Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Essay

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Good and Evil in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, who bored with his mundane life, decides to attempt to create a new life out of deceased human remains. Dr. Frankenstein's ignorance of the responsibility necessary to take care of the life that he has brought into this world leads him to abandon his creation; this abandonment leads to the Frankenstein's Monster to react violently as he attempts to find his way in the world. As a result of both Frankenstein's actions and behavior, it can be argued that the Monster's concept of and the distinction between good and evil has been blurred.

In Frankenstein, an argument can be made that there are two monsters within the narrative, Frankenstein and his creation. Frankenstein's monstrosity arises from his desire to have God-like control over the both the creation and the destruction of life. Frankenstein expressed this desire in a sonorous description; Frankenstein states that "[a]fter days and nights of incredible labour and fatigue, [he] succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, [he] became…capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter" (63). Upon realizing what he had done, and unwilling to accept the reality of the situation or take responsibility for his actions, Frankenstein abandons the Monster.
It can therefore be argued that though Frankenstein's intentions to understand the relationship between life and death were good and driven by morbid curiosity, his subsequent actions and behavior could be deemed as evil.

It is through the creation and education of the Monster that the argument can be made that the Monster had the potential to be a good creation, but because he was left to fend for himself, without any sort of moral compass, the actions that he took could be considered to be evil. The Monster is forced to teach himself about human nature and behavior through anthropological observations and inquiries. Because the Monster did not have the proper guidance and upbringing, and was left to fend for himself, his concept of good and evil is distorted. For instance, when he observes the De Lacey family, he finds them to be of a good nature and….....

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