Nature (our genes) and nurture (our environment) affect our individual differences in behavior and personality. In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley addresses the conflict of nature vs. nurture. Victor Frankenstein creates a "child" whom he abandons upon birth. This brings up questions such as, was the creature genetically inclined to be evil, or did the hostility he encountered turn him evil? Are one's surroundings determined by who they become later in life? Does nurture form one's characteristics that will determine who someone is later in life? Mary Shelley used these questions as an approach to show that the monster is intelligent, but destructive, and had guilt due to his environment and isolation. The monster’s guilt due to its
Common rules create common fools. A society where everyone acted the same, abiding identically by some universal principles seems immediately enticing. It would be a world of no crime, where every individual acted in exactly the way that maximized pleasure for every other individual. In short, it would be a perfect utilitarian state. Yet, such a society would be rigid and boring, lacking all the qualities of unbounded life. Beauty comes from tragedy. Meaning is derived from misfortune. Some argue that happiness itself cannot truly exist without its counterpart, misery. Without uniquely acting individuals, life is meaningless. Mary Shelley would certainly have agreed with this statement. Indeed, in her novel Frankenstein, Shelley recognizes
The idea of pursuing knowledge clouded Victor’s mind and when his creature is born he is shocked to discover that what he has created is far off his own expectations. Not only did the monster destroy his expectations of developing a creature that went beyond human knowledge, but it also affected his life, dignity, and fears. Victor himself admits to his own mistake when he says, “The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature...but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless honor and disgust filled my heart ” (36). Victor Frankenstein realizes what his obsession with pursuing an extensive amount of knowledge has brought him. His destiny to achieve the impossible with no regard for anyone or anything but himself shows that he is blinded by knowledge when creating the monster and is incapable to foresee the outcome of his creation. Victor’s goal was meant to improve and help humanity, but instead it leads to
In the novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, the relationship of external apperence and internal feelings are directly related. The creature is created and he is innocent, though he is seaverly deformed. His nature is to be good and kind, but society only views his external appereance which is grotesque. Human nature is to judge by external apperence. He is automatically ostracized and labeled as a monster because of his external apperence. He finnaly realized that no matter how elequintly he speaks and how kind he is, people will never be able to see past his external deformities. Children are fearful of him, Adults think he is dangerous, and his own creator abandons him in disgust.
Victor is also a villain in a Archetype sense. Victor was trying to play god, when he created the creature, and that is something he shouldn't have done, because humans can't become too powerful, even though they always try. Victor became so obsessed with creating life, that it clouded his judgment, and took up all of his time and energy. On page 66, just before Justine's trial, Victor thought to himself, "During the whole of this wretched mockery of justice I suffered living torture. It was to be whether the result of my curiosity and lawless devices would cause the death of two of my fellow beings." This line shows two things, first Victor knew that Justine, and William's death was his fault. Also, he knew that his experiments, shouldn't have been done, and were against the laws of nature and god. On page 39, Victor says, "Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source, many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me." This quote shows how Victor wanted to be like a god. He wanted to be admired, and praised as a species creator. And this want is another reason he was the real villain of Frankenstein.
In the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the character Victor Frankenstein can not be identified as purely evil or purely good. An interest in science leads Victor to create an evil monster, however midway through the book Victor develops sentimental feelings for the monster, even though he has committed many acts of pure evil. Victor abandons the monster which contributes to the overall theme, regarding nurture vs. nature. Throughout the novel, Victor is faced with challenges and hardships as a child that causes his character to become morally ambiguous.
Throughout Frankenstein, Victor proves to be quite an egotistical person. Victor’s actions will sometimes be selfish and not as noble as he would like others to believe. He creates the monster with a desire to obtain awe and fame and to make sure that his name will be remembered throughout history. “… a light so brilliant and wondrous… that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret” (Shelley 37). While this discovery of Victor’s may be groundbreaking, he fails to think of the negative consequences, only thinking of himself and what this could potentially
Philosophers and scientists alike have debated for centuries whether a person’s character is the result of nature or nurture. In the writings of Thomas Hobbes, it is expressed that humans are endowed with character from birth, and that they are innately evil in nature. John Locke’s response to this theory is that everyone is born with a tabula rasa, or blank slate, and then develops character after a series of formative experiences. The idea that true character is the result of experiences and societal interaction is a theme deeply explored throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Through different interactions with the monster, Shelley attempts to express that it is because of Victor’s failings as a parent and creator, because of the
In any novel the author is free to create and shape their characters in whatever way they see fit. In Frankenstein, Shelley does an excellent job of shaping her characters, be it however minute their part in the story, so that the reader gets a clear picture of Shelley's creations. It seems that each character in Shelley's Frankenstein is created by Shelley to give the reader a certain impression of the character. By doing this Shelley creates the characters the way she wants us to see them. She tells us certain things about them and gives them certain traits so that they will fit into the story the way she wants them to. In particular I will examine the characters of the
From the earliest stages of life, a human being is always taught the binary oppositions of right and wrong, and how to distinguish them. The guidance of parents, or any dominant figure, is crucial in this period, as nurture is sometimes believed to be the reason behind the life choices a human being will make in the future. The debate nature versus nurture has been going on since the Elizabethan era, yet scholars from both the fields of philosophy and medicine have not reached a solid agreement on this issue. The only thing most scholars could agree on is that the behavior of a human being is determined by many factors, varying from genetics to their upbringing, and the factors company each other rather than being polar opposites.
This need of power led Victor to create what he believed would be a beautiful human being. But he failed to see that combining the most beautiful human features does not necessarily create a beautiful human being. He was inspired by scientists who ...acquired new and almost limitless powers... (Shelley, Frankenstein, P. 47). Victor sought this unlimited power to the extent of taking the role of God. He not only penetrated nature, but also he assumed power of reproduction in a maniacal desire to harness these modes of reproduction in order to become acknowledged, respected, and obeyed as a father. While bringing his creation into the world he was himself alienated from society, and isolated himself from the community. Isolation and parental neglect cause viciousness within man. Because of his upbringing, Victor had no sense of empathy, and therefore could not realize the potential harm he was creating towards himself and his creation. The sole purpose of his project was an attempt to gain power, but instead of power Victor realized that a morally irresponsible scientific development could release a monster that can destroy human civilization.
One of the most popular disputes in the history of philosophy regards whether nurture of a human being plays a more important role in the formation of its character than the genetic heritage that it bears. As a natural result, the dispute echoes in many literary works, not always directly, but sometimes taking the form of a pretext or a motif in a larger context. Such examples are "Frankenstein" by Marry Shelley and "Rappaccini's Daughter", by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Their authors relate the evolution of at least two characters, the monster and Beatrice, throughout both writings, with the way those characters were nurtured. Both authors use innocence as a common
For human beings, decisions are made by how one feels. People who are rejected and disliked can feel degraded and insignificant. Feeling this way can influence regretful and unjustifiable actions. This would be why love and nurturing is so important for human beings. As seen in Frankenstein, the rejection caused the monster to feel miserable and alone.
Learned and magnified in the process of personal evolution is the depth of impact one can invoke upon another. This perpetual idea of cause and effect often takes precedence in decision making and the fostering and maintaining of personal moral standards. Plotlines of many famous movies and books entail this idea. In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley effectively uses structure, tone, and point of view to convey her message that the choices of an individual can affect the fate of others around them. Shelley uses structure to display her theme throughout the work.