Jorimar Marti is a writer at BHSEC, Cleveland-West.
Are we monsters for bringing beings into the world and then not loving them? In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein creates what he calls a “monster” that he doesn’t love (36). But who’s really the monster here? The unloved creature who did not ask to be created that way, or his creator, Victor, who treats him heartlessly? The creature ends up killing Victor’s relatives to see if Victor will feel the pain he feels. But even though Victor never learns to love the creature or see his point of view, the creature still asks for forgiveness because Victor — the person who brought him to life — is now dying. For Shelley, this means that no matter how mad one is at someone, at the end of the day one will wish to reconcile with him or her because one still loves them because deep down they hold a special place in your heart.
Victor brings to life a creature for whom he has no affection. When Victor is first creating the creature he thinks it is going to be a dream come true — bringing life from the dead. But when Victor finishes bringing the creature to life, he laments, “now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (36). Victor runs away from the creature because he is scared and disappointed at “the miserable monster whom I had created” (36). The Creature feels the rejection and starts killing Victor’s relatives. He kills Frankenstein’s little brother, William; his wife, Elizabeth; and his best friend, Henry Clerval, hoping Victor will now pay attention to him and love him, since Victor now has nobody to love or be with. But this plan does not work. Frankenstein creates an unlovable creature, and it’s not fair for the creature because he did not ask to be created that way.
Victor has not realized that the creature aches for love and attention. Victor just wants the creature killed. Victor tells his new friend, Walton, “Allow me the rest I so much desire; or must I die, and he yet live? If I do, swear to me that he shall not escape; that you will seek him and satisfy my vengeance in his death” (150). Victor wants his creation to disappear from the earth like it never existed. Victor exclaims, “I must destroy the being to whom I gave existence” (153). Frankenstein does not take enough time to get to know the creature or appreciate him. Instead of admiring the being he has brought to life, he wants to end his life. On the other hand, the creature has a big heart. Even after being mistreated by Victor he still asks for forgiveness for killing Victor’s loved ones. The Creature sobs, “what does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst” (158). Victor is the one who destroys the creature’s sense of self, but the creature is the one who apologizes for destroying Victor. Frankenstein slowly dies with rage in his heart because he does not know how to love. The creature lives longer, perhaps because he is open to requesting and giving forgiveness.
In conclusion, Victor is the monster for creating a creature destined to be unloved. Why bring something into this world when you are not going to cherish it? Victor should have accepted the creature for who he is because the creature could have been one of his closest friends. He might have been ugly, but beauty comes from within. The creature is in fact the most beautiful being in the novel because he has the biggest heart. The creature has an innocent heart, but Victor makes him the monster he becomes because Victor does not know how to treat the creature the right way. Both Victor and the creature have hearts filled with anger, and they have their not-so-happy endings all because Victor could not love. Victor dies with a rotten soul, and the creature leaves never to be seen again with a hurting soul not knowing why Victor could not love him. It is so sad because the most hurting souls have the biggest hearts, all because they know how it feels to be unloved and mistreated so they will not do the same back. They know how bad it hurts emotionally.