In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it is clear that Victor Frankenstein abhors his yellow-eyed creation. He frequently calls the creature a “devil,” “daemon” and “fiend,” along with many other spiteful names. (Shelley 102) The two are identified as rivals fueled by hatred. Frankenstein’s detestation of own his creation stems from how the creature is an enhanced being who embodies Frankenstein’s own flaws and virtues. Fire against fire merely produces a larger fire.
Frankenstein and the creature are similar in many aspects, just as a typical father and son are. Both are excited and energized by learning; Frankenstein by “the enticements of science” (51) and the creature by literature and “the art of language.” (118) Both are attracted to the beauty and divine quality of nature—the sublime. Victor often seeks solitude in the depths of magnificent landscapes. After being repeatedly deprived of sympathy from the human race, the creature can only be comforted by the “gentleness and pleasure” of nature and the light of the “blessed sun.” (142)
Not all their shared qualities, however, are as pleasant. Frankenstein is known to have selfish tendencies. If he sets his mind on a certain task, such as piecing together a superhuman, Frankenstein goes all in, and any ounce of good judgment disappears along with all caution. By the end of the novel, Frankenstein dedicates the rest of his life to a hunt in which he tries to destroy the creature once and for all. The creature derives the same conviction. Revenge. “Diabolical vengeance.” (222) That’s all they have on their minds.
Both feel they have the absolute right to end each other’s lives. No one has suffered as much as they have. Frankenstein despairs at the death of his loved ones while the creature suffers from neglect and being an outcast. “No creature had ever been so miserable as I was,” says Frankenstein. (201) “No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine,” says the creature. (223) In the end, both are silenced by death but not directly by the hands of the each other.
God created humans in the likeness of His own image.
Victor Frankenstein did the same.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Ed. Maurice Hindle. London: Penguin,