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Vol. 3 open season

January 4, 2016

In 2005, Harper Perennial published a book called  A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, 1599.  In the back of the book, the author says this in response to his being called a “fine cultural historian”: “I rarely think of myself in terms of labels.  I find questions I want to answer and have the tenacity to track down the answers–and a gift for finding things others have overlooked . . . ” (“A Conversation with James Shapiro” 6). Shapiro teaches literature at Columbia University.  Both of his parents and all of his siblings are also teachers.

For Volume 3 of Mary Shelley’s novel, leave a comment on this post by asking a question of your own–a macro or micro question, but one that warrants discussion.  As people begin to offer their questions, feel free to respond to one of those, instead of introducing another new one.  We’ll let the marketplace of ideas determine where the vigorous conversations occur.

As with comments you have left for Volumes 1 and 2, please make these new ones clear, specific and developed.

Before adding to this host-post of mine for Volume 3, please read the guidelines below.  Thank you.

 

For this section of the online discussion (Volume 3), please start your comment with CAPITAL LETTERS in one of two ways: “NEW THREAD” or “COMMENT ON.”

For example, if you want to introduce a NEW THREAD, begin with those two words and add  a brief title of your idea.  Here’s how that might look:  NEW THREAD: TECHNOLOGY AS MASTER.

If you are the one introducing a new thread, your complete entry looks like this

NEW THREAD, TECHNOLOGY AS MASTER:  On page 131, the creature says, ” You are my creator, but I am your master;–Obey!”  This reminds me of modern technology and the myriad ways in which it has become our master.  Does anyone else see this parallel, and if so what is a particularly salient modern example?

Once you pick the new thread to which you want to respond, begin your reply to my original post (VOLUME 3. student threads) with these  words:

COMMENT ON TECHNOLOGY AS MASTER:  then start writing your comment

Let’s see how this goes.  The goal is to offer a new discussion thread.  Conceive of and phrase your idea in a way that encourages discussion. At the same time, avoid an overly broad statement that leaves readers wondering what exactly they are discussing.  Provide just enough context and explanation to start a productive discussion.

Remember that we need a balance of new threads and comments on the ideas.  Before you post, review what’s been already been written, so that you can sustain or introduce momentum where needed.

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From → Frankenstein

43 Comments
  1. NEW THREAD: MATURITY IN FLIGHT

    On page 119, Frankenstein thinks to himself: “I there myself into the carriage that was to convey me away, hardly knowing whither I was going, and careless of what was passing around…for I resolved to fulfill my promise while abroad, and return, if possible, a free man.” This brings me back to the initial blog post for volume 1 where we talked about the maturity of Frankenstein. Him fleeing the country makes me re-evaluate his level of maturity, and makes me think that he isn’t very mature at all.

    • The passage starts “I threw myself . . . .” This correction aside, I’m glad you started a new thread, and one that hearkens back to an earlier part of the story. To clarify, though, and to focus discussion on this thread, what in this passage, or its neighboring sentences, causes you to re-evaluate Frankenstein’s character?

  2. NEW THREAD: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

    Nearing the end of his life by page 167, Victor says to Walton, “despondency rarely visited my heart; a high destiny seemed to bear me on, until I fell, never, never again to rise.” Frankenstein blames the creature for his unhappiness throughout the entire novel; however, I think his perspective changes by the end. At the time of his death does Victor blame himself for his own despair?

    • This is an intriguing thread, and accompanying passage. For all of the despair I remember in the early parts of the novel, I wonder what makes him remark that despondency rarely visited his heart. That surprises me to hear him say that. Am I misreading this statement of his?

  3. NEW THREAD: THE HUMANITY OF A MONSTER
    Throughout, Volume III we see the creature retaliate in order to make his creator suffer. As the story advances towards its climax and the end, does the creature demonstrate any human qualities? Bad or good? Does victor start to take on the qualities of a monster? such as vengeance? How has vengeance affected both the creator and the monster in terms of humanity? I think in some ways that Victor has allowed his rage to consume to the point of monstrosity.

