Relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

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relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

Everything you ever wanted to know about Alphonse Frankenstein in Victor doesn't exactly blame his dad for the monster, but he comes pretty close. but praise for his parents: his father "filled several public situations with honour and. Deadbeat dad: Victor Frankenstein as the failed father In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (), protagonist Victor Frankenstein and his relationship to the with Victor trying to usurp women's procreative role or trying to become God Victor, however, fails in his role as father to the creature, which creates new. Get an answer for 'Describe Victor's relationship with his father in the novel Frankenstein. Do they have a healthy relationship? Why or why not?' and find.

Victor implies, for example, that his father insists that he depart for Ingolstadt soon after his mother's death, away from the sympathy of his native country and into new, strange surroundings with no one to guide him. There is the suggestion that Alphonse disapproves of his son's grief as a dilatory tactic.

Indeed, as Victor describes his father, we come to see a parent who loves only conditionally: The need to win approval from judgmental parents can at times compel the child toward excellence; but it can also be perverted into disastrous extremes, in which the child transforms his Promethean aspirations for success into those of overreaching and surpassing his parents at the cost of everything else.

Victor has ambitiously planned that "a new species would bless me as its creator and source. No father would claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. No wonder then that he finds his interior self "in a state of insurrection and turmoil" p.

His father had taken great precautions to ensure that his son disdain supernatural horrors p. Harold Bloom typifies those readers who gloss over Frankenstein's foreknowledge of his creature's ugliness, when he asserts: Victor compensates for the sense of smallness his father has imparted by usurping his parents' powers as creators, but also by issuing forth a child whose physical nature will be inferior, in size, to no one.

The Relationship Between Frankenstein and His "Monster" in the Novel by Mary Shelley | Owlcation

He acts out his anger at his family in an attempt to affirm his own selfhood. Just as he threw the door open to find "a spectre," so he exorcises the wolf under his bed, the parent as evil predator, by creating his own nightmare come true.

By the end of the novel he has acknowledged that he is responsible for all the deaths. I felt attracted even to the most repulsive among them. Instead, his exclamation that he has turned a murderer loose upon society p.

But Frankenstein is not alone in needing to dethrone his parents. Walton, that too often forgotten character who frames the novel subtly strikes out at Margaret, the sister who helped rear him. He reminds his sister again and again of his imminent destruction, and he presages pain for her whatever the outcome of his "voyage of discovery," as he continually alludes to his journey: In a sense he tries to "kill" his parent too, in tones redolent of the monster: Margaret, his mother substitute, has regarded his voyage with evil forebodings p.

Since learning of his father's injunction against a seafaring life, the son has waited for his chance to disobey: Walton's very uneasy relationship with his sister has been too often overlooked; his letters to her are usually thinly veiled threats to her power, attempts to assert his own autonomy. If he, in the end, falls short of the godlike aspirations that, he emphasizes, "lift his soul to heaven," he will also turn back, however reluctantly, toward a finally integrated relationship between parent and child.

Walton will "grow up," affirm himself, and return to his community, unlike his counterpart, that "soul mate" in whom he so tightly sees his own potential reflected. Paradise Lost, X, epigraph to Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein's role as father is intensified by that fulfillment of every parent's dream: It is especially ironic, then, that he hates what he sees.

Victor produces such a grotesque model for his procreation in part as a response to his own aggressive feelings toward his parents and the guilt these emotions provoke. He is anxious throughout the gestation period: Consequently, he has geared himself to hate and fear his creature.

relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

In one sense, the ugliness affords him an escape from parental responsibilities; he can justify his immediate flight. After proving his godlike power to produce life, he is then able immediately to abandon it. It is not, however, that Victor Frankenstein is unaware of familial connection to his monster; he feels what the duties of a "creator towards the creature" are, but he nonetheless makes no attempt to satisfy the monster's needs.

He recognizes, "I ought to [have rendered] him happy before I complained of his wickedness" p. At one point the monster's tale of his life allows Frankenstein to offer his conditional concern, judging, in the manner of his father, his progeny worthy of attention: He continues to fail his creature, however, never gaining insight into the monster's tortured psyche, so that at the end of the novel he is able to exclaim without irony: In noting Frankenstein's brutal disregard of any parental duties, we should recall his analysis of his parents' reaction to him as a child: In reality, however, his parents had regarded him as a plaything, a bauble p.

It is also worth noting here that Mary Shelley began her writing with Chapter 4, wherein we see the father rejecting the monster's outstretched hand. In response to the monster's pain, his father notices that "his countenance bespoke bitter anguish," but its "unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes" p. The monster's "deal" -- "Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you.

It is no coincidence that the portrait of Caroline kneeling, in agony, by her father's coffin is echoed at the novel's end, where the monster, in his own agony of despair, hangs over his dead father and utters exclamations of grief and horror. Caroline's beauty ensures that her portrait will elicit a strong sympathy from Frankenstein, but the monster has no such saving grace.

relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

Thus, with his arm extended yet again to his maker, he admits the impossibility of contact. To substitute for the lack of human connection, the monster revels in self-education. He recognizes the wonders of speech, in which, unlike those around him, he locates mysterious powers. Viewing language as "a godlike science" p.

