Victor was the main character in the novel of Mary Shelly. He was the eldest son of the wealthy man named Alphonse Frankenstein and Caroline. He has a younger brother named William and an adopted cousin named Elizabeth. He was a young lad before who loved to study the nature of things. In how the things are happening and why does these things exist. He has a good childhood memories like other children has.
Compare to Elizabeth which is calm and has a subdued personality, Victor was a child who has the characteristics of being loud and serious. He shown a little obsession of knowledge or learning things that helped him to build up his character us he grow up.
Victor’s fascination leads him to study alchemy, an old form of science, in which he learned the teachings of Cornelius Agrippa. He experienced to witness a thunderstorm in which he will get the idea of where the power he needed to create a new life can come from. He studied at the University of Ingolstadt in where he met the professor named Waldeman, who was fascinated by the ambition of Victor. At this university his passion for science grows largely to the extent that he will conduct his own experiments and researches.
In this university, Victor’s obsession began to rise. His obsession was to create a human being out of the body parts of the dead human beings. He endured hardships like sleepless night to continue his experiment about creating life (a new living creature) out of dead creatures. His hardship was paid off when the experiment succeeds but due to turn of events he was scared of the creature he created and fled away with fear. And when he returned to the said laboratory the creature was not seen. After this event he tried to forget the things he had done in the field of natural philosophy including the monster that he had created.
Victor had a close friend named Henry Clerval. During his childhood days, Henry Clerval was a creative child who loves to study literature and folklore. He also studied in the University of Ingolstadt. Together with Victor, they studied languages and poetry. Victor studying languages and poetry is a way of Victor to escape from what he did in his experiments, to escape means to forget the things he had done even his own creation. Henry was his friend who cheered him up to raise his spirits. Henry’s company keeps Victor’s attention away from the laboratory or simply from the things that happened in his laboratory that Victor wanted to forget.
The monster is the creation or the fulfillment of Victor’s ambition to be like god or simply to create a new life out of old body parts. His ambition came true but he was afraid of his creation. His creation is an eight feet tall and seemed to be very strong to be a normal man and has a mind like a new born. The monster was abandoned in the laboratory and became confuse in his own identity, so he went to outside to see the world but the people around him doesn’t see his gentle and kind intention that he meant no harm to them. The people always outcast him causes the monster felt hatred to his creator. He seek for answer why the people hated him so much, then he looked to a mirror and he discovered that his physical characteristics differ from other people and these differences lead him to be outcast by the society. And these events helped the monster’s hatred grow to the extent that he planned to take revenge on his creator. Upon his revenge, the monster killed Victor’s young brother.
Victor heard the news about what happened to his younger brother, and so he went to Geneva to know what really happened to his brother. Upon his trip to Geneva, he saw an image of a man more or less likely a huge man. And he interprets this image as the image of his creation and this monster was the cause of the death of William as Victor’s assumed. Justine, the friend of Elizabeth was accused to be the primary suspect of killing William. She was found guilty because of the planted evidence (the locket where William was wearing before his death) that the monster put on her.
Justine Mortiz is a servant in the Frankenstein household, She was beautiful, gentle and kind. He nurse the mother of Victor when his mother was sick because of the scarlet fever and when Caroline died, she went back home to took care of her mother which was very ill. Her mother died, and she returned to the Frankenstein household to help Elizabeth to tend or to take care of the sons that Caroline left.
The monster told his story about what happened to his journey away from the laboratory. He told Victor that he experienced pain and sufferings (including the hunger he felt and the rejections he get from the society because of his appearance). The monster learned to speak because he seeks refuge at the house of the exile French family in where he red books which enhanced his own knowledge. He was accepted in this house simply because the owner or the one that was left in the house was a blind man and this blind man can feel the sincerity and kindness of this monster. But when the other members of the family came in to the house, he was drove away by throwing stones to him and this event let him thought the idea of having a revenge on his creator by killing his creator’s loved ones.
After telling his (monster) own tale and telling how he killed William and framed up Justine. He demanded Victor to create another monster, a female, for him not be lonely no more. And he told Victor that when he complied on accordingly to his plans, the monster will leave the human society and never disturb Victor’s family again. Victor on the other hand and seemed to be confused on what should be his answer to the monster’s demand, he just agreed on what the monster’s wanted from him.