    • Any more human qualities? I remember him reading PARADISE LOST earlier in the novel. Do you see the creature displaying human qualities before Volume 3? If so, how should we read your question? And what do you mean, when you ask if vengeance has affected both “in terms of humanity”? I’m not sure I know how to apply the last (quoted) part to the whole sentence’s question.

      • Yes, the creature does demonstrate human qualities throughout the story. I think that we should read the question as applied to all three Volumes and see the progression of the creature’s humanity highlighting the good and bad qualities of being a human. Whereas, Victor slowly begins to display monstrous qualities because of his vengeance and anger. To clarify the last question, how does the vengeance change the qualities of the monster and Victor leading up to the events that happened in Volume 3? In other words, compare and contrast the demeanor of Victor and the creature before murderers that happen in Volume 3 and after.

      • OK, thank you. This helps. I especially like your asking about the progression of humanity in either character, or both. You suggest that Victor starts losing of his humanity over time. I’ll have to think about that.

  4. Sarah Kate permalink

    COMMENT ON MATURITY IN FLIGHT:
    I agree with Sydney completely. Frankenstein wants to flee the country and is hoping that his monster might be destroyed which would “put an end to my [his] slavery forever”(118). I find it immature that he flees the country and hopes the problems that he created would solve themselves in his absence. In the sentence towards the end of that same paragraph that Sydney referenced on page 119 it says: “Filled with dreary imaginations, I passed through many beautiful and majestic scenes; but my eyes were fixed and unobserving”. I feel that this shows his immaturity in that he was focused on the outcome of his fleeing the country rather than open to the experiences around him. Along with his immature action of running away from his problems, I feel as though this quote shows that he is running away because he can afford to, taking it for granted and not truly enjoying the experience as a whole.

  5. Ken Brunson permalink

    COMMENT ON TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    Victor does blame himself for his own misery at the end of the novel, but I also believe that he had always faulted himself for all of the despair he faced. Earlier in the first volume of the book, Victor had already mentioned the idea that he was the cause of Justine’s death. Before her trial, Victor said, “it was to be decided, whether the result of my curiosity and lawless devices would cause the death of two of my fellow-beings” (57). After Justine was executed, Victor’s guilt completely overwhelms him, and he continues to show signs of his anguish throughout the next two volumes of the novel. At the beginning of the third volume, Frankenstein’s father even notices that Victor is “still unhappy, and still avoid[s] [their] society” (116), proving that he still has grief and sorrow still echoing through his mind.
    Overall, I do not believe that Victor’s perspective on the causes of his despair ever changed throughout the novel. From the beginning, Victor always seemed to blame himself for creating the monster that murdered his family. That being said, I believe that the “despondency” Victor mentions to Walton is actually the lack of discouragement that Victor found in the scientific world. Victor almost seems proud that he was able to create an animate being, and he even says he “could not rank [himself] with the herd of common projectors” (167) right before he says the quote about despondency.

  6. Elizabeth Kendrick permalink

    NEW THREAD: WHAT DRIVES VICTOR MORE, ANXIETY OR ANGER?
    “I now also began to collect the materials necessary for my new creation, and this was to me like the torture of single drops of water continually falling on the head. Every thought that was devoted to it was an extreme anguish, and every word that I spoke in allusion to it caused my lips to quiver, and my heart to palpitate” (123). Throughout Volume III and in this quote Victor seems as though his anxiety of the first monster is his driving him to create another monster. However, as volume III continues he eventually destroys the new female monster after becoming enraged from looking at how hideous his first creation was. Therefore I ask, throughout the novel does Victor let his anxiety determine his actions, or his anger?

