The Point of View of Victor Frankenstein
The Modern Prometheus
Where it All Started
My name is Victor Frankenstein and I am 30 years old. “I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic.” (pp. 18) Until recently, I have been trying to find my dear creation.
I attended Ingolstadt to study the sciences, especially chemistry. There, I was a star pupil, among the best and the brightest. I was also very interested in the idea of life, which I had been for a while at that point. Before attending Ingolstadt, I studied natural philosophy and the possibility of eternal life for a long time. After I became even more interested in the start of life, I studied physiology, anatomy as well as decay and death, to figure out what happens once life has left a body. Life is such a marvelous, wonderful and amazing thing, so it is no wonder why one would study it so in depth.
However, while there, I was very lonely. I often wished to return home to my family. That fact, along with the fact that I had always been fascinated by life lead me to begin work on my creation.
In the beginning, my work was devoted to knowing how life worked, and how a body was animated. Once I figured out how such an idea would be possible, I knew I would need to create a vessel for the life I had to give. Thus began the work on my dear creature’s form.
I worked very hard to make my creation. I went through painful labour during the process, much like a mother would for her own little creations, but my creation would be no small thing, he was to change the world. My creation is a scientific and miraculous wonder. No one else has ever had the mind to create such beauty as life by oneself. No other scientific mind has reached such great capabilities. My creation was meant to be for the betterment of science, for the betterment of society and for the whole world. He was meant to inspire people, to create a new generation and a new mindset on the possibilities of humanity and to expand the horizons of the human mind. I also hoped that my new technology might be able to restore passed love ones to their former brilliance in life. I only meant to rid life of suffering with my dear creation.
I spent many, many months, sleepless nights and tedious, dreadful days working on him, to make him as wonderful as I could manage. I did my best to give him the best that I could find. I made his arms and legs completely proportionate, so that his body could be perfect. I gave him beautiful hair and teeth. I gave him the life that he has, which was a miracle! “No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve their’s [the creature’s]” (pp. 33).
It was November when my dear creature was born. After labouring until one in the morning, I was finally able to give him life and bring him into the world. I remember the exact moment that he opened his eyes and took his first breath. His whole body shuddered, which concerned me a bit, but I figured it was just his body accepting the gift of newfound life. After two years of working endlessly to create my masterpiece, I gave him the most beautiful features after all, I was understandably tired and of course not in the best frame of mind. I decided to quit the creature for the time being and retire to my chambers in hopes of getting some sleep while my creature would hopefully adjust to his life better. When he first received life, his body must have been having trouble adapting to the new life, for his beautiful features weren’t working together the way they were meant to. I figured that perhaps after we both had some rest, giving his body time to accept his new life, everything would settle better. I thought the morning air and light would surely put things in a better light.
Where it All Went Wrong
I had trouble falling asleep at first, likely because my body had been so unaccustomed to sleeping for two years. When I did fall asleep, my dreams were filled with horrors and I had many terrible nightmares. And, as most people know from their own nightmares, waking up from one does not put one in a sound state of mind. This is why, when I awoke to find my creature in my chamber, I was terribly frightened and fled from him, as anyone would do if they had had such awful dreams as I.
After that, I did not know where my creature went. I looked around my apartment for him, but he was no where to be found. I decided to go for a walk, on which I could have found him, plus, I needed some air. I wondered if his features had settled yet to the beauty which they were meant to be.
While I was on my walk, wondering if I might find my creature, who should I run into except Henry Clerval! We talked briefly, but I was still very shook up from the night before, in addition, I had allowed myself to become very ill by betraying my own body in order to knit together the creature’s. I was so sick that Henry had to stay and care for me for many months. During this time I was too sick to even write, let alone try to find my creation.
It had been so long since my dear creature had disappeared, and I had heard no word about anyone seeing an eight foot tall man with lively yellow skin, so I figured that my creature must be as good as dead. I was sad that my creation was so short lived, but not having a clue as to where he might have gone, I did my best to move on and get past my heavy grief.
After approximately two years of dealing with my grief and sickness, joy returned to me, largely due to my dear Henry encouraging me and cheering me on. It felt good to be happy and healthy again, for it had been four years since I had felt thusly. In my good spirits I finally felt ready to go home to see my family. However, I received some terrible news, and my happiness was the brief.
