Responsibility in Frankenstein

Examples from Frankenstein

Definition of Responsibility

Responsibility is defined as the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control, or management. Two other words that come to my mind when I think of responsibility are reliable and dependable. People who are responsible take action for what they have done, even if it wasn't something good. Responsibility is important because it means that you are accepting your past to better your future. With responsibility you take action for the choices you make.

Victor: In the beginning of the story Victor doesn't really understand what it means to be responsible. He creates this creature and then runs off right away instead of dealing with the issue. As the story progresses he begins to realize that he should have taken responsibility for his creation, but by that point its a little too late.

The Creature: Even though the creature just came into this world he already understands about responsibility and knows that Victor is responsible for bringing him into this world. The creature never asked to be brought into this world and he feels that since Victor is his creator he should be responsible for helping the monster grow and learn.

Quotes about Responsibility

These are some quotes from the text that help show the theme of responsibility throughout the text.

"Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep." (chp 5)

- Victor creates this creature and then right away he decides that he doesn't want to deal with his creation so he just runs away. He spent 2 years of his life on creating it, but doesn't take responsibility for his creation.

"I did not dare to return to the apartment which I inhabited, but felt impelled to hurry on, although drenched by the rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky." (chp 5)

- Victor continues to avoid facing his creation and believe that it will all just go away like it never happened. He wonders around anywhere but his house to avoid taking responsibility for the creature. Victor tries to escape from his responsibility instead of facing it.

"Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us." (chp 10)

- The Creature tells Victor that he was wrong in abandoning his creation. The creature needed someone there to take care of him and show him how to be like everyone else, but instead his creator ran off.

"I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me, but when I became assured that my enemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy and ran down to Clerval." (chp 5)

- Victor has just come back to his apartment to see the creature that he created is no longer there. He feel a huge weight lifted off of his shoulders and is happy to not see him. Again, Victor doesn't understand that even though the creature seems to have disappeared he is still responsible for anything that it does.

"Have my murderous machinations deprived you also, my dearest Henry, of life? Two I have already destroyed; other victims await their destiny; but you, Clerval, my friend, my benefactor" (chp 21)

- Victor has just seen the dead body of his best friend Henry Clerval, and he begins to tell himself that he is to blame for his murder. Victor is finally starting to realize that even though he can't control the creature he is responsible for what he does, even including the murder of his best friend.

"A fever succeeded to this. I lay for two months on the point of death; my ravings, as I afterwards heard, were frightful; I called myself the murderer of William, of Justine, and of Clerval." (chp 21)

- As the story progresses Victor starts to realize that he is at fault for the murder of William, Justine and Henry. He begins to get angry with the creature and realizes that it's his responsibility to take care of the monster to stop him from killing. He vows to take revenge against the creature and to not stop going after him until he's dead.

Responsibility today

"you cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today" -Abe Lincoln

I feel that responsibility is one of the greatest qualities a person can possess. When someone is responsible they take action for what they do. They don't just let it go and forget about it, they do something to make it right. There's another good quote about responsibility that says "With great power comes great responsibility". In the story Victor had a lot of power by creating this creature but once he created it he didn't take responsibility for it. Victor is just like how people are today.

There are a lot of responsible people in this world, but on the other hand there are a lot of people that aren't. Some qualities of responsible people are honesty, courage, learning from history and integrity. Responsible people learn from their past experiences to help them have a better future. If everyone took responsibility for their actions this world would be a better place and have a brighter future.


"Emotional Competency - Responsibility." Emotional Competency - Responsibility. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"The Importance of Responsibility." N.p., 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"Responsibility - Google Image Search." Responsibility - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.