  7. calhounha permalink

    COMMENT ON MATURITY IN FLIGHT:
    I disagree with Sydney about how Victor’s maturity diminishes because I believe that Victor learns to face his demons and take responsibility as the story progresses. After the monster has killed William and Justine, Victor takes a trip to the valley of Chamounix with his loved ones. Victor thinks to himself, “I was somewhat interested in the scene; it sometimes lulled, although it could not extinguish my grief” (68). This trip was meant to distract Victor from his pain and problems, but later on in the story Victor decides to take another trip that will help him face his demons. Victor contemplates taking another trip, “I remembered also the necessity imposed upon me of either journeying to England, or entering into a long correspondence with those philosophers of that country, whose knowledge and discoveries were of indispensable use to me in my present undertaking” (117-118). Going on this trip will help Victor complete his project of creating another monster, which displays Victor trying to face his demons and fix his issues. Victor also contemplates (at the bottom of page 118) that by taking a trip and not telling his loved ones about the monster will put his family in harms way. However, I believe that making tough decisions displays maturity in a person.

  8. Hannah permalink

    COMMENT ON TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    I agree that Victor begins to take responsibility for the wrong doings that the monster had done to those he loved. But I also agree with Ken in that he has blamed himself for majority of the book for creating an evil and destructive monster and wishes he could undo it. Towards the end of the novel I believe that Victor feeling the guilt he had to carry around was punishment enough for the murders the monster had committed: “As time passed away I became more calm; misery had her dwelling in my heart, but I no longer talked in the same incoherent manner of my own crimes; sufficient for me was the consciousness of them.”(146) He clearly is feeling some type of remorse and is carrying around feelings of self hatred which confirms that whether or not he truly took responsibility when the monster was first created, after he had lost all those that were close to him he knew that he had to take responsibility and carry around the responsibility of the deaths of those he loved as a punishment for the crimes committed.

  9. Talia permalink

    COMMENT ON WHAT DRIVES VICTOR MORE, ANXIETY OR ANGER?
    In my opinion, anxiety and anger are woven into each other through Victor’s character. Volume III illustrates waves of emotion from guilt-driven anger to fear-driven anxiety. However the most concrete reflection of his emotions is the existence of monsters in his life. The creation of another monster does develop more anger to accompany his anxiety rather than replacing his anxiety, for he burdens the death of Elizabeth. Due to the lost of love in his life, Victor casts the same burden upon the daemon by killing the only other companion of his kind: “The monster saw my determination in my face, and gnashed his teeth in the impotence of anger. ‘Shall each man,’ cried he, ‘find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn’ ” (131). Nights following, Victor’s anger provokes him to rid of the monster completely. However after tossing the female monster in the ocean, anxiety immediately washed over Victor to then burden the female monster’s death: “I looked upon the sea, it was to be my grave. ‘Fiend,’ I exclaimed, ‘your task is already fulfilled!’ I thought of Elizabeth, of my father, and of Clerical; and sunk into a reverie so despairing and frightful, that even now, when the scene is on the point of closing before me for ever, I shudder to reflect on it’ ” (134).

  10. Hailey W permalink

    COMMENT ON MATURITY IN FLIGHT:
    I agree with Harris’ points in return to Sydney’s question. As the book progresses, Victor has his highs and lows with maturity regarding taking ownership of the monster and its actions. However, the end of Harris’ comment stood out to me as a strong argument for Frankenstein’s maturity in this decision to go to England. At the bottom of page 118 and carrying over to 119, Frankenstein thinks, “but he had promised to follow me wherever I might go; and would he not accompany me to England? This imagination was dreadful in itself, but soothing, inasmuch as it supposed the safety of my friends” (118-119). Through this and surrounding lines, I see Frankenstein going through possible scenarios for what will happen with the monster when Frankenstein leaves for England, but realizing that this is the right thing to do. As he admits that it would be “dreadful” to have the monster following on the trip, Frankenstein shows me a level of maturity in putting his own happiness below the safety of his loved ones. This in itself marks to me a quality of someone who truly has matured.

