Victor Frankenstein & Prometheus: Contrasting Gods

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Esther Kim ENG3U Miss Penfold July 22, 2011 Victor Frankenstein and Prometheus: Contrasting Gods Mary Shelley titled her novel Frankenstein and she subtitled it as The Modern Prometheus. Although the first title refers to the main character, Victor Frankenstein, the second title, The Modern Prometheus, indicates the imperative ‘Promethean’ characteristics of her novel. When humans fail to realize their own limits, they dare to venture into God’s territory. Human beings are too contemptible to be charged with the duties of a god and thus the reader is supplied with Victor’s various flaws as he attempts to take on the role of one. His first major flaw is exposed when he becomes ignorant as a creator and abandons the monster. The second mistake Victor makes is revealed when he does not aim to benefit his creation educationally. His many errors ultimately result in the monster’s critical decision to end his life. By contrasting Victor Frankenstein to Prometheus, Mary Shelley demonstrates, in Frankenstein, that humans are irresponsible and abysmal creatures who are incapable of being burdened with the responsibilities of God. One of the many flaws that Victor displays throughout the novel is revealed when he fails to express love and compassion towards the monster; instead, he demonstrates ignorance and recklessness as a creator the moment he abandons his creation. When he gazes upon the completion of his creation, “breathless horror and disgust fill[s] [his] heart… [and he is] [u]nable to endure the aspect of the being [he] create[s]” (Shelley 67). The frightening appearance of the monster blinds Victor, rendering him unable to feel pity towards his creation and he rejects the creature instead. Even when Victor discovers that the monster is highly intelligent and inhabits real, human sentiments, he still regards it with the utmost malevolence and hatred. Victor
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