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In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley creates many differences between Victor Frankenstein and his creation, but simultaneously creates parallels between the two.

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Introduction

In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley creates many differences between Victor Frankenstein and his creation, but simultaneously creates parallels between the two. Victor's siblings and parents are perfect in his eyes and never deny him anything, as opposed to the creature is rejected by everyone who sees him from the moment he lived. Despite these differences, both characters develop problems as adults based on these childhood experiences, which ultimately cause others' deaths as well as their own. Although Victor's seemingly pleasant upbringing sharply contrasts with the creature's neglected "childhood," both of these scenarios lead to their mutual destruction. While Victor experiences a seemingly ideal, but in truth, overindulgent childhood, the creature is faced with constant rejection from the moment he is given life despite his inborn warmth and compassion. From the beginning of each person's existence, the two grow up under completely different circumstances. Victor's parents respond to his birth as a gift from heaven, whereas from the moment the creature draws breath, Victor, his "father," abhors him. Indicating that as a child he never experienced unhappiness to any degree, Victor explains that his earliest memories are his "mother's tender caresses" and his father's "smile of benevolent pleasure while regarding Victor" (19). ...read more.

Middle

His reaction to discovering his God-like ability to bestow the gift of life is "delight and rapture" in his own power (37), rather than concern about the far-reaching effects of such power. His arrogance extends further when he bestows life upon his creature and, instead of taking responsibility for his creation, he selfishly runs away and does not concern himself with the details of the creature's whereabouts. Once he does finally meet the creature, he has little compassion for him because he cannot understand the feelings of someone who has been repeatedly denied love. Furthermore, Victor does not seem to truly understand the creature's desire for a companion because he has had Elizabeth since childhood. His parents presented Elizabeth to him as his "promised gift" and he has always known that "till death she was to be [his] only" (21), so he has never felt the lonely isolation that the creature does constantly. On the contrary, Victor often chooses to isolate himself from those who love him and separates himself from the companionship that the creature wants. Also developing adult characteristics as a result of his childhood, the creature changes from his naturally kind state as a child to an angry, embittered adult because of his neglected "childhood". ...read more.

Conclusion

Once Victor has died and the creature no longer has a reason to live in his loveless, companionless state of existence, he vows to put himself out of his misery and die. Victor's overindulgent childhood and the monster's emotionally dry upbringing lead to the destruction of those close to them and, eventually, their own tragic death. While the creature's barren childhood sharply differs from Victor's supposedly ideal upbringing, both situations lead to problems for both characters as adults and ultimately lead to each's destruction. Shelley presents these two opposing experiences, but she sets both the "ideal" and the blatantly horrific up to fail and lead to death and misery. She suggests that maybe what seems like an ideal child rearing method when the child is given everything he could ever want really raises an adult who is self-involved and inconsiderate of the world around him. Shelley further uses the far-reaching effects of these extreme childhoods through the entirety of the characters' lives to imply the importance of a balanced upbringing to create a balanced adult. Shelley expresses through her novel that it is essential to have all of these elements in order to survive in the world. ...read more.

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