  11. COMMENT ON: WHAT DRIVES VICTOR MORE, ANXIETY OR ANGER?
    Regarding Elizabeth’s thread, I believe that throughout the novel, and especially in volume III, Victor lets his fears and anxiety conquer his decisions. At first, his experiment of creating the creature was to form happiness in his life, distracting him from depression of the death of his mother. But now, he solely makes rash decisions based on the creature’s wants. Victor succumbs to the creature’s want of a mate because of fear. The creature has already caused great harm and misery towards Victor’s loved ones. As Victor begins with his experiment, he thinks about what the creatures would be capable of, “Even if they were to leave Europe, and inhabit the deserts of the new world, yet one of the first results of those sympathies for which the daemon thirsted would be children, and a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror” (129). Victor not only fears that he will bring another monster that he cannot control, he also fears the ability of the female to reproduce, creating a demon race. Then again, through fear, Victor decides to stop his creation of the mate. Victor fears that the creature will come for him. Instead, the creature kills all Victor’s friends and loved ones, ultimately causing despair and loneliness. Unlike Henry, Victor displays weakness and fear, not wanting to face the creature until the last few chapters of the novel.

  12. Michael permalink

    NEW THREAD: ASSUMING THE ROLE OF THE MONSTER
    “I was cursed by some devil, and carried about with me my eternal hell” (160). Victor echoes the monster’s earlier statement “I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me” (104). Alluding to Satan in PARADISE LOST. After the monsters exacts his revenge on Victor, Victor is completely alone with nothing left to live for except for his hatred and anger towards his enemy. Which is exactly what the monster has been struggling with throughout the novel. Fueled by his need for revenge does Victor assume the essence of the monster?

    • Aaliyah permalink

      COMMENT ON ASSUMING THR ROLE OF THE MONSTER

      I personally don’t believe that Victor assumes the essence of a monster; I feel like he has had those qualities all along. Throughout the novel he has played the innocent victim who has been wronged by everyone. I believe that both the monster and Victor have shown monstrous qualities as well as humanistic qualities when convenient.

    • Sam Warley permalink

      COMMENT ON: ASSUMING THE ROLE OF THE MONSTER

      I do not believe that Victor assumes the essence of the monster for many reasons. First, I partly disagree with Aaliyah said that he has played an innocent victim who has been wronged by everyone. Victor, in my opinion, has been creating victims from his wrong doings and is personally guilty for the lives of so many innocent people. Victor may be showing some monstrous qualities, but he is guilty and does nothing for most of the novel. Secondly, one major reason is that Victor does feel some remorse for the actions he has done. As stated in Volume 2, Victor is tormented by the trial, “Anguish and despair had penetrated into the core of my heart” (64). Still, in Volume 3 Victor says that “sufficient for me was the consciousness of them [his crimes]” (146). This is different from assuming the role of the monster in that he feels the complete guilt of the situation. I do agree that Victor is left alone with nothing except for anger towards the monster but also feels guilty for what he had created. If Victor had not felt the guilt that he had then, he would have virtually assumed the role of the monster. Although Victor gets away “unpunished”, it is not fair to say that the guilt completely rids him of monstrous qualities. He should be held accountable but should not be labeled as a monster.

    • Brent permalink

      I do not think that Victor assumes the essence of the monster. I agree with Sam that Victor is not an innocent victim who has been wronged by everyone. He chose to create the monster and should take responsibility for his actions. He regrets creating the monster and flees away hoping that the monster would run away or something would happen ending the monster’s life. (119) He starts to show human qualities at this point moving away from becoming the monster.

  13. NEW THREAD: THE VALUE OF LIFE

    There are many people in this world who claim all life to be precious…no matter what someone, or rather something, has done in that life. “Frankenstein” brings up a scenario in which a crazed monster brings an end to the lives of many innocent victims. However, the monster is still a “living” being. So, this brings up what I think to be an important question in discussing this novel: Is all life precious?

