Responsibility In Frankenstein
(Or, the lack thereof and how it relates to today's youth)
My lesson is how no takes responsibility for what they have done in life. I think in Frankenstein, this is what Mary Shelley is talking about.
In all actuality, Victor blames the monster for his murderous rampages. The creature blames Victor. Neither one of them wants to take responsibility for his own actions.
- The name for this type of behavior is scapegoating.
- Many different type of scapegoating, sadly, still occurs.
- The most common groups scapegoated today: Gun owners, video game enthusiasts.
- "I trod heaven in my thoughts, now exulting in my powers, now burning with the idea of their effects. From my infancy I was imbued with high hopes and lofty ambition." (Chapter 24) When Victor says this he is confessing that he feels guilty about creating the creature without feeling any love for it at all. Regret is the final stage of making an irresponsible decision.
- "That is also my victim!" he exclaimed. "In his murder my crimes are consummated; the miserable series of my being is wound to its close! Oh Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me!" (Chapter 24) The creature regrets killing Victor's loved ones. Again, regret is the final stage of making an irresponsible decision.
- "Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed? It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery." (Chapter 3) Victor is curious when he says this about his life's curiosities. Curiosity is one of two first stages of making an irresponsible decision.
- "My daily vows rose for revenge- a deep and deadly revenge, such as would alone compensate for the outrages and anguish I have endured." (Chapter 16) The monster is angry and plans to avenge his isolation when these words are spoken. Anger and ambition are also paths to a poor decision.
- "Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?" (Chapter 17) This quote means that the monster is shocked of the consequences of his actions and appearence. Shock is often the aftermath of making a poor decision.
- "It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world." (Chapter 2) Victor desires to learn all he can so he can bring back his dead mother when this quote occurs. Ambition , in addition to being a path to a poor decision, is a progresser of a poor decision.