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Originally, Frankenstein had planned to use the results of his experiment to benefit mankind; but this idea soon transmuted into and obsession to perform the impossible just to satisfy his own ego. Victor Frankenstein believes that by creating a living being he will end death and sadness throughout the world. Frankenstein’s thirst for knowledge leads him to the conclusion that he can create a living being with no consequences; in short, he believes that he is equal to a god. Blinded by his god-like arrogance, Frankenstein neglects that he will have created a living creature that he will have to care and be responsible for. Frankenstein becomes so obsessed that he shuts himself away in his laboratory and thinks of nothing but the completion of his project. This fixation clouds his judgment and he is unaware that he is disobeying the natural cycle of life. He strives to make his creation ‘perfect’ and when he believes he has succeeded, he praises himself as a god:
‘I had selected his features as beautiful, beautiful! Great god!’ (Pg47)
In reality, Frankenstein is so delusional that he fails to recognize that his creature’s outward appearance is hideous. He knew of the creature’s disfigured face and gigantic proportions, yet he is so blinded by his ego that he fails to take into account the results of his actions, i.e. how his creation would coexist with other beings. His thoughtless actions immediately doom his creature to be a social outcast. Frankenstein never acknowledges the results of his mistakes until people start being murdered. His hasty actions could incriminate him to be the ‘true murderer’ as if he had of thought his action through than he would have never created the creature and so the murders may never have happened.
DR.Victor Frankenstein is the sole being that can take responsibility for the creature that he created, as he is the only one that had any part in bringing it into being. While the actions of the creature are the ones that are illegal and violent, their roots can be traced back to the flaws of Frankenstein as a creator. Many of Frankenstein’s faults are evident in the appearance of his creation. It was described as having ’straight black lips, dull yellow eyes and yellow skin’ (pg47). Frankenstein, haven chosen the parts for the creature, is the only one possible to blame for its appearance. His irresponsibility to his creature’s outward appearance immediately dooms it to being a social outcast. Frankenstein’s irresponsibility is also evident in his inadequate preparation for parenthood. He was unprepared to the fact that his creature will need to be cared for and that he will be responsible for its actions. When the creature is first born, it resembles a newborn child in the way that it knows nothing; therefore, it is Frankenstein’s responsibility to educate his creation about morals. If the creature does not know the difference between right and wrong then how can it be held responsible for its actions? When Frankenstein first views his creation, he immediately claims it to be a mistake.
‘I beheld the wretch-the miserable monster whom I had created’ (pg48)
Unlike a parent who would care for a deformed child, Frankenstein abandons his ‘child’ and all his parental responsibilities. He commits the ultimate act of hatred towards his creation by his outright rejection and severation of all parental ties. It is due to this abandonment that the Monster develops murderous tendencies later in the novel. If Victor had of accepted his parental responsibilities, the monster would never have been driven to murder.
As the novel progresses, Frankenstein’s irresponsibility manifests itself once the murders start occurring. After the murder of William Frankenstein’s brother, Victor’s hesitance to accept responsibility for the boy’s death causes a young girl to be hung for what was theoretically victor’s crime.
‘I believed in her innocence; I knew it. Could the demon, who had (I did not for a minute doubt) murdered my brother, also in this hellish sport have betrayed the innocent to death?’ (Pg75)
As Frankenstein’s creation continues to kill his family, He still denies his responsibility to stop his creation. Frankenstein hopes that the monster will end its evil ways so that he will not have to confront it. Frankenstein’s continuing disregard of his responsibilities cause many other murders to occur. Frankenstein only begins to accept his responsibility after his wife Elizabeth was murdered by his creation, but by then many lives have been lost due to Victor’s irresponsibility as a creator. This makes victor the true murderer as if he had of taken action to end his mistakes than many of the murders made by his creation may have been averted.
As always, there are two sides to any argument. Victor Frankenstein’s sole purpose for creating the monster was to try to help mankind. There was no possible way that Victor could have foreseen that his creation would have such a violent nature. Victor did attempt to give the monster a good brain and body, but it is not possible to also select the monster’s personality. It is not possible to blame Victor for the murders, as he never foresaw how the monster would react in society. Victor also never actually ‘kills’ anyone, he may have created the monster that committed the murders but he never actually killed anyone. Although we can blame Victor for abandoning his creation which may have contributed to the monster’s murderous tendencies. If this were a court case, the monster would be instantly found guilty as he committed the illegal acts of his own free will.
In the novel, the monster commits his first illegal act by murdering William Frankenstein Victor’s younger brother. At first sight it, it seems that the monster has no clear-cut set of morals but it becomes clear that the monster knows right from wrong when he intentionally frames Justine for his vicious murder. If the monster did not know right from wrong than I would see no evil in what it did and therefore would not need to hide its actions. This is later confirmed by the monster’s understanding of the moral issues discussed by the DeLacey family. If the monster indeed has an understanding of moral issues then we cannot claim that Victor is the ‘true murderer’ as the monster knows right from wrong when he commits these monstrous acts.
It is clear in the novel that Victor committed a total act of hatred towards his creation by abandoning it. The monster is traumatized thought out the novel by the fact that its own creator views it to be ugly and hideous. It is also evident that the monster holds a grudge that its creator made it so different from the rest of mankind. It is because of this why the monster sets out to gain revenge upon Victor Frankenstein. The monster deduces that by killing Victor’s family he will cause victor the same amount of pain that he has had to endure. This first becomes clear when the monster kills William just because of he is a member of the Frankenstein family. The monster then proceeds to cause the innocent death of Justine. The monster discovers that the more of Frankenstein’s family he kills, the more pain and torment he causes victor. The monster becomes obsessed with revenge and hatred towards its creator. The monster transmutes into a cold-blooded killer who feels no remorse over his acts. Therefore, the monster should be labeled the ‘true murderer’ and not Victor.