    • John Crumpler permalink

      COMMENT ON THE VALUE OF LIFE:

      I would say that all life is precious.. it’s an aspect of humanity. In this story I don’t think Frankenstein understands that, he believes that all life is worthless, he even hates himself: “You (Frankenstein) hate me; but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself” (178.) Arguably the whole novel is a discussion on the value of life. Frankenstein’s misery at the loss of his mother’s life leads him to create the creature. A life that he originally did find precious, as he worked on it to the point where he loses contact with everyone, but eventually grows to despise. So to answer Reese’s question: yes all life is precious. Although I think that is a learned belief of humanity, and you must also remember that for every person that someone finds to be special, another person finds that same life to be intolerable.

  14. Andrew Wouters permalink

    COMMENT ON THE HUMANITY OF A MONSTER

    In my mind, the question is not whether the monster demonstrates any human qualities, but rather if he ever truly demonstrates any monstrous qualities. Frankenstein’s creation is referred to as the “monster” because of his appearance, but I believe his emotions and motivations are lumped in with his appearance when they should not be. In other words: besides his appearance, the “monster” is no less human than anyone else. The monster’s sole purpose throughout the entire novel is to feel belongingness, an innate human need, and to have someone to care for him: “Are you to be happy, while I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness?” (131). The monster has the normal, good human quality of searching for love and wanting to feel compassion, but when he can’t find this love and compassion, the monster deals with it in a bad manner. Sure, the monster takes a few lives, but humans have done far worse, especially in the presence of the emotions felt by the monster.

  15. Chris Cotton permalink

    COMMENT ON: THE HUMANITY OF A MONSTER:
    I am intrigued by Alexandria’s post. In the beginning, the creature was a lifeless inhabitant of a body, that was incapable of feelings, speech, and human qualities. As the novel progressed, the creature slowly became more human-like. It inhabited good and bad human traits, such as vengeance, violence, envy, love, sadness and most importantly guilt. The creature says, “My daily vows rose for revenge–a deep and deadly revenge, such as would alone compensate for the outrages and anguish I had endured.” (108) The monster also inhabits the idea of love, begging Victor for a soulmate and someone that he can love. As the novel progresses, the creature is very envious of all humans; he desires to be like them (esp Victor). He wants what Victor has, but cannot get it, so therefore he destroys everything that Victor so preciously loved. The creatures go into a world of hurt and guilt after Victor dies, saying “he sought his own enjoyment in feelings and passion from the indulgence of which I was for ever barred, then impotent envy and bitter indignation filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance.” (176) Therefore as the novel progresses, the creature inhabits more and more human qualities that previously he did not understand. In terms of Victor and his monster qualities, I disagree. I do not think Victor inhabits any monstrous qualities. I feel that in no way has rage consumed Victor. I would alter this comment so that it read: How has guilt affected both the creator and the monster in terms of humanity? I think in some ways that Victor has allowed his guilt to consume to the point of monstrosity. I think that guilt is the driving force in this story by Mary Shelley. She puts an overwhelming amount of guilt in almost all of the characters and this is what really drives the story. Walton, to the creature, Victor, Elizabeth, everyone in a way feels responsible for something and that is what leads to their actions. What do you think? Could guilt be the driving force?

  16. NEW THREAD, THE RIGHT DECISION:
    On page 173, Victor discusses his decision to not make a new monster: “Urged by his view, I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature. He shewed unparalleled malignity and selfishness, in evil: he destroyed my friends; he devoted to destruction beings who possessed exquisite sensations…”. It seems as though Victor’s decision to not make a companion for his monster was more so out of revenge than to save “the existence of the whole human race” (130) as he had previously stated. Did Victor make the the right decision to not make a new monster? If not, why was it a bad decision? What does his decision say about his character both as a person and a creator?