Do you think Victor should be charged with child abandonment since he ran from the Creature and left it to fend for itself?
I received a letter from my father telling me that my youngest and dearest brother had passed, and worse, by murder. So, I traveled back to Geneva to be with my mourning family, I hoped that I would be able to comfort them.
“It was completely dark when I arrived in the environs of Geneva; the gates of the town were already shut and I was obliged to pass the night at Secheron, a village half a league to the east of the city…. as I was unable to rest, I resolved to visit the spot where my poor William had been murdered.” (pp. 49) While I was on the way to the spot, I was filled with emotion when I perceived to see my dear creature! Many, many thoughts filled my mind at his sight, wondering how he had survived, wondering how he had made it to my home town. Perhaps he had been trying to find me after all these years! I did not know the extent of his mental capacities, since I had never had a chance to test his mind and teach him right from wrong since he had quitted me so quickly. I knew not if he would have had to learn all things anew, or if the healthy brain I had given him came with some stored knowledges. I feared that he may have killed my dear brother out of sheer ignorance. All of this was too much for me, and as much as I wanted to go to him and reconcile everything, I could not, I felt faint and had to lean on a tree for support. While I was regaining myself, my dear, dear creature ran away again. Perhaps he did not recognize me and was afraid. I wished to call out to him, but he was so fast, so marvelously fast, his muscles worked wonderfully for I had made him well, and before I could utter a syllable, he had reached the nearest mountain and had soon climbed all the way to the top and over.
The next morning I went to see my mourning family and found out that Justine M. had been charged with the murder of my brother. I did not think that she was guilty, but I had no evidence to save her either. I didn’t know what to do nor think. She was tried and found guilty. It was a very sad time indeed.
A while later, to try to have our spirits lifted, we all went on a vacation to the mountains, which I loved. While we were there, I went off by myself on a rather dreary day that made the rest of my family wish to stay behind in the warm cabin. The cold didn’t bother me much. Everything seemed so trivial compared to my recent tragedies.
That is when I was finally reunited with my dear creature. I was unsettled to find that his features had not settled into their beauty as I had hoped that they would. I knew that this would not have been the case had he not run away for I would have been able to rework some of his features so that he could be as great and wonderful as I had always dreamed. At this point, despite my love for my dear creature, I was angry that he had left me. I know that I said things that I regret due to my sadness and frustration. At the same time I was amazed, somehow my creature had learned language, and spake it well. I was curious how he had learned so much, so fast. I thought perhaps he learned faster since his brain did not have to develop as other infant’s do.
Despite my anger, my creature wished to tell me about his journey and his life. “As he said this, he led the way across the ice: I followed. My heart was full, and I did not answer him; but as I proceeded, I weighed the various arguments that he had used, and determined at least to listen to his tale. I was partly urged by curiosity, and compassion confirmed my resolution” (pp. 69) We went to a cave deep in the mountains and he told me his story.
His story filled me with many emotions. Amazement at his curiosity and ability to learn, as well as his compassion and love. I was disappointed however, to hear of his confession of the murder of my dearest little brother. Even more so because I now know that he was not ignorant nor unlearned when it had happened. I was sad to learn how he thought of me. My poor, dear creature thought that I hated him, that I had abandoned him, neither of which were true. I wished to repay him and to make it up to him somehow.
He did have a way that I might amend things between us. He wished that I might create a female version of himself so that he might have a friend who understood him completely, a friend who would always accept him. I was nervous at this request. I still knew not much about my dear creature, we had already just been reunited and I had had no opportunity to test him to see how he worked. I tried at first to refuse for the time being until I could know more about him, but this enraged him so terribly that he would not listen. He was inconsolable. As a first time parent, I was very unexperienced at dealing with such fits, and, especially due to his superior size and strength, I complied and agreed to make him a mate. I was distressed by my promise for many reasons. What if the female fled from my dear creature as he had fled from me? What if they both ran away together? What if there was some flaw in my design that I had not foreseen nor could yet know of? However, when I agreed he was giddy, but he ran away again before I could stop him. I supposed he was afraid of my changing mind.
No matter how plagued I was, being with Elizabeth and my family calmed me. For a while I went along with my everyday life, and tried not to think of my terrible promise.
