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How Far Can We See Dr Victor Frankenstein As A Victim Of Circumstances Or A Martyr?


Frankenstein can be seen as both a victim and a martyr ultimately due to the creation of the Monster. It was his creation of life that caused him to become a victim and martyr. At first, we will see Frankenstein as a victim for the way he is found by Captain Walton, ‘(P27) generally melancholy and despairing’. As well as making clear Frankenstein is in a bad state when first found, it also creates tension and drama for why he is in this condition. It can be seen that Frankenstein cannot be a victim too at the end of Volume One but more of a coward, ‘(P81) My tale was not one to announce publicly; its astounding horror would be looked upon as madness by the vulgar’. This is Frankenstein's excuse not to reveal the Monster which the reader will view as wrong: the innocent are dying because of Frankenstein's cowardice. Therefore, although Frankenstein does suffer harm and death, ‘I will be with you on your wedding night’, ultimately, it is because of Frankenstein's mistakes that cause him to become a victim. Either way, the reader will find it difficult to sympathise with Frankenstein seeing that he could have stopped the Monster’s ‘rampage’ very early on.

As well as this, Frankenstein can be seen as a martyr too. Although Frankenstein makes lots of mistakes towards his creation, in the end, he makes the right choice, ‘(P171) tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged (being the Monster’s partner)’. Frankenstein, being a clever scientist, will know the consequences of bringing false hope to the Monster. Therefore, it can be see that he has sacrificed himself for the better of humanity. This brings the point forward that Frankenstein died for humanity. He was tempted to save himself by creating a fellow creature for the Monster. However, he decides that he should not be the creator of further suffering for the innocent such as William, Justine and Elizabeth. Instead, he suffers a terrifying fate which ultimately prevents the monster form potential breeding. However, since he had enraged the Monster from giving him false hope, the revengence caused more terror than if he had just created the second creature. Therefore, it is still up for debate whether Frankenstein was a martyr or not.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

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