As Victor’s response to his creation’s demands, he went to England together with Clerval to learn new things about science. After he gathered all the data he needed, he went to Scotland and tried to make the female version of his creation. He was so close to finish his female creation but he thought that when he finished his next creation, the monsters might have offspring that can distort or can cause trouble to the human society in which Victor feared most. Upon realizing these events might happen he destroyed his female creation in front of the monster, in which the monster got angry and warned Victor about his wedding.
While Victor was returning to England, he threw the remaining parts of the female monster he created off the boat he was riding. When he reached the room where his friend Clerval was waiting for him, he saw the dead body of his friend murdered by his creation. Upon this event Victor was terrified and he was condemned for the act of murdering his friend but his father helped him to free all charges on him.
When he arrived at Geneva, his family agreed that Victor was needed to be married to Elizabeth. Victor has no objections on this plan but he was worried about the warning that the monster gave him on the night of his wedding day. Eventually, the monster’s warning came true, from what Victor viewed he will be killed by the monster but his wife was the victim of the monster. And when Victor’s father heard this news Victor’s father died.
Victor felt so lonely and depress upon what happened to his loved ones. He decided to pursue or to capture and have revenge on his creation for his creation made his life miserable. And the monster was seemed delighted on the decision that Victor came up to because he wanted to see Victor’s sufferings and finally his revenge on his creator was done. Upon the chase of Victor to his creation he met Walton, a captain of a ship. Walton help Victor in chasing the monster but Victor died upon the journey and when he died Walton saw the monster and talked to him that the monster has no right to live because the monster’s hand was filled with blood and his heart was filled with hatred and eventually the monster told Walton that he will make a great pyre in where the monster will throw himself.
Robert Walton was a captain of a ship in where Victor was being held and cared with. Walton like Victor search for something that they can not grasp, knowledge. The only thing that differ from them is in how they pursue their seek of this knowledge. Victor tried many experiments and achieved his goal to have this knowledge but this knowledge he had was the knowledge that caused him greatly. The knowledge that caused him (Victor) to lost his loved ones. While in the other hand, Walton still seek this knowledge that no one ever grasp. He travelled across the sea and leaves his family in order to find this knowledge. He has the same sacrifices as Victor has in terms of leaving their family, the only thing that differs was Victor has no home to return with and Walton has.
The monster compared to Victor has a weak intelligence but still seeking his place to the society. This is the same of Victor seeking his place in the field of science. The only difference is the society continues to reject the monster because of his physical appearance and eventually the monster’s heart was filled with great hatred that leads to murdering the loved ones of Victor. On the other hand Victor is like the monster who wish to take revenge on some one because this some one caused him so much trouble that he could not even bare the pain he was feeling. Compare to physical characteristics the monster was seemed to be far stronger than Victor. In this novel, the monster portrayed as the oppressed one because the monster did this acts because his own creator left him alone and he doesn’t know what to do, that’s why seek refuge but he eventually get rejected by the society or by the people around him while Victor doesn’t experience of being rejected from the society. And one thing common to them, they have the relationship of the created and the creator in which the creator part was been neglected by the main character (Victor) which eventually get haunted by his own creation by killing his loved one and by letting Victor feels what the monster felt when he was left alone in the laboratory and when no one seemed to understand him.
In this novel, three themes were discussed; friendship, glory and responsibility. Friendship was discussed through out the novel because of the friendship that Clerval and Victor has that was shown through out the novel. That Clerval sacrifice his life for his friend’s ambition. Glory was the thing that Walton searched for and Victor’s downfall. Walton wanted to find glory in his expedition in finding new knowledge that can glorify him as the discoverer of this new knowledge. On the other hand, Victor attained this glory but his glory was the cause of the death of his loved ones. Victor’s glory leads him to his own destruction because of the obsession to find or to create new life out of dead body parts. The sense of responsibility is evident in this novel. The monster shows he was responsible enough to take in account his actions and commit suicide. Victor neglects his responsibility in his creation because of the fear that he felt when he saw the monster. He showed his sense of responsibility when he was asked to create a female version of the monster he had just created but he destroy this female version when he realized that his creations can lead to the destruction of man.
Bennet, Betty T. and Charles E. Robinson. The Mary Shelly Reader.
New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1990.