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English Literature. Frankenstein by Shelley


If we are going to compare Victor Frankenstein from the famous and the most disturbing horror novels by Mary Shelley to God, then we will probably suggest that God is ashamed, scared, horrified, and full hatred towards us, just like Victor towards his own creation. Looking at God, just like Shelley looked at Victor, we will see that God is always running away, hiding from us, He rejects us without even trying to understand what do we feel about Him, and is not looking at us as the creatures who have soul and feelings. Continuing to compare Victor to God, we will find that God hates not only us but the whole world, which he made himself.

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Victor Frankenstein grew up in a wealthy Swiss family. As a young man, he became interested in science and especially the theory of what gives and takes life from human beings. Already, when he was studying in college at Ingolstadt he succeeded at creating his own, Frankenstein’s perfect human being. But once he put life in a body, made of scavenged body parts he became scared and horrified by his own creation, by its ugliness, and ran away leaving his creation on its own.

After the accident Frankenstein got really sick and recovered with the help of his friend from college – Clerval, with whom he began to study languages later and almost, forgot about the monster. At this time his creature already had some contact with people and every time people rejected him. After all these, the monster became afraid of people and was trying to avoid them, but still, he thought of Victor as his father, his creator. Later, he realized that Frankenstein made him different from other people. Now, he wanted revenge. He killed Victor’s friend and brother. Victor became obsessed with the monster. He thought, that any place he will go the monster will find him. He got married to Elizabeth, but soon after the wedding, she was killed by a monster. After visiting the cemetery, he understood that he is also responsible for the death of all his loved ones. Victor Frankenstein promised to follow the monster and kill him, so nobody will ever know what an awful creature he made. He followed him in Europe and finally, he ended up on the North Pole, where his ship was trapped in ice. A few days later he died. The monster appeared in his room, forgiving Victor everything he made. Then he disappeared deep into the cold Pole, to new go back again.

But we cannot call Victor Frankenstein the God. Why not? Because when was creating a human being, he wasn’t driven by his own interests, and he did not want His name to be glorified, just as Victor did. From the very beginning, Victor rejected his own creation and according to the Bible, after God saw his creations he said that it ”was good”. At the same time, while Frankenstein was creating the monster he became isolated and lonely just like his creature was going to be.

Trying to defeat death and get the power to create life from a dead matter Victor Frankenstein is trying to break natural laws, which were set by God. Despite the fact that he succeeded in giving life Victor still could get God’s like power, especially the power of love, knowledge, and responsibility.

Victor could be better compared to Prometheus. We can see that there are many common similarities between the Titan and Victor. Similar to Prometheus Frankenstein goes too far and does not take his own limits into consideration. Victor has something like the ”creative fire of heaven’’ and gives life to his own self-made creature. He wants to become a creator of his own man, his own species. As he says: «A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me». Just like Prometheus brought people Zeus’s power and gave fire to people, Victor gave people the power to create life, and just like Prometheus, Victor is going to be punished. Like Prometheus, who was tied up to a rock, and being eaten by an eagle every day, Frankenstein is left by society all on his own. So as we see, when creating the monster, Victor is destroying himself by becoming more isolated from society. But Victor Frankenstein is not truly the similarity to Prometheus. When the Titan saw, that people do not know how to use their capabilities, he teaches them and takes care of them. And Victor refuses his creature and he is not able to understand, that once he created it, he is responsible for it.

Just like Icarus, Victor Frankenstein had a dream to fly so high, a when he reached the height he fell down, and will never fly again.

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The reason why this novel stays popular even today is that there is something symbolical to Victor’s attempt to get God’s powers and defeat death. Isn’t this question stays a big controversy today? Nowadays, when it’s becoming fewer and fewer religious people, we forgot about God’s supremacy. Cloning, biogenetic engineering, destroying the death gene are very controversial themes these days.


Aldrich, Marcia, Richard Isomaki. 1990. The woman writer as Frankenstein. In Approaches to teaching Shelley’s Frankenstein. New York: Mod. Lang. Assn. of Amer.

Bann, Stephen. 1994. Frankenstein, creation and monstrosity. London: Reaktion.

Berger, Arthur A. 1998. Frankenstein: The new prometheus. In Popular fiction: An anthology. New York, NY: Longman.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'English Literature. Frankenstein by Shelley'. 21 October.

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