Chelsea Sarring

Responsibility in Frankenstein

In the beginning, Victor created the monster, not thinking that there would be consequences for his actions. The creature knew that Victor was responsible for him, but it took the deaths of Victor's loved ones in order to make Victor realize this. Victor abandoned the creature and missed chances to destroy it, which made him responsible for the creature's actions as well as his happiness.
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"I dreaded to behold this monster, but I fear still more that Henry should see him." (45)

In Chapter 5, Victor hoped that the creature left the apartment after he created him and that he would never have to tell Henry about it. He did not care about what the creature was doing, and therefore would not have felt any responsibility for its actions.

"My abhorrence of this fiend cannot be conceived. When I thought of him I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish the life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed. When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation." (74)

In Chapter 9, after the deaths of William and Justine, Victor did not feel guilty. He knew that the creature had caused their deaths, but he was angry at the creature and really felt no responsibility at all.
"I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me." (81)

In Chapter 10, the creature stated that he believed that Victor was responsible for him because he was his creator. Victor had not been treating him well or taking any responsibility for his own actions in creating life.

"We may not part until you have promised to comply with my requisition. I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create." (123)

At the end of Chapter 16, the creature told Victor to create a companion for him. He did this because he felt that Victor was responsible for his happiness. Victor agreed to do this because he felt obligated and did not want the creature to kill anyone else in his family.

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"I had before been moved by the sophisms of the being I had created; I had been struck senseless of his fiendish threats; but now, for the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race." (145)

In the beginning of Chapter 20, Victor realized that he should not build a companion for the creature. He already regretted that he created one life, and feared that the next creature might have been even worse. He started to feel responsible for his own actions, realizing that creating life would have consequences, and he finally was beginning to learn from his mistakes.

"Human beings, their feelings and passions, would indeed be degraded if such a wretch as I felt pride. Justine, poor unhappy Justine, was as innocent as I, and she suffered the same charge; she died for it; and I am the cause of this-- I murdered her. William, Justine, and Henry-- they all died by my hands." (163)

In Chapter 22, Victor was imprisoned from being accused of murdering Henry. He finally started to accuse himself of the murders of his loved ones, and realized that their deaths were consequences of his own actions. They never would have been killed if he had not created the creature or had taken the opportunity to destroy it.

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"The deep grief which this scene had at first excited quickly gave way to rage and despair. They were dead, and I lived; their murderer also lived, and to destroy him I must drag out my weary existence." (180)

In Chapter 24, Victor visited the cemetery where William, Elizabeth and his father were. He knew that their deaths were his fault, and he finally decided that it was his responsibility to destroy the creature, which he vowed to spend the rest of his life doing.

Modern Connection

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Similar to how Victor had responsibility for the creature, parents have a great deal of responsibility for their children. Parents are usually responsible for making decisions for their children, teaching their children to become independent, and holding them accountable for their actions. Also, in many areas, parents are often held accountable for their children if the child breaks any laws. For example, if the child damages something inside of a store, the parent is responsible for paying to replace it. Parents are also responsible for their children in that they need to provide supervision and a safe home that has proper heating and keeps the children away from potential dangers such as weapons and chemicals in cleaning supplies.

Although parents are responsible for supervising their children, many believe that they should give their children some independence. How much independence the children should have is often in debate. For example, in Maryland, a couple was being investigated by Maryland Child Protective Services for neglecting their children when they were reported for allowing them to go to the park by themselves even though they were only six and ten years old. These parents believed that they were still being responsible and not putting the children in any danger because they were only playing outside.

Works Cited

Bean, Sara, M.Ed. "10 Things Parents Are Responsible For." Empowering Parents. Legacy Publishing Company, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

Smith, Candace, and Lauren Effron. "'Free Range' Parents Found Responsible for Child Neglect After Allowing Kids to Walk Home Alone." ABC News. ABC News Network, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

Webb, Candace. "Responsibilities & Duties of Parents." Everyday Life. Global Post, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.