Analysis of Frankenstein

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A famous Harvard professor named Lawrence Kohlberg concentrated his work on the ethical evolution of an entity as he established a theory on the moral development of individuals. In this theory Kohlberg explained the six stages of moral development while also stating that people may only progress if they move along this path one stage at a time. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the individual experiencing these moral stages is the monster whose lone creator was Victor Frankenstein. Although the monster does go through some ethical expansion, it cannot experience the first level of Kohlberg’s theory because the ‘authority figure’, in this case Victor Frankenstein, was nonexistent as he neglected the monster completely. As a result of this abandonment Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development cannot be completely applied to the story of Frankenstein, but there still remain certain connections. The first level of Kohlberg’s theory contains two stages. The first stage suggests that people behave according to the standards shown to them by an authority figure, such as a parent or teacher. Caused by Victor’s abandonment, the monster was never taught by his creator what was socially acceptable therefore being unable to differentiate between right and wrong. Without the guidance and teachings of his creator, the monster cannot advance to the second stage of level one, which states that accepting these standards can be in the person’s best interest. After the authority figure discusses what is right and wrong they are set out to demonstrate certain consequences for a person’s actions. Since the monster was never told of these social standards it had no idea that the act of killing, that it committed multiple times, was intolerable to society. Without the guidance of stage one it is impossible to accomplish the second stage, consequently jumping to the second level of
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