  17. Peyton H permalink

    NEW THREAD, Pushing or Pulling?:
    “Yet, before I departed, there was a task to preform, on which I shuddered to reflect: I must pack my chemical instruments; and for that purpose i must enter the room which had been the scene of my odious work, and I must handle those utensils, the sight of which was sickening to me.” (194)
    I find it interesting that through volume III and II Victor struggles with the idea of pushing and pulling away from his work or the monsters in general. He seems to need them but when it comes to communicating with them or even expressing his feels about them he seems to pull away. It almost appears as though he is forcing himself to do his own work, that he is not doing this willingly anymore. What makes him do this? Is it the fear of the unknown or the pressure of what others will think about his work? Or is it something else?

  18. Sara Brumbeloe permalink

    COMMENT ON WHAT DRIVES VICTOR MORE, ANXIETY OR ANGER?
    I mainly agree with Talia and Trevor in the sense that Victor is mostly driven by anxiety and anger throughout the entire novel. However in Volume III, Victor starts off the chapter by mostly letting anxiety influence most of his actions. Furthermore, after Victor creates the monster, he is torn. He thinks of its strength and the destruction that it can create, with fears that it might even cause havoc upon his family and the town. After returning to Geneva, Victor is uneasy with the fear that the monster has vowed to follow him wherever he goes, leaving him extremely anxious. However, it is here in the novel that I believe Victor’s actions are mostly influenced by anger. With more creations coming to mind, Victor is unsure of creating a new monster. Will the second creature be even disastrous as the first? Will they get along? In this sense, Victor thinks it would be selfish if he made two monsters and eventually takes tasks into his own hands and completely destroys his first creation. “I was now about to form another being, of whose dispositions I was alike ignorant; she might be ten thousand times more malignant than her mate, and delight, for its own sake, in murder and wretchedness… They might even hate each other; the creature who already lived loathed his own deformity, and might he not conceive a greater adherence for it when it came before his eyes in female form?” (129).

  19. COMMENT ON TAKING RESPONSIBILITY:
    Victor fully takes responsibility for the monsters sadness. Because he is the monster’s creator, he feels he is the only one to blame for the monsters behavior. However he does not take full responsibility because he does not make the knowledge that he is the monsters creator public. By doing this he shields some responsibility and puts some onto the monster. On page 174 Victor says, “Great God! If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth”. As the quote displays, Victor feels a lot of pressure for his horrendous creation. He says he would rather have banished himself forever than to have his invention in the world. This shows that he is taking responsibility for his actions and feels regret for them. This act of ‘sacrifice’ (the endless wandering he hypothetically would trade for his invention) shows what he would do to undo his mistake.

  20. NEW THREAD: DECISONS.
    On page 129, Frankenstein says to himself, “Even if they were to leave Europe, and inhabit the deserts of the new world, yet one of the firsts results of those sympathies for which the daemon thirsted would be children, and a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror.” Frankenstein is pondering over if he should follow through with the monster’s request for a female partner and what would happen if the monster had his wife would have children. Victor then destroys his work for a female monster in whopping to save the world. But Victor has to know that this will anger the monster and put him on a murderous path. So would you follow through with the promise even though that there will be more monsters on this earth that could kill innocent people or would you follow Victor and destroy you work even though you might hurt yourself and the ones you love? Also, would you consider Victor’s act of not following the promise and act of bravery Why or Why not?

  21. NEW THREAD, REVENGE THAT HAS NO BOUNDS
    On page 163 Frankenstein says “I exchanged my land sledge for one fashioned for the inequalities of the frozen sea” this shows how far he is willing to go to gain his revenge on the monster. Does anyone else think that he is obsessing on the monster and is in this way letting the monster win because Frankenstein cannot enjoy life like a normal human but is instead living it like the monster?

  22. Allie Creekmuir permalink

    COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    I believe that if anyone’s perspective changes by the end of the novel, it would be the monster. At the end of the novel the monster breaks down and is sad when Victor dies. The creatures perspective changes in the sense that it blames Victor the whole time for its despair and does not blame itself. By the end of the novel the monster is only trying to cause pain in Victor’s life and once he dies the monster realizes that he no longer has a motive to live.

