The classic gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley details the relationship between two significant figures, Victor Frankenstein, and his unnamed monster. The critical relationship between such characters causes many literary critics to compose the idea that they are bound by nature – inadvertently becoming a single central figure (Spark). This provides provoking thoughts on the duality of mankind, revealing the wickedness of human nature. The role of the monster as an alter ego to Victor is an ideal suggestion, as their characteristics in the story consistently change; from predator to prey, depressed to angry, pitiful to cruel, these are all characteristics shared between both characters at different times of the novel. These characters are both complementary and contrasted beings (Spark). Critics have supported their claims of the relation between Victor and the monster. Primary characteristics shared amongst both figures can include ignorance to those around them, an inner darkness that dictates their principles, a conscience that consequently causes them to regret their actions, and a strong lust for knowledge. Critics also believe the alternate title of the novel The Modern Prometheus is an indicator of the connection between Victor and the monster.
Victor and the monster are both ignorant to the people around them. Victor Frankenstein has a life full of domestic love, and affection. His father Alphonse, his best friend Henry Clerval, and his lover Elizabeth – an orphan of significant beauty and talent, were all nurtured in the same home as him. All these people were able to provide Frankenstein with joys of companionship, and love. Nevertheless Victor had sought more than a prosperous, affectionate life, and instead ch…
…s “Remarks on Frankenstein” in Bloom, Harold, ed. Mary Shelley, Bloom’s Classic Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2008. Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 8 May 2014.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft., and Michael Kennedy. Joseph. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus: The 1831 Text. London: Oxford Univ., 1969. Print.
Spark, Muriel. “The Shifting Roles of Frankenstein and His Monster.” In Mary Shelley: A Biography. EP Dutton, 1987. Quoted as “The Shifting Roles of Frankenstein and His Monster” in Bloom, Harold, ed. Frankenstein, Bloom’s Guides. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2007. Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 8 May 2014.