Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, classically symbolizes the struggle between man and creature. The creature, created under selfish pretences, fights for acceptance by society, and his creator Frankenstein, in turn destroying the lives of others. Both left to live a dark, depressing life of seclusion, Frankenstein’s existence with a healthy and sound mind is hopeless.
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The creature’s descend into the hate of all mankind is a ever-present theme throughout this novel. Never even named by his creature, his being of unimportance, and his identity is worthless in the eyes of his creature Frankenstein. In fact he has no identity, he is looked upon as a monster that was never given the opportunity to convert himself as a being.
Frankenstein is fully aware of his mistakes. He knows the outcome of his actions. “Rather let me say such the words of the fate – enounced to destroy me thus ended a day memorable to me; it decided my future destiny”(Shelley 40). He calls his dilemma, a hell of intense tortures.
Ironically, Frankenstein brought his disrupment upon himself. Frankenstein is quoted “solitude was my only consolation- deep, dark, deathlike solitude”(71). The relationship between the two Frankenstein and the creature is in a sense a combination of power. Frankenstein forced the creature into a life of
solitude against his own will. “Hateful day when I received life accursed creator I am solitary and abhorred”(106). Yet by creating him, he had pulled himself into the same path of loneliness. His powerful use of knowledge of creation has in turn role reversed the approval between leader and suppressor.
The creature’s monstrous build and frame has made him strong and evil. His dislike for mankind has created a path of destruction and he now over powers Frankenstein. “Slave remember that I have power you are my creator but I am your master; obey!”(122). He now takes the dominant role within their abnormal relationship. The creature is stronger than the creator. Frankenstein is fully aware that the creature undertakes him. He states in anticipate, ” some accidents might meanwhile occur to destroy him and put an end to my slavery forever”(115). He is in full realization that his goal of creating a human form has been misjudge and has backfired.
At the same time, the creature is wretched with his own mess. “From that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and more all, against him who had formed me and sent forth to this insupportable misery”(113). He lives a life of isolation that leaves him friendless, alone, and scared. His predicament has left him to believe that he rather be dead then continue to live that life he is living.
The creature’s inner disorder leads him to start a snowballing effect of destruction. His conscious goal of ruining the life of Frankenstein is clear. “I will glut the maw of death until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends”(80). Frankenstein has violated his boundaries in playing creator. His monster, although filled with hate and revenge, is more human then himself. We sympathize with the situation as a reader. Frankenstein’s selfish invasion of science, and a lack of responsibility for the creature make him a man of having no conscience, and no morals. His decision to create a life form is greatly regretted. “I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe”(71).
Guilt and regret also seem to appear in the mind of Frankenstein. He is under much threat by his own creation. ” And I am the cause of this- I murdered her. William, Justine and Henry- they all died in my hands”(136). His sense of unhappiness has destroyed his reasonableness. He is full of depression, rage and anguish. He knows that because of his actions concerning the monster are his own fault, and feels everlasting guilt.
Frankenstein wishes that he had never even made the creature. “You reproach me with your creation; come on, then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed” (80). He speaks to him with insults, only making matters worse. His constant patronizing remarks anger the creature to the point of no return. “My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelling by all the feelings which can arm one being against the existence of another” (80). There should be a caring relationship between these two beings, but it is a relationship of detest between the two. They equally hate each other, each plotting terrible outcomes of their lives.
The creature realizes that his life is worthless. His eminent path of destruction has ended, for there is nothing left for him to harm. His goal to destroy his creator is a success. In the process though, he has destroyed what he was living for. He realized that he will never be loved nor accepted and this effects and saddens him greatly. His loneliness is the only thing he has left. The only thing that is not discriminating against him is indeed he. “No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of beauty and the majesty of goodness I am alone”(158). Rejected by physical deformities, and fear, the creature lives a painful life that he should of have never lived in the first place.
The creature’s term has come full circle upon Frankenstein’s death. He states, “In his murder, my crimes are consummated; the miserable series of my being is wound to its close! I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me” (158). His existence is now complete. With Frankenstein being dead, the future of the creation is non-existing.
He remarks on the destruction of Frankenstein in a sort of happiness. His imagination will not haunt his thoughts anymore. “I have destroyed my creator, the select specimen of all that is worth of love and admiration among men, to misery. I have pursued him even to that irremediable ruin. There he lies. White and cold with death” (161). Upon death for the two of them, happiness can only be found.
And so, the total destruction of lives has been complete. The creature is brought down alone with his creator. Frankenstein’s wished to be happy and worthy, yet it was forever imposed in his situation. The outcome of the creature was not the initial intension of Frankenstein. However, through evil deeds and wrongdoing tragedy was destined to strike. The life of Frankenstein was ill- fated from the begging of his plans to make a creation, Frankenstein lost his loved ones and never got the chance to live a life full of flourished goals and dreams. Rather a life of torture and self-destruction.