  23. COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    By the end of the novel, Victor finally comes to accept that he is responsible for the monster’s actions and his own sadness but I believe he knew this was his responsibility all along. Throughout the novel, Victor tries to push his guilt and responsibility onto the monster but he knows that since he created the monster, the monster is his responsibility. On page 159 he says, “I swear to pursue the daemon, who caused this misery, until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict”. Even though he knows he did not force the monster into his actions, it is still his responsibility to control the monster.

  24. Addie Ball permalink

    COMMENT ON: THE HUMANITY OF A MONSTER
    “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.” This quote takes place at the end of the book, and is spoken by the monster as he is looking over Victor’s dead body. It shows that although he has committed many mosterous actions has also has human characteristics. All the monster wanted was for his creator to accept him. I believe the biggest reason the monster killed people was the gain attention from Victor. He wanted to be accepted by someone in his life and that was why he begged Victor to make a female monster because Victor would not accept his creation himself. This also provides evidence for another human characteristic, the longing for love. He wanted to feel what the couple in the woods experienced for each other. All of these things show how the monster also contains human characteristics.

  25. NEW THREAD: THE CREATURE AS THE TRUE MONSTER

    One can easily understand that the monster is not at fault of the events occurring the Frankenstein, meaning the Creature is in fact not the true monster. However, I have come to the understanding through my own life that it is not our own definitions of ourselves, rather how we are viewed in the eyes of others, which defines who we are in a community. Thus, although we are able to sympathize and understand that the monster is not at fault for the actions of the novel, I propose we can still consider the Creature as the true monster of the novel, as those who know the Creature regard him as atrocious and malignant. “A grin was on the face of the monster; he seemed to jeer, as with his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse of [Elizabeth]” (154). Although the Creature smiles at the accomplishment of his evil feat, is he not justified? Can his other actions be forgiven? Does Victor’s representation of the Creature hold any sort of bias or cloud our understanding of who the Creature truly is? Most important of all, how do the events of the novel affect your own opinion of the title, ‘Monster’, given to the Creature?

  26. Grant Knoechel permalink

    COMMENT ON: REVENGE THAT HAS NO BOUNDS
    I agree with Alex’s statement that Victor is letting the monster win by being so agitated by the monsters taunts and evil actions. However, it almost seems too late for Victor to give up on chasing the monsters because the monster has taken everything from him. If he tried to end his obsession and live a “normal” life, he would have no where to go and no one to spend it with. On the other hand, by living out his remaining days in pursuit of the monster, Victor gives himself something to fight for and a reason to go on, instead of spending his remaining days lost and with no purpose.

  27. Staples permalink

    COMMENT ON TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    Throughout the story, Victor has had a hard time accepting responsibility. The deaths of his friends weighed heavily on him, yet in that instance and in others he blamed his creation. However, on page 167 he begins to understand his fault, “I felt as if I were destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound; but I possessed a coolness of judgment that fitted em for my illustrious achievements… From my infancy, I was imbued with high hopes and a lofty ambition; but how i am sunk! Oh my friend, if you had known me as I once was, you would not recognize me in this state of degradation” (167). Victor admits to being having been constantly driven to do something great with his life. In the end of his epiphany, though, he comes to terms with what he has done and the fact that despite the subjective success of bringing life to an inanimate man, morally he has failed miserably and created a demon that ravages everything it comes into contact with. I believe this might be the first real time that Victor has plainly said that what he created was his own fault.

  28. Chris Monde permalink

    NEW THREAD: DID VICTOR HAVE A CHOICE
    Victor tried his hardest to keep his creation of the monster secret, but his grief of its creation destroyed him. “The deep grief which this scene had at first excited quickly gave way to rage and despair. They were dead, and I lived; their murderer also lived, and to destroy him I must drag out my weary existence.” (159) Do you think there was any way Victor could’ve told his secret and gotten away unpunished, or was his downfall inevitable? Would telling his telling have made him grieve less even if his loved ones still died? Explain.

