This can also be seen through the title of the novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, as Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, Frankenstein stole creation from the Gods for the betterment of humanity. The stronger theme is that of discrimination to outsiders. The character of Frankenstein is not represented as evil. He is self-centred and single minded in his pursuit to create perfection and learn, the secrets of heaven and hell. He doesnt consider the implications of his hazardous research or believe that anything could possibly go wrong, his intentions he believed were good.
Shocked at his failure and unable to accept his loss of control over his creation Frankenstein runs away from the problem. He is too vain to confess that what he has done is wrong and will not reveal his secrets to even his most loyal friend Clerval. He almost lives in a dream world, believing that he can become an architect of life and respected by all. Frankensteins ultimate weakness is his failure to admit failure. In this way Frankenstein could be held partly responsible, inevitably it was the monster that had killed.
His killings were premeditated and targeted in who he was to kill, he did not kill to defend himself but to cause pain to Frankenstein. When the creature is first brought to life, he is confused; he is quick to develop an understanding of the sense of pain, heat, hunger and cold. He marvels and delights like a child at the sights and sounds of nature. He is puzzled by the beating that he receives from the villagers and resolves to keep his distance and observe them, hoping that he will discover why they drove him away.
We can clearly see that there is no anger or desire for revenge at this stage, the creature delights in their beauty and happiness and shares their sorrows, ¦ when they were unhappy, I felt depressed, when they rejoiced, I sympathised in their joys¦ i?? He has no evil intentions towards anyone or anything at this stage, he is still very innocent. This could have been a deliberate portrayal by Shelley to make the creation like a child, impressionable by society. However, when the monster tries to help others, he is rewarded not by acceptation into society but by physical abuse.
When he is shot after trying to save a small girl he vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind¦ i?? The monster showed no hatred to mankind until he was repeatedly rejected by society and even the De Lacey family who he thought he was close to abandoned him, as had his creator. In this way we can see that throughout the novel society rejects someone who is different, which meant the monster could not live like others, but in stead live an existence where he sought human companionship even though they rejected him.
The monster says that his reasoning for his murders was, ¦ the barbarity of man. so Shelley is trying to show us that monster murdered because he was rejected by man. The monster says ¦ I am malicious because I am miserable¦ because he was outcast from the world forever. So society is partially responsible for the murders. In conclusion we can see that the question, Who is responsible for the murders in Frankenstein? cannot be answered by placing the blame wholly onto one character. In fact Frankenstein, his creation and society as a whole played a part in the deaths.
Although it may have been the monster who strangled William and murdered both Elizabeth and Clerval it was Frankensteins inability to admit to his faults that led to the death of Justine. As Frankenstein could not be bold enough to let other people know that it was not Justine who killed William but his creation. If Frankenstein had divulged his secret then they would know it was the monster who perpetrated the murders. Furthermore, if Frankenstein had told Clerval of the monster then Clerval may not have died, but this can be said for all the murders that occur in the novel.
So it was the monster that killed not to defend himself but to have his revenge on a society who judged him not by his morals but by the way he looked. As can be said for our society today which contains many people who discriminate others because of sex, age or race. I feel that Victor is mainly responsible, he started an experiment to which he had given no thought and when he was not happy with the result he ran away hoping that it would pass over but it didnt. Even though he had numerous chances to admit to his failure it was only when it was too late that he confessed.