Effect of Society on Personality in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is filled with various underlying themes, the crux being the effect society has on The Creature’s personality. These topics have been discussed and explored on countless occasions, and the novel has been compared with its contemporaries of the Romantic Age numerous times. However, if one were to correlate and contrast Shelly’s masterpiece with another, the greatest work would be the creation story in Genesis. Victor and The Creature are obvious representations of God and Adam, and the events in the two accounts parallel and differ from each other in several ways. God breathed life into Adam and created him in his own image and likeness. He placed him in a utopia and gave him authority over everything. With this authority, Adam used his knowledge to distinguish right from wrong, and if he needed help, God was always there with his unconditional love. Victor, on the other hand, assembled body parts from different corpses and made a hideous monster in the heat of his madness. He left The Creature to fend for himself in a world full of ugliness, violence, and hate. There was no mutual feeling of love between Victor and his creation, only that of hate and fear.

An all-powerful being who was perfect in every aspect created Adam. God saw that he was lonely and chose to make a mate for him to live with. When Adam sinned, he accepted his guilt, obeyed God, and left the garden. Though his own creation went against him, God loved Adam the whole time. A flawed mad man, whose intentions were only to satisfy himself, created The Creature. He demanded that his creator make a mate for him so he could have someone to share his love with. When Victor refused his request, The Creature swore vengeance, and hate was shared by both. One of the main similarities between Adam and The Creature is the fact that their creators went from one extreme to another at pivotal moments in the stories. Victor had compassion for The Creature as he listened to his story in the cave, and God became angry with Adam when he ate the forbidden fruit. Even though Adam broke the rules, God never stopped loving him. Victor hated The Creature throughout the book. “Never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness”(160).

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Although these two tales are different in numerous aspects, both have morals and lessons. Frankenstein teaches that man should not try to defy God, and that no one should be judged by their physical appearance. The creation story shows that man should respect his authorities. Victor, a flawed version of God, made the mistake of abandoning his “son” at birth, and continuing to shun him the rest of his life. The Creature was flawed, but not by his own fault. He was sent into an ugly world by himself, with no one to help him or teach him. Mary Shelley used a deep, gothic theme to get several different points across, and made it interesting by paralleling the main characters with the characters of a well- known story.


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Effect of Society on Personality in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. (2019, Apr 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/frankenstein10/