Ethical or Not?
Should Victor have agreed to make another creature after everything that had gone wrong with the first one?
Before long, Elizabeth and I were engaged. I knew that I could not marry her though, until my promise to my dear creature was fulfilled so that perhaps we could all be a family. If I made him a woman companion, he may allow me to fix his unsettled demeanor so that he would be beautiful and everyone would love him rather than fearing his appearance. Due to this, Henry and I went on a two year road trip, on which I could work on my creaturette.
It was a lovely trip full of lovely sights and experiences, despite my unlovely work. Towards the end of our trip I retired to a small, secluded island to finish the remainder of my work. I worked very hard, and was very depressed. I thought I was done with my sleepless nights and sorrows.
One night, my dear creature visited me to see how his friend was coming along. I was very close to finishing. However, we got into a fight and I had a revelation. A good parent does not give in to their children, good parents, as I had, disciplined their children and taught them manners and good behavior through structure and love, not by fanning their sense of entitlement and giving in to their every trivial whim. I thusly destroyed the female right before his eyes. I now realize that this may have been brash and surely not the right way to handle the situation, but no one is perfect. This greatly upset my poor, dear creature and he swore threats at me, which I dare not repeat, and then quitted my hut.
Everything was a giant mess at this point. I wished to leave the island and reunite with Henry, but I knew I could not leave the remains of my creaturette. I found a small boat and sailed out to dump her into the ocean, which was a common burial practice of the islanders whom I lived with. I hoped to give her at least some respect by doing it that way.
However, due to my sleeplessness, I was exhausted and fell asleep on the boat. When I awoke I was frightened for I was in the middle of the ocean with no compass of any sort. I eventually, thankfully, wonderfully, happened to find land, but the moment I arrived I was arrested and surprisingly accused of the murder of my dearest friend, Henry Clerval.
I was destroyed. I was thrown in prison, sick and miserable, but I hardly cared. I could only think of my many losses. My father eventually came and retrieved me and took me home.
Once home the date for my wedding to Elizabeth was set. We were married and it was a happy occasion. We went across the lake in a boat to where we would spend our honeymoon. I was nervous that night for many reasons. I was continually plagued by memories of my creatures threats. That’s when it happened. I heard Elizabeth scream and I went upstairs to find her dead. I looked out the window and saw my creature retreating.
At that point I thought my life could be no more dreadful than it already was. However, it could indeed get worse. Once I told my father of my dear Elizabeth’s untimely death, he was stricken with grief and died not long after.
I was alone in the world. My only family, the only one to whom I could claim was Ernest, and he was very suspicious of me. He wore me down until I told him everything. After that, he disowned me and blamed me, as everyone since has.
With no further connections, I resolved to find my creation. He had indeed killed everyone close to me, yet I could not blame him. He was merely acting out as children do, but his child sized anger does not go well with such an unchildlike body. He had never been taught how to deal with anger, no manners, nothing. I had not taught him. I wish dearly that I might have been able to, perhaps all that I love might still exist. Alas, my dear creature never gave me a chance. Any time I was near to him, he quitted me shortly. All times I had encountered him had been painfully brief. Yet, he is all I might have. I hoped he was still close and came to find that he was not hiding far off. Thus, I began my journey to find him and to make amends. I needed him and I knew he would be needed me, despite all we had been through. Neither of us had anyone else. I tried to find him, but could not. I began tracking him, he even left me little clues to help. It’s like he wanted me to find him, he wanted to be together, but he was afraid, perhaps. I had no where else to go, nor no one else to love, so I knew I had to keep following him. I would not give up on him, for that I owed him as his father, yes, his father.
We went north for a very long time and I eventually became sick again and was close to freezing to death in my desperate pursuit of my dear. That is when I came upon Robert Walton and his ship. He took me in and cared for me. In turn, I told him my story. He was a true friend to me in a time when I needed one very muchly. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Shortly after that I was informed of my impending trial date as I was being charged for abandoning my dear son. I was horrified. I had done so much for him, tried so hard to be a good parent, and here I am, being tragically charged with abuse of the only one I have left in this world. Without him I have nothing, no reason to go on, no one to love. What would be the value of life without the marvelous hope of my dear Adam, for that is what I wish to call my son, Adam.