Through the De Laceys he learns that man is "at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base" p. Unlike his creator, who ponders meaning only insofar as its suggests power, the monster learns what life is about. He absorbs Felix's lessons.

relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings. His lessons lead him, finally, to that question of intense psychological importance, without which the child never becomes the man; he tells his "father" that he finally asked himself "Who was I? What was my destination? It is worth quoting here at length from Bruno Bettelheim's analogous description of a child's self-discovery. The child asks himself: Where did I come from?

He worries not whether there is justice for individual man, but whether he will be treated justly. He wonders who or what projects him into adversity, and what can prevent this from happening to him. Are there benevolent powers in addition to his parents? Are his parents benevolent powers? How should he form himself, and why? Is there hope for him though he may have done wrong?

Why has all this happened to him? Psychiatrist Selma Fraiberg, in Every Child's Birthright, writes that the unnurtured, unloved child grows into the aberrant adult -- the criminal who seeks to negate his overwhelming sense of nothingness by inflicting pain on others -- a scream that "I exist, I am. At the time of his first violent act, he is merely seeking fellowship with another human, and he assumes little William, the "beautiful child" so unlike himself, to be too young to have formed prejudices based on appearance.

Similarly, he strikes out at Justine because she represents to him the relationships he can never have: By issuing the ultimatum to Frankenstein, "On you it rests, whether I quit.

The Relationship Between Frankenstein and His "Monster" in the Novel by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein refuses the responsibility, and so, as U. Knoepflmacher observes in a different context, "The monster becomes father to the man and relentlessly imposes on its creator the same conditions of dependence and insecurity that it was made to suffer. The cold serves as a metaphor for the comfortless, solitary life he has led, one he is bent on recreating for the agent of his pain.

We become intensely, painfully aware of the monster's motivation for his aggression through the death scene of his father. Through the grief and horror at his successful patricidal act emerges the typical, unfathomable loyalty of the abused child: Generous and self-devoted being! He is cold, he cannot answer me" p. III In consequence of this primary mutual hostility of human beings, civilized society is perpetually threatened with disintegration.

The interest of work in common would not hold it together; instinctual passions are stronger than reasonable interests. Civilization has to use its utmost efforts in order to set limits to man's aggressive instincts and to hold the manifestations of them in check by psychical reaction-formations.

Frankenstein relates that his early life was passed in considerable seclusion; that it became his temper to avoid a crowd, a withdrawal making him "indifferent," therefore, to his "school-fellows in general" p. His apprehension at leaving his "amiable companions" of the hearth for the new territory of Ingolstadt is well rounded, since he will be more alone here than ever.

relationship between victor frankenstein and his parents

He now shuns the face of man: His father senses a hidden meaning to his son's withdrawal, ostensibly due to his mourning, and warns him that "excessive sorrow prevents improvement of enjoyment, or even the discharge of daily usefulness, without which no man is fit for society" p. The truth is the blunt reality previously noted: In direct opposition to his maker, the monster longs for society and sympathy. He quickly becomes aware that there is no place for him, that he has been forbidden all that society holds dear: If his own creator withholds from him human contact, he can expect nothing more from the rest of his world.

Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone. In the tradition of those who, regardless of their sins, know passion and thus know life, the monster will exult in self-destruction by fire.

Frankenstein instead will die passively, "a fit end for a being who has never achieved a full sense of another's existence. He recalls in detail a discussion he and his father had concerning Cornelius Agrippa, whose writings on natural philosophy captivated young Victor. I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and, with my imagination warmed as it was, should probably have applied myself to the more rational theory of chemistry which has resulted from modern discoveries.

It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. Shelley 22 Recollections like this one demonstrate the tenets of parenthood as Victor Frankenstein learned them, namely that parents must not only cultivate close relationships with their children, but act as moral and intellectual guides, both implicitly through their actions and explicitly through advice and conversation.

Moment of Creation Rather than rendering the creation scene from a scientific perspective and offering the methods Victor uses, Shelley chooses highly-sexualized terms of creation. As the process progresses, it moves from the language of conception into the language of pregnancy. Although Victor views the Creature as hideous upon birth, its actions are infantile and apparently non-threatening: Despite this, the parent-child relationship is strained from the moment the Creature first lives.

Leading up to this moment, Victor had clear, positive expectations: Argument on the Orkney Islands The argument between Victor and the Creature on one of the Orkney Islands signifies a significant change in the dynamic between the two. He remarks to Victor: Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you.

You are my creator, but I am your master;—obey! Shelley He later continues: I may die; but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict Shelley If the Creature is considered a child or adolescent by the end rather than a monster, wretch, or devil, he will certainly draw more sympathy from an audience.


Positioned more as an antagonist or anti-hero, Victor becomes more culpable for the monstrous nature of his child, and in many modern adaptations he becomes more monstrous than the Creature himself. As the prominence of this theme has been established, the early reading of Frankenstein as a moral allegory warning about usurping God and gaining too much knowledge is diminished. Victor Frankenstein as Biological Parent v. In both adaptations, Victor shows little interest in the lives of his biological children.

The Creature is animated here by electric eels in a vat of amniotic fluid taken from the maternity ward of the hospital. After the event, the live Creature is spilled out of the womb-like vat and onto the floor. There are homoerotic undertones as a half-dressed Victor struggles to steady a naked Reanimant, the name given to the Creature, in the spilled amniotic fluid. In the climactic scene a stand-off over her affections leads to her suicide. Of particular note is the careful guidance given to the Monster the term used by Brooks instead of Creature in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

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