Moral Punishment In Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein develops and explores its protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, in his relentless search for knowledge, quarrel with his own creation, and his turn-around of pursuit. Through the perspective of Robert Walton, an explorer who intended to become the first to reach the North Pole, the reader gets to witness his encounter with Victor Frankenstein up to his tragic fate. It is at their encounter that Victor cautions Walton to not let his ambition and knowledge, in this case his voyage to the North Pole, to negatively turn for the worse for Walton as it did for Victor himself. At first glance, the reader may assume that the cause of Victor’s suffering is owed solely to his search of knowledge; however upon observation …show more content…
Through Victor, the reader sees him as a man whose own creation has inflicted torment and suffering upon him. However, when the creature confronts Victor for the first time since his abandonment, the reader can see that his revenge and distress that he inflicts upon Victor derives from his creator’s lack of moral responsibility. The creature’s abhorrence towards Victor stem from his abandonment and neglect. As a result, the creature suffers at the hands of his own creator. In addition, Victor’s devastation and distress could have been preventable if he had taken the responsibility that entails with being a creator and taken proper measures to care for the creature. But as that is not the case, Shelley writes to illustrate the power and danger of science under separate conditions. Scholar Lars Lunsford states that “Victor Frankenstein doesn’t value life in the absolute. Instead, he places a higher worth on his reputation.” (Lunsford 174). With science, one can do wonders and use their knowledge for the good, but when people such as Frankenstein become greedy in their need for glory and careless about handing their knowledge given, the use of science is subject to become capable of harm. This idea transverses with Robert Walton’s desire and ambition of reaching the North Pole. Walton was willing to risk the life of his men as well as his own life in order to satisfy his need for the fame and pride in being the first man to reach …show more content…
Shelley does so by developing Frankenstein’s and making him realize that he must take responsibility for his creation. After confronting Victor once more, the creature demands that Victor create him a female counterpart. Victor initially agrees to create a female companion for his creation, feeling bound to recompense responsibility towards the creature when he questions “did I not as his maker, owe him all the portion of happiness that it was in my power to bestow?” with the creature consenting that “neither [Victor] nor any other human being shall ever see [them] again” (125). That being said, Victor realizes the opportunity to rid himself and society of the creature and takes up on his offer in order to prevent any further damage caused by the being. However, upon further reflection, Victor realizes the potential danger that he was about to undertake by creating another being. He imagines the possibility of the pair reproducing an entire race that could wreak havoc among mankind and various scenarios that do not seem to outweigh the amending deed that he undertakes. Victor also realizes that creating a female counterpart might not even at all be in the creature’s expected favor for “they might even

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