Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: aghaalireza-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 26 Nov 2003 00:51 PST
Expires: 26 Dec 2003 00:51 PST
Question ID: 280720
Dear ones

I need minimum one page answer to the following Question and that is:

Some critics have observed that Frankenstein is a critique of what it
means to be human. frankenstein--passionate about his project--
appears to know what he is doing as he creates his human-like monater.
However, the creature only has to open his eyes and Frankenstein flees
from his creation. Other than the obvious, i.e., the creature looks
hideous, why does Frankenstein UTTERLY reject the monster? Craft a
critical theory about Frankenstein and his humanity, please.
Subject: Re: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Answered By: techtor-ga on 26 Nov 2003 05:28 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Aghaalireza,
I have collected several analyses on the Internet about Frankenstein,
and have put together my own essay based on your requirements.

Frankenstein's rejection of his monster can be interpreted to be a
representation of man being ironically disgusted at sin - his own sin.
Frankenstein can be likened to a man who has condemned fornication in
public, but he keeps going to motels and sex clubs in secret. What
Frankenstein created in his monster is in one way a mirror of his own
soul. The story shows that whatever the monster does is Frankenstein's
responsibility, and it in a way mirrors Frankenstein's own
deterioration of his humanity. Perhaps Frankenstein's fear at seeing
his monster's eyes open was a fear of himself, his own faults. At the
time the monster opened its eyes, Victor thought what was supposed to
be a beautiful experiment became a hideous monstrosity. Perhaps one
can say that Frankenstein made the monster through his rejection, not
through the lab experiments. Frankenstein's 'evil side' was
transferred or cloned into the monster.

One view of humanity shown is that there is the very human desire to
break out of humanity and become God. Frankenstein is one such person
by embarking upon creating a higher kind of creature, something that
is considered even up to now beyond the responsibility of man, and
considered the work of divine, supernatural entities. In fact, his
experiment was a resurrection - a way to cheat death. Since death is
known to be one only gods can conquer, it was quite an obvious
symbolism that Frankenstein was bringing a dead creature to life.

Of note, the subtitle of the novel was "The Modern Prometheus".
Prometheus in Greek legend was the demigod who gave man fire as a
tool, which had been forbidden by the gods. When the gods learned of
it, they punished man by giving them misery and pain in life, and
Prometheus by chaining him in the Caucasus mountains, with a liver
feeding on his liver constantly. Prometheus's nature as a demigod,
in-between god and man (angel?), seems to represent what Frankenstein
way was trying to be: higher than human, but not quite a god. In
trying to create a being, resurrect something dead, he had tried to
usurp the authority of a god as an creator. But he still doesn't quite
come close to godhood since his human nature causes him to falter in
such a role. A god in any sense is expected to watch over and teach
his creation. Frankenstein in his humanity chose to run away from his
creation, and he is later destroyed by it.

Victor Frankenstein also showed the side of an errant father. He had
been described in some analyses as the father of the monster, and he
had abandoned his child. It was his responsibility as the 'father' to
teach the monster the ways of humans, about morals, values, love and
kindness. But since Frankenstein neglected doing this for his monster,
it symbolically represented an abandonment of his own values, that he
shunned his own humanity.

I believe Frankenstein's rejection of his creation was not just due to
the appearance, but the monster is a symbol of his own failings as a
human being. Having wanted to be like god, Frankenstein's intention
was to help humanity. What resulted instead was a monstrosity. Yet it
wasn't really a monstrosity from the start. Frankenstein's monster was
like a baby, fresh from birth. In this aspect, it was very human. It
had no knowledge yet aside from what it was learning in its adventures
alone in the outside world. But because it was without the guidance of
its creator, its father, it soon became seeded with the hatred, fear
and anger of the human world, and it soon developed into a horrific

As the creator, supposed to be God, Frankenstein had the
responsibility to oversee his creation, to educate it and care for it.
Because he did not do this, he let the creature go out of control. He
rejected his responsibility for his creation, and defeated his own
self in his desire to become God.

Thus, his rejection of his monster could be seen as a rejection of his
own failings - his own humanity. Frankenstein was rejecting his
humanity and wanted to achieve godhood in the creation of his monster.
He continued rejecting it in trying to escape from his monster - in
fact, in his escape, he can be described as running away from humanity
by seeking isolation - but still the monster found him and killed him,
rubbing the message on him that he was human after all. He was
overcome by his limits as a human being, he was overcome by death, the
ultimate enemy of man, and he came to know he could not be God. The
message of Victor Frankenstein's fate is that if you are human, better
not desire to be something else.

And Victor is human in the sense that his motivations for creating the
monster were human ones. He wanted to give the world a medical
breakthrough, he wanted to present a way that could conquer death, and
thus he would gain fame and be proud, which are very human things. But
he showed a depravity in his humanity in his method of accomplishing
his goal. Robbing graves, torturing animals, and taking from the waste
of charnel houses for his experiments can be considered acts beneath
humanity. Here his goal with good intentions was marred, and
ultimately ruined, by evil methods.

One analyses say that the novel is about loneliness. One view about
humanity is that although there are many humans in the world, each one
is alone. Frankenstein and the monster were both lonely in the world
there were in. The former though isolated himself from the world,
while the latter was shunned by the world. Victor Frankenstein can
still be seen as the root of even the monster's loneliness, as the
scientist's own isolation of his project had dire consequences on the
monster - and thus, on the world.


I hope this has been a satisfactory essay. If you have any question
about, do ask in a Request for clarification.

Sources on the Internet that I looked through:
What makes a human human?

Humanity in Frankenstein

Shelley Got it Right:
"Frankenstein" and the Horrors of Bioengineering
Kris Marks / May 06, 2002

Literature: Monsters at the Margin - an analysis of the Frankenstein monster
Page 2

Frankenstein's Lack of Morality - message board posting

Re: Moral Responsibility - message board posting

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus

Frankenstein | Mary Shelley - analysis

Frankenstein commentary

Notes on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein

Notes for Frankenstein

Literary Essay on Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley:

Google search terms used:
humanity frankenstein
humanity victor frankenstein

I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification before rating and I shall respond as soon as I can.
Thank you.
aghaalireza-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy