Frankenstein: The Creator\'s Faults in the Creation


Often the actions of children are reflective of the attitudes of those
who raised them. In the novel Frankenstein : Or the Modern Prometheus by
Mary Shelly, Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the sole being that can take
responsibility for the creature that he has created, as he is the only one
that had any part in bringing it into being. While the actions of the
creation are the ones that are the illegal and deadly their roots are
traced back to the flaws of Frankenstein as a creator.

Many of Frankenstein\'s faults are evident in the appearance of his
creation. It is described as having yellow skin, dark black hair, eyes
sunk into their sockets, and black lips (Shelly 56). Frankenstein, having
chosen the parts for his creature, is the only one possible to blame for
its appearance. Martin Tropp states that the monster is "designed to be
beautiful and loving, it is loathsome and unloved" (64). Clearly it is
Frankenstein\'s lack of foresight in the creation process to allow for a
creature that Frankenstein "had selected his features as beautiful," (56)
to become something which the very sight of causes its creator to say
"breathless horror and disgust filled my heart"(56). He overlooks the
seemingly obvious fact that ugliness is the natural result when something
is made from parts of different corpses and put together. Were he
thinking more clearly he would have noticed monster\'s hideousness.

Another physical aspect of the monster which shows a fault in
Frankenstein is its immense size. The reason that Frankenstein gives for
creating so large a creature is his own haste. He states that ,"As the
minuteness of the parts formed a great hinderance to my speed, I resolved,
contrary to my first intention, to make a being gigantic in stature ..."
(52). Had Frankenstein not had been so rushed to complete his project he
would not have had to deal with such a physically intimidating creature.
Tropp however states that ambition may have had a role in the size of the
creation. He says that the creation is "born of Frankenstein\'s
megalomania" (81). This may indeed be true as the inventor states "A new
species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent
natures would owe their being to me" (52). Frankenstein seems obsessed
with being the father of this new race, so he makes the creature large in
order to assure its dominance.

The more important defect within Frankenstein is not so much shown in
the appearance that he gave his creation, but the manner in which he
responds to it. The first thing that Frankenstein notices upon the
activation of his creation is one of being appalled (56). Frankenstein
sees the creature\'s physical appearance only, taking no time to attempt to
acknowledge its mental nature. He cannot accept it simply because it looks
too far removed from his view of beautiful (Oates 77). Because of this he
drives the creature away, abandoning it. The creature is "in one sense an
infant-a comically monstrous eight foot baby- whose progenitor rejects him
immediately after creating him..." (Oates 70). It is due to this
abandonment that the monster develops the murderous tendencies displayed
later in the novel. Even when the creature is shown to be naturally good,
its physical form never allows it acceptance. Whenever the creation
attempts to be rational with Frankenstein it is rejected, with in almost
all cases Frankenstein sighting its appearance as one of the reasons.
"Frankenstein\'s response to the \'thing\' he has created is solely in
aesthetic terms..." (Oates 75).

Throughout the novel Frankenstein continually insists that "The
tortures of Hell are too mild a vengeance for all [the creature\'s] crimes"
(95). Frankenstein is incorrect, however in assuming that the creature is
inherently evil. Mary Lowe-Evans states that ,"Nothing in Frankenstein is
more unexpected than the Creature\'s sensitivity" (52). His benevolent
nature described in his story is meant to show that he is not the beast
that Frankenstein has made him out to be (Lowe-Evans 52). The creature is
intrigued by the lives of the people that he finds living in a small cabin,
the De Laceys. The creature loves everything about these people and
attempts to aid them by gathering for them much needed firewood. This
action is described by Tropp as, "a last attempt to enter its [Paradise\'s}
gates" (75). He also sympathizes with the plights of other unfortunate
people that he hears of such as the Native Americans (Lowe-Evans 53). It
is only upon being