ethics of creation


One of Shelley's dominant themes is the obligation to one's own creation. When Victor's lack of judgment leads him to create a misshapen being, his self-loathing for the results of his act quickly become hatred for the monster. After the creature's birth, "I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view. I did not dare return to the apartment which I inhabited" (497). He procrastinates in dealing with the monster for as long as possible, but to no avail. When he finally returns to his apartment, he notes that "I thought I saw the dreaded spectre glide into the room… I imagined that the monster seized me; I struggled furiously and fell down in a fit" (499). Victor's ensuing illness allows him to put off dealing with his actions for a few months, but ultimately, the more Victor procrastinates, the more he is mentally haunted by the monster. As the plot escalates, the monster begins to quite literally haunt him with the murder of his loved ones. Thus Shelley uses Victor to show that avoiding the responsibilities of a creator is a serious sin that will destroy himself and others.



  approach to knowledge




lack of responsibility

of the educator

> of the creator




  other themes