Prometheus’ desire to create man is fueled by the hatred

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Prometheus’ desire to create man is fueled by the hatred he feels toward the other gods. In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan who favors man over the gods because the gods banish his family. The Olympians feel that man should sacrifice animals to the gods to show respect. Zeus is set to make the decision of which parts of the animals are to go to the humans. Prometheus makes two piles: one of bones covered in animal fat and the other of edible meat covered with ugly animal hide. As expected, Zeus picks the better-looking pile; the bones covered with animal fat. Getting angry because he feels Prometheus dupes him he deprives man of fire. Prometheus then steals the fire from the gods so that man will not go without. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates a character like Prometheus does, and seeks revenge like Zeus. Victor Frankenstein creates a creature to fulfill his desires, but when things go amiss, Victor searches for revenge.

Frankenstein is a novel that dramatizes the effects of disillusionment on a modern day Prometheus.

        Victor Frankenstein and the creature derive from different backgrounds, but they both encompass the thirst for knowledge. In the beginning of the novel, Victor discusses his background. Victor admits: “No human being could . . . [pass] a happier childhood than myself” (Shelley 37). Victor is a product of a happy family and a first-class education. By reading books, Victor realizes that “Natural philosophy is the genius that regulate [s] his fate” (38). Victor now knows that his future will be with science. This revelation escorts Victor to create his creature. Victor recalls: “The raising of ghosts or devils [is] a promise liberally accorded by my favourite authors, the fulfillment of which I most eagerly [seek]” (40). The books Victor read are the catalysts for him to possess “the secrets of heaven and earth that [he] desire [s] to learn” (37). Victor not only comprehends that this is his goal, he knows that he is “capable of a more intense application and [is] more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge” (36). Victor secludes himself from his family, and his friend Henry to complete his goal of bringing a creature to life. Victor succeeds, but when he finishes he sees “the beauty of the dream [vanish], and the breathless horror and disgust fill his heart” (56). Seeing this, Victor cannot stay in the same room as the creature, and he abandons it. As the creature recollects his creation, he views himself as a “poor, helpless, miserable wretch” (98). Everywhere he goes people flee because of his appearance. The creature longs for acceptance. The creature proceeds into the village to “recommence [his] travels” (101), and the creature recalls: “the whole village [is] roused; some flee some attack me” (101). After this incident the creature leaves the village, and retreats to the De Lacey family cottage. The creature observes them, and “long [s] to join them, but dare [s] not” (105). He remembers what happens to the villagers and does not want to endure it again. The creature spends his time monitoring the family. His thirst for knowledge drives him to “discover the motives and feelings of these lovely creatures” (109). He wants to uncover the reasons why the De Lacey family does things. The creature reads novels and tries to learn by emulating the cottagers. Soon, the creature possesses the courage to talk a blind member of the De Lacey family. The creature approaches the blind person because they will not be frightened by his appearance. Everything was going fine until the rest of the family comes home. They become scared and the creature makes his final plea: “You and your family are the friends whom I seek. Do not you desert me in the hour of trial” (129). Not being able to stand anymore negative response, the creature leaves to find his creator and ask for help.

        Victor Frankenstein’s rejection of the creature’s offer and the death of Elizabeth fuel significant changes in both Victor and the creature. The creature meets Victor again and requests a companion. The creature begs: “I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as horrible as myself would not deny herself to me” (137). The creature feels that asking for a companion is fair since he is abandoned when he is created. Victor denies the creature of his wishes without listening to his reasons. Victor declares: “I do refuse it, . . . and no torture shall ever extort a consent from me” (138). Victor not taking responsibility for his actions refuses the creatures demands without considering the consequences. The creature states that if Victor does not accept his demand; he will seek revenge. The creature swears: “I will work at your destruction , nor finish until I desolate your heart, so that you shall curse the hour of your birth (139). After being moved by the creature’s requests Victor finally agrees to make another creature. Victor’s only wish is that the creature leaves the country. While making the creature, Victor reflects on his initial reasons why he does not want to create the creature. Victor wonders if he has the right to “inflict this curse upon everlasting generations?” (159). Realizing that he cannot do this again, Victor destroys the creation, and the creature’s hopes. The creature full of rage declares his revenge: “I shall be with you on your wedding night” (161). The creature foreshadows the events that occur on Victors wedding night. Victor states: “The prospect [does] not move me to fear; yet when I [think] of my beloved Elizabeth . . . tears . . . [stream] from my eyes” (161). On his wedding night, Victor hears a “shrill and dreadful scream” (168). Victor goes into the room and finds his wife’s lifeless body draped across the bed. After Elizabeth’s death Victor declares: “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change” (188). Elizabeth’s death is a huge burden on Victor’s mind and he does not know how to handle it. Elizabeth’s death brings out rage and vengeance in Victor. Victor exclaims: “my rage is unspeakable when I reflect that the murdered . . . still exists” (190). Victor’s life is consumed with the thought that the creature he creates is still alive while his innocent bride is dead. Victor swears to pursue to “pursue the demon . . . until he or I she parish in mortal conflict”(193). At this point. Victor goes after the creature, and stops at nothing to complete his goal.

        Both Frankenstein and his creature come to learn one final lesson: revenge cannot satisfy the heart’s loss. As Victor reflects on the deaths of William, Henry, and Elizabeth, he feels somewhat guilty for what happens. Before Victor dies, he tells Robert Walton to “seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition” (206). Frankenstein tells Walton this because his own ambitions destroy his life. Victor sees what ambition can do and he tries to warn Walton of the risks. The only thing that Victor believes can console him is to hunt the creature down and kill him. At this point, Victor starts to lose human qualities and characteristics. He again isolates himself, and in a satanic way, he devotes all his energies to ending the life of his enemy. Victor proclaims: “ I have but one resource, and I devote myself, either in my life or death to his destruction” (191). Victor will stop at nothing to destroy his creature, and he does not think of his family or his health while doing so. After all of the destruction the creature does, Victor has no regret creating it; he only regrets the circumstances that follow the creation. Victor declares: “During these last days I [am] occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blamable” (206). Victor does not think that his conduct is the cause of any deaths, or any havoc the creature causes. As Victor speaks to Robert Walton about his journey, he advises him: “you seek knowledge and wisdom as I [do] . . . and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you as mine [is]” (28). Victor never apologizes for what he does; he only wishes that his life is different. He wishes that the creature does not kill people, and that the creature does not consume his life. The creature’s ambitions to destroy Frankenstein are all he has to live for. After everything he goes through, the creature is still alone. Since Frankenstein foils the creature’s hopes for a companion, the creature vows that he will be the force behind the destruction of Frankenstein’s hopes. The creature reflects: “for a while I [destroy] his hopes, I [do] not satisfy my own desires” (210). The creature realizes that revenge does not bring happiness, but it is all that he has in life. Both Frankenstein and the creature long for revenge, but all they end up with is self-destruction.

        Mary Shelley clearly depicts the disenchantment of the characters in Frankenstein. Throughout the entire novel Victor Frankenstein believes that creating the creature was not wrong. The creature believes that a family whom he “spies’’ on is his only outlet, but in reality he has no one. Both Frankenstein and the creature’s view of reality is not accurate, but is quiet distorted. This novel parallels to the story of Prometheus and how he “dupes” Zeus. Prometheus offers Zeus a pile of bones wrapped in fat, and edible meat wrapped in animal hide. Zeus sees the pile of bones wrapped in fat as a better present, but in actuality the ugly animal hide which covers the edible meat is a better deal. Zeus feels that he should get back at Prometheus because his pride was hurt, even though it is his own decision that leads to his embarrassment.


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