Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein is a conflicted character who struggles to maintain control over his own creation. As a scientist, Frankenstein believes that he holds the key to discovering the secret of life. He attempts to understand every aspect of it, believing he can cheat the basic laws of life by reanimating the dead. When he successfully creates a monster out of dead body parts, he is disgusted by his creation. Though he makes every effort to separate himself from the monster, he is constantly haunted by it. The monster comes to displace its anger towards mankind on Frankenstein and murders everyone dear to him. Despite the fact that it attempts to reconcile its differences with its creator, the monster comes to despise mankind even more and loses all faith in itself.

To label Frankenstein a “mechanical artist” is risky. Though he is clearly well-versed in the study of “mechanics” (that is – he is skilled in developing machinery), he is far from an artist. In fact, nothing about Frankenstein’s creation is artistic. The description of the monster is anything but aesthetically appealing, and it even repulses Frankenstein himself. Clearly, Frankenstein is unable to appreciate his work and abandons it (something an artist should never do and rarely does). Furthermore, in his search to understand the secret of life and defy the laws of death, he never comes to fully value the beauty of it. He merely understands life from a scientific point of view and sees the re-creation of life as merely a scientific feat. Upon creating the monster, he refuses to accept it as his own. Though the monster makes it clear that it is simply looking for a companion, Frankenstein rejects it and even destroys his second creation.

As such, Frankenstein can best be described as simply a creator (nothing more). He sees life for what it is, but he never comes to appreciate its very essence. In searching for the secret of life, he creates a technology that trumps our traditional understandings of the cycle of life. At the same time, he fails to appreciate his work and believes that he has created something that lacks any purpose. To call him an artist in any sense is deceiving – Frankenstein never understands what art is.

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