Responsibility in Frankenstein

Zach Shedd

Main Characters/ Title cover

Here is a video about Responsibility in Frankenstein:

Frankenstein's Responsibility

How does responsibility relate to Frankenstein?

Yes it does and here's how! Throughout the story we can see how Frankenstein acts. At the beginning he doesn't have a care in the world because he knows what he wants with his future, as the story progresses he starts to become obsessed with making someone living that was once dead. He starts his project and as the project goes on, through time, he starts to shut out the outside world. He finally makes the Monster and after the Monster is alive he instantly regrets it. The Monster is upset with Victor for making him. Throughout the book the Monster does some questionable things, such as killing people, but the Monster is really not to blame. The blame/ responsibility should be all on Victor Frankenstein's shoulders because he is the one who made the Monster and he is the one who didn't show the Monster what is right and what is wrong. Victor also didn't watch over the monster like he was supposed to make sure the monster didn't do anything wrong (we can see how well that worked out in the end due to all of the deaths in the book).

The Quotes:

Quote 1: "Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." (Shelly,38) - Explanation: In this quote Victor gives some very good advice and using himself as an example to better other people which is very responsible of him, but yet he still will make a very irresponsible choice later on in the book.


Quote 2: "For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." (Shelley,42) - Explanation: Here Victor finally realizes what he has done by making the monster and disregarding what life stands for, he will soon leave the monster and try to avoid his mistake which is very irresponsible.


Quote 3: "He beheld those he loved spend vain sorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the first hapless victims to his unhallowed arts."(Shelley,73) - Explanation: This quote tells us what has happened (with a little guessing by us of course). The monster has started to take revenge on Victor by killing people close to him until Victor agrees to help the monster out. This shows great irresponsibility on Victors part because of his actions people close to him have been murdered.


Quote 4: "Great God! If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth than have consented to this miserable marriage. But, as if possessed of magic powers, the monster had blinded me to his real intentions; and when I thought that I had prepared only my own death, I hastened that of a far dearer victim." (Shelley,174-175) - Explanation: At this point Victor finally comes to a full realization on how irresponsible he was with his decisions and starts to change them for the better. He knows what is to come and he will have to live with that because of his decisions earlier.


Quote 5: "As he heard it, the whole truth rushed into his mind, his arms dropped, the motion of every muscle and fibre was suspended; he could feel the blood trickling in his veins and tingling in the extremities of his limbs." (Shelley,177) - Explanation: This is when Victor finally realized what he has done, to the full extent of what has happened, to himself and his loved ones and the torture he has put everyone (including the monster) through.


Quote 6: "In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bound towards him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being . . . I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature. He showed unparalleled malignity and selfishness in evil; he destroyed my friends . . . Miserable himself that he may render no other wretched, he ought to die. The task of his destruction was mine, but I have failed." (Shelley,199-200) - Explanation: In this quote Victor shows all out responsibility for what he has done. Did it justify what he did? No, but it does help and show some growth in the characters responsibility.

Modern Connections:

Throughout the text we can see responsibility, good and bad. Even though Victor made some irresponsible decisions he is still a very responsible person. A big question that always pops up when talking about responsibility is Are teens responsible in their life choices? I believe so, teens can show irresponsibility at times but they are very capable to make responsible choices dealing with themselves. In this chart below we see statistics about what parents think about their teen and how responsible they are (what they are learning). The statistics show that teens are being taught what is important to the parents and the number one thing overall is being responsible.
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