Responsibility in Frankenstein

By: Hassan Shashani

What is Responsibility

Responsibility is an important characteristic to have and was shown by Mary Shelley alongside other themes in one of her most famous novel Frankenstein. Many people may ask what is responsibility? well it is a duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one& own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, or will result in failure.(Haskins).

Connections to Frankenstein

There are many quotes where victor and the creature mention responsibility and are as follows: 1) " 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. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bedchamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep." (pg. 47,ch.5) victor here is talking about how disgusted he by his own creation and shows lack of responsibility where he didn't own up to his own actions. 2)"I stepped fearfully in: the apartment was empty; and my bedroom was also freed from its hideous guest. I could hardly believe that so a great 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." (pg. 50,ch.6) this shows how happy victor was that he no longer is responsible for the creature and that he fled from his own responsibility . 3)"I listened to this discourse with the extremest agony. I, not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer." "Thus spoke my prophetic soul, as, torn by remose, horror, and despair, I beheld those I loved spend vain sorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts."(pg. 72-73,ch.9)Victor is blaming himself for the death of William and Justine and that he was responsible for them since he created the creature and didn't teach him better.4)"But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity." (pg.31,ch.3) Victor here is holding his father responsible for the creation of the creature since he motivated him to read book about cloning and creating new life. 6) "My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence. We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed." (pg. 27,ch.2) again victor is showing how his parents are responsible for his creation where they always implied that nothing is impossible.. 7)"Remember, I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel." (pg. 84,ch.11)The creature is saying how he should've been victors main prize such as God to Adam ,but rather he abounded him and didn't take responsibility of his creation showing that he is a fallen angel and unwanted. 8) "I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me: and with the bitterness of my heart, I cursed him"(pg. 112,ch.15) again the creature strongly blames victor for neglecting him and the creature curses victor for being irresponsible.

In general All of these quotes sum up the following ideas that Victor fails to take responsibility for his monster initially and begins to realize that he is responsible, but only after William and Justine die and that Victor's parents are also somewhat responsible for creation of monster. In addition ,Victor's monster holds Victor responsible for creating him and then abandoning him.

Importance of Responsibility

Nearly everyone values a responsible person who takes care of business. If one proves that he is responsible when handling small matters, the person may be rewarded with greater responsibilities. Being responsible also means admitting when one has made a mistake and taking full accountability for the consequences that follow. Responsible people aim to obey the law and refrain from causing trouble.It is difficult for others to trust and rely on anyone who is irresponsible.(McKay) Parents are relieved when children are responsible enough to care for themselves and do the right things. When a person chooses a long-term partner to build a relationship with, he is likely to be a responsible one. Employers love employees that are dependable, and they generally terminate those who are not. Youth are often thought to be less responsible because they are still learning proper time management and self-control. Older people are expected to be more responsible, but this is not the case with immature adults.(Mistakes and how we do it).


I believe that responsibility is an important topic that people seem to lack at time . Yes, sometimes taking responsibility is embarrassing and humiliating. We all make mistakes. It is a natural part of life, especially when we act from our mind and not our heart. By accepting responsibility we improve our integrity, and integrity is the virtue of Kings. Accept responsibility, learn from it, and move on with your life. That is the healthiest and most beneficial way to accept our mistakes and failures."Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility . . . . In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility."-Michael korda (Haskins).I found this quote aspiring where Don’t ever have to feel like it’s too late to accept responsibility for wrong actions in the past. So do what’s right, and give your soul the peace it deserves.

Oprah on Taking Responsibility for Your Life - Oprah's Lifeclass - Oprah Winfrey Network

Work Cited

"Book Review: 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley." Between The Lines. N.p., 04 Nov. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"Check out ART COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES." ConceptArtorg Concept Art Forums RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

Haskins, Roth. "The Sequence of Personal Responsibility." The Brookings Institution. N.p., 31 July 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2015

"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

Mckay, Brett. "Personal Responsibility 102: The Importance of Owning Up to Your Mistakes and How to Do It." The Art of Manliness. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"Menu." Faithing Your Blueprint. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

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