In the history of world literature there exist the names, which are destined to live for an exceedingly long time. The novel "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus" (1818), written by English writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851), undoubtedly, is among them. The fate of a Swiss scientist Frankenstein who created a living being from insentient substance, and finally turned into the victim of his own invention and the executioner at the same time, is the brilliant example of the classic world literature. In the mass consciousness of the twentieth century, Frankenstein begins to embody the demonic features, transforming into a monster, which he created. After many years, the name of Frankenstein refers to the monster instead of a scientist. However, how justly an innocent creature that exists in a whole world alone, without any chances for happiness, or, at least, a quiet life can be called a monster? This paper seeks to answer how Frankenstein could represent the evil.
Undoubtedly, over the course of the novel, all the readers begin to sympathize with the poor creation; and vice versa, the scientist changes from an innocent miserable man into a disillusioned person, guided by revenge only. All the monster needs is just a human sympathy and a creature who would be his friend. Sometime after the birth, he loved people, tried to be useful for them, as well as to pal up with them. The monster craves similar attitude towards him. The poor creature! Tired of being an outcast monster he decides to make his offender to feel helplessness and loneliness.
In contradistinction to the monster, Victor Frankenstein was born in a caring family beloved by his parents and a sister. There were no people sympathizing with the monster. No one knew that, under the ugly shell, a soft interior was hidden. The loneliness is the worst torture for both the monster and Victor Frankenstein, as well as for all people. Understanding the true sense of the following monster’s words, the reader, begins to believe that evil is presented by its creator Victor Frankenstein:
Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me? You would not call it murder if you could precipitate me into one of those ice-rifts and destroy my frame, the work of your own hands. Shall I respect man when he condemns me? Let him live with me in the interchange of kindness, and instead of injury I would bestow every benefit upon him with tears of gratitude at his acceptance. I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred. (Shelley75-76)
This novel is recognition of the imperfections of man and the impossibility of the human mind to compete with God. It should be said, that Frankenstein was trying to take on the duties of God - to create a being "in the image and likeness of him." Victor Frankenstein deserved all the misfortunes that he had got. He created a being that was not adapted to life. Also, if consider the novel in a realistic manner, it illustrates the problem of the responsibility for human discoveries and actions. Despite the fact that Victor Frankenstein is extraordinarily talented and smart, he destroys himself by his own curiosity - his thirst for knowledge is not restricted by any ethical prohibitions. Moreover, the scientist realizes that the creation of man is the scientific method (the thought that is quite sinful in a Christian world).
The world literature knows a lot of examples of bloodthirsty monsters. If one compares Frankenstein to Greendale of the poem Beowulf, the difference is obvious. Greendale is shown as a bloodthirsty monster that kills just for fun without any doubts or remorse. What caused such cruelty is unknown, but the obvious answer is that Greendale is a monster by nature, as well as his mother. Frankenstein, by contrast, is pathetic. The similarity of these characters exists only on the appearance level. Authors describe them both as ugly monsters. However, the monster should not be recognized only by appearance. The truth is that the poor Frankenstein’s creation cannot be considered as a monster, even despite his physical appearance. Abandoned by his father, the monster does not understand why he has to suffer, “Hateful day when I received life!' I exclaimed in agony. Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred” (Shelley 71).
In conclusion, it should be said that till the end, of his miserable life, Victor Frankenstein was driven by one desire - to kill his creature because he thought that the monster was the core of evil. However, the true evil is Victor Frankenstein. Guided by his own vanity, he does not take care about mental anguish of his creation. His monster at the very beginning of life behaves like a sincere little child who needs just love and care.
After the death of the creator, the monster does not feel any relief; one man, with whom he had some relationship, was dead. He was still miserable and lonely being.
Shelley makes a conclusion that scientists must be responsible for their creations.