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Victor Frankenstein is a morally reprehensive character. Discuss this with reference to the following chapters: 4, 5, 10, 11, 17 and 24.

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Introduction

Victor Frankenstein is a morally reprehensive character. Discuss this with reference to the following chapters: 4, 5, 10, 11, 17 and 24. Frankenstein is a book written by Mary Shelley in the 19th century, in the new gothic genre. At the time when it was published, it was a very controversial book, raising many moral issues that were seldom talked about at that time. In this essay I will be trying to find out if Victor Frankenstein is morally reprehensible. The title implies that the whole of Victor Frankenstein's character is immorally blameworthy. This is a narrow-minded statement, as it allows no room for argument. For example, only certain aspects of Victor Frankenstein's character could have been seen as immoral. If Frankenstein is morally reprehensive, it means that he knows he is responsible for the events that take place and accepts the responsibility. It is not possible for someone to stay in the same frame of mind for their whole life, so the title is too definitive a statement. It suggests that the whole of Victor Frankenstein, past, present and future, is completely immoral and there are no means of changing this. People are not only of one point of view the whole time; they react differently in different situations and also change with time. People can be regretful one time, then completely fine the next, I think this is what Victor Frankenstein is like throughout the book. If Frankenstein was morally reprehensive as the title suggests, his crime would not be creating the monster as he could have taught him to do great things with his strength and intelligence. ...read more.

Middle

As he decides to create the monster, he has no idea that there could possibly be anything wrong with what he's doing. The reader, living in a modern world where cloning is more acceptable, thinks that he should have been more responsible and thought about his action more before he creates the creature. However, the reader needs to think back to when the book was set and remember that Frankenstein had never experienced any examples of genetic engineering, as it wasn't something that was done in the 19th century. He truly believed that his creation would love him as it's creator, and that it would lead to major breakthroughs in the future of science, not realising that the outcome could be more terrible than he could imagine. He was so sure it was meant to be for him to create the monster, 'destiny was too potent and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction'. But during the creation process, Frankenstein becomes obsessed with his work. So obsessed infact, that he forgets about his family and doesn't write to them for two years. This could cause the audience to blame him for the creature's sins, as what he did to create the monster was such a disgrace. He ignores his family and friends, and cut up dead bodies, 'I shunned my fellow creatures as if I was guilty of a crime'. Frankenstein shows a certain amount of responsibility further on in the book when he follows the monster to the North Pole. His intention is to kill him, though he has nothing left that the monster could take away from him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He did so much research into natural philosophy and he should have realised from his study that he needed to learn from other people's experiences. His obsession with being the first got in the way of him thinking straight. I think Frankenstein leaving the monster to fend for himself was also morally wrong. All human beings are cared for once they are born, so leaving the monster alone is suggesting that he isn't human and doesn't deserve to be treated as one. As the creature was often out in the open, this gave him a chance to be shunned and discriminated against by society which introduced the feelings of hatred and aggression which were used later on to destroy Frankenstein's happiness. Frankenstein is really responsible, because if he were not so obsessed with natural philosophy and the death of his mother, he would never have developed a passion for saving life and would never have discovered that creating life was possible. He only had himself to blame for the destruction caused by the creature; not only to himself but to those he loved. Frankenstein never really admitted the responsibility, he said that God gave him the power, 'I found such astonishing power placed upon my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it' and though he did take a long time to think about what to do, he reached never realised the full outcome of his decision. Although he realised his mistake at the end, and tried to put someone off making the same one, he never admitted the responsibility out loud. So, in conclusion to the title, I'd say that Victor Frankenstein is a very morally reprehensible character. ...read more.

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