    • Ben Myer permalink

      COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
      At this point in the novel, I do believe Victor blames himself for his own suffering and despair. He is the sole creator of the monster, who was responsibly for the death of his friend Henry, wife Elizabeth, and indirectly, his father. These deaths are the source of his depression and misery, especially Elizabeth. He says that she was the only thing that brought him joy and happiness in life. After the deaths, he devoted his time to hunt down and destroy the monster to find as much satisfaction of revenge as he can. However, nearing death, he realizes that he is the source of his suffering. This is paralleled when Walton discovers the monster emotionally torn at the sight of his creators corpse. The monster’s suffering and misery is also a result of his actions.

  29. Chris Monde permalink

    COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    I somewhat agree with Ken in that Victor had always blamed himself for his own misery throughout the entirety of the novel and not just at the end. Although, the guilt of creating the monster gradually gained as the weight of the responsibility for its creation crushed Victor. The growth of self-blame continued each time Victor encountered the monster: “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; –obey!”. (131)I believe this specific point is where Victor put the blame of the creation of the monster completely on his shoulders. He created something he couldn’t destroy, and after the monster had destroyed everything he cared about, Victor finally fully realized that he was at complete fault.

  30. Helaina Theos permalink

    COMMONT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    I believe that Frankenstein takes responsibility for creating the monster because throughout the novel he feels bad that the monster is killing people and he wants the killings to stop. He takes action by making a deal with the monster so it will stop killing people. Although, he does not take enough responsibility because he does not come out publicly and say that he created the monster. During Justine’s trial, Frankenstein says, “A thousand times rather would I have confessed myself guilty of the crime ascribed to Justine; but I was absent when it was committed, and such a declaration would have been considered as the ravings of a madman, and would not have exculpated her who suffered through me.” Here Frankenstein knows that he should be the one on trial but he does not speak up and tell the truth. He is not taking responsibility because he is letting Justine die for something she did not do, when he could have avoided her death.

  31. Joanna Wright permalink

    NEW THREAD: IS REVENGE THE ANSWER?
    A common theme I observed from the novel was that of anxiety and depression. Victor bottles up his feelings within himself torturing his mind over guilt for his creature’s actions and suffers from daily anxiety of what the creature could do next. For example, Victor writes to his family while traveling in England and expresses his feelings about late letters, “I waited for my letters with feverish impatience: if they were delayed, I was miserable, and overcome by a thousand fears” (126). His anxiety displays that he can no longer live a normal life without having a constant miserable feeling in the back of his mind. No matter how much guilt Victor felt for being responsible for William’s and Justine’s death his silence to not warn authorities of the monster ahead of time could have saved the rest of his family. In the end when Victor finally confessed about the creature to authorities and tried to explain that it killed Elizabeth, it was too late and no one would believe him because they thought his family losses made him insane. Victor’s life makes me filled with sorrow, for he never achieved a state of peace and he wasted his life seeking revenge. The real questions I have are would killing the creature make Victor more satisfied with his life and remove his pain?

  32. Riley Young permalink

    COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    I think that Frankenstein never truly took responsibility for the monster and his actions. In the beginning, he is very nervous and tries to prove Justine’s innocence but fails because he is unable to take responsibility for the monster who he created. Right before Frankenstein dies, he says, “During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blameable.” pg. 173. He acknowledges that something should have been done to stop the monster and expresses regret and remorse about the monster’s actions but never actually takes the blame himself.

  33. Steve Couvaras permalink

    COMMENT ON: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
    In the end I think Victor took responsibility for the monster and the events that took place because of it. To me he never really said that he took the responsibility but in his actions he does. I agree with Helaina when she says he felt bad about the monster killing people and he felt that it was his fault. As I said he never truly reveals his making of the monster to the public which causes more events to happen which leads to more guiltiness from Victor. After the deaths of his friends he seeks revenge on the monster but realizes his true source of all his problems is him.

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