Frankenstein: Nature vs. Nurture

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In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the Creature is born peaceful, but because of society and Victor he becomes violent. It was the duty of Victor to protect, love, and nurture the Creature after he brought it to life just as those would be a parent’s duty to their children. Society shuns the Creature in every situation because of his external appearance which shapes the perceptions of the creature.

Victor’s first reaction to the Creature is to abandon it, and like children that are abandoned, this turns the Creature violent. When the Creature awakes Victor in chapter 5 a “grin wrinkled his cheeks.” The Creature then outreaches his hand as if asking for love and companionship but victor thinks the Creature is trying to detain him and flees. Later as the Creature stumbles upon the cottage of villagers he recalls, “I had hardly placed my foot within the door before the children shrieked, can done of the women fainted… some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country…” The creature immediately after conveys he “lay down happy to have found a shelter, however miserable… from the barbarity of man.” This shows how the Creature is rejected by all people which lead to his violence.

In chapter 23 when Victor refuses to make the Creature a companion, the creature explains to victor how companionship is all he wishes for, and how society is what has caused his aggression. The Creature tells Victor, “I am malicious because I am miserable.” Then asks “Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?” All experiences shape our perceptions and create how we look at the world.

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