frankenstein play a crucial role in the characterization and development of her theme. In Victor Frankenstein’s case, his personality is created by his upbring and loved ones and dramatically changes when the monster takes them away from him. In many cases just being around his friends and family, like Henry and Elizabeth, lightens Victor’s mood and undepressed him. In the opposite case, Frankenstein’s creature is in lack of social interactions but observes enough to know that he desperately wants that and that will make him complete.
Since his discovery of his origins, the creature’s entire goal was to have a companion; the only thing he believes that can understand and accept him. When Victor, his flawed creator, robbed him of his entire goal, that was his breaking point to drive him to give Victor a taste of his own medicine. The beauty that Shelly puts into this novel is Frankenstein and his creation are like a mirror image; One with love and one without; Opposites. But both show they can turn into each other, with a loss or gain of loved ones.