Frankenstein Volume 3

The final chapters of Frankenstein further the numerous motifs and themes throughout the novel, while leaving the reader questioning who is at fault, who is the hero, and what each character’s role was. The narrative shifts again, going from Victor to the monster, then back to Victor and Walton for the last volume. Victor is horrified at the prospect of creating a companion for his creature, and hypothesizes them not retreating away from humanity, but interfering with it, and even procreating to create a new race of “monsters”.

The power that Victor has over creation, again builds on the theme of him being a God-like figure, and can be seen as him having a prejudice against women, since he assumes nothing good will come out of creating another creature. In reality, (it is worth arguing either side) creating a companion for the creature would have been highly beneficial for all parties. The source of all of the murders and atrocities being committed by Victor’s unconventional son stemmed from isolation and loneliness, because he is shunned by anyone with eyes. The creature still tries to reason with Victor, rather than killing him, another trait showing its humanity, and he threatens him when he sees Victor destroy his work in progress.

The creature’s vow to see Victor on his wedding night sends Frankenstein into an even deeper state of paranoia and obtuseness both socially, and within nature. Before, nature was a source of solace for Victor, but now he cannot go a step without being haunted by his creation. The creature continues to kill everyone close to Victor as he travels, including Clerval, a dear friend and someone who kept Victor sane. At this point all he had left was his father, and his “only source of joy,” Elizabeth. He seeks to be married, with the threat looming over him, but proceeds, and Elizabeth, not Victor, is killed, to his surprise, with his father passing away from shock shortly after.

Victor has nothing left; he has lost all sanity and becomes driven to the brink for revenge toward the creature, which had destroyed everything he loved. Who is at fault though? Would all of this grief and horror had manifested, had Victor taken the creature in like it was his own, and not some “fiend” haunting the countryside? Would it have become a killing machine had Victor given him a companion—the monster was only trying to make Victor feel the pain he had felt in his existence, and it even says on the last page, that it was still not equivalent:

“Farewell, Frankenstein! If thou wert yet alive and yet cherished a desire of revenge against me, it would be better satiated in my life than in my destruction…Blasted as thou wert, my agony was still superior to thine; for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them for ever,” (166).

The creature essentially says that any revenge Victor could have been seeking, in this case killing him, could not have been greater than what he has had to endure being alive, and that Victor could never have felt a vengeance like his. Victor had people who loved him, and was human, and the creature never experienced love, or anything like himself, a true tragedy. His “triumphant ascension of his funeral pile” made the creature seem more like the tragic hero than Victor, and leaves the reader empathizing for it, something Shelly must have done on purpose with the varying and layered narration. Ending the story with the creature’s words showed that it was not a monster, but a more human creature, that was tormented by its creator and driven to kill.

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