Frankenstein: Do Humans Can Create A New Creature?
Great responsibility comes with great power. Those who have the opportunity to be great must have control over this gift, otherwise, their actions can go astray. Throughout the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein struggles to gain the power he so desperately longs for. Although some may argue one character has the power in their hands throughout the entirety of the novel, I would say the power shits from Victor Frankenstein to Robert Walton, and then to the creature.
Victor Frankenstein was the definition of egotistical. He sought the obtainment of power. Frankenstein created his monster in an attempt to acquire recognition, admiration, and especially to make sure he and his work went down in history. Frankenstein himself says “I was [surprised] that among so many genius who had directed their inquiries toward the same science, that I alone should be to discover so astonishing a secret.” It is not a surprise that Frankenstein sees himself as this Godlike figure. Ever since he was a child he was treated as such and to him, he must pursue that persona. In trying to obtain this status he becomes engrossed with reanimating life. In creating the monster Frankenstein is given this authority. He is essentially playing God, which in his mind gives him the ultimate power. Frankenstein not only has the ability to create life but to also, indirectly, save or destroy other people’s lives. It is justified to speculate that Justine could have been saved had he only confessed his actions in Ingolstadt.
On the other hand, Robert Walton has power at the beginning of the novel. Like Victor, Walton is striving for grandeur. Walton wants to be the first to discover a northern crossing to the Arctic from the Atlantic. He wants to be remembered for what no other man did. He wants what nobody has and is prepared to risk everything. Walton is on a foolish mission and has full control of his ship’s members. “I preferred glory to every enticement wealth placed in my path,” Walton says this in a way that implies his true intentions. All he wants is to be the first and the power that comes with it. Walton is also the first to hear Frankenstein’s story and therefore has the power to share it with whom he pleases, and how he pleases.
Continuously through the novel, there is a shift in power. In the beginning, it is Walton who drives for the power of knowledge thus leading into Victors’ tale. From there on out the reader witness a power struggle between Victor and his creature. “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought. For the dominion, I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race.” Though obvious through this text, Victor believes that he is completely in control. However, the creature also holds a considerable amount of power. The creature held power over Justine’s fate when she is falsely accused of the murder of William. He also holds some power over the DeLacey Family, as it is his action in collecting firewood that decides if Felix must work heavily during the day. Most importantly the creature holds a considerable amount of power over Victor. Near the end of the novel the monster cows that he will be there on Victor’s wedding night. This threat looms on Victor’s shoulders and causes him to go insane, ultimately giving the creature the most power in the end.
Power might be the root of all evil and I see that proven in this text. I feel Victor Frankenstein will never get the satisfaction of power he so desperately tries to obtain. This is the dreadful tale of a battle for power between others. The power is first held by Robert Walton. It is then placed with Victor Frankenstein for the majority of the novel. However, the power ultimately ends up in the creature’s hands.