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The Importance and Significance of Responsibility for The Individual and for Society.

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Mary Shelley in her novel Frankenstein raises many social problems and topics one of which is our responsibility towards others as global citizens. Using the example of the protagonist of the novel, Victor Frankenstein, the author shows what awful consequences rash decisions can cause and what responsibility they place on the person. Victor Frankenstein, guided by his desire for fame and power, made a rash act, forgetting the consequences that may affect others. Guided by desires and emotions, Victor created a Monster. Victor was morally weak and could not resist the desire. In the pursuit of success, he did not consider all the possible outcomes of his actions. 

There are two factors that influenced Victor’s decisions that led him to downfall. The first factor is his nature. He has always been addicted to power and knowledge: “ I was capable of a more intense application and was more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge.” Victor fully immersed himself in knowledge and killed a human in himself: ‘ Me cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become/emaciated with confinement’   Already having a complete understanding in the field of sciences, Victor’s predisposition to the desire of fame and power came into force, which ultimately led the hero to his goal. The second factor is his emotions and experiences. The character suffered the death of his mother and he saw the pain in the eyes of his beloved Elizabeth, which was equivalent to hard labour for him. He wanted to see his family happy again: “I was unwilling to quit the sight of those that remained to/ me, and above all, I desired to see my sweet Elizabeth in/ some degree consoled.”  The desire to return joy to the family became the basis and motivation for the first factor. A person always seeks to create a prosperous family, and almost everyone is ready to give everything for the benefit of people close and loved by him. Our emotions are a lever for the manifestation of our nature and are the cause of our actions. 

Unfortunately, Victor’s noble desire to return happiness to his close ones was blocked by his nature. He sought power, forgetting the possible consequences and influence of his actions on others. He did not take into account all the possible outcomes of his creation. Each of us as well as Victor, in pursuit of something, can forget the fact that our acts affect not only ourselves but also those around us, bringing them suffering. 

Victor turned his, though not beautiful, but a kind creation into a murderer. We are responsible for those to whom we give life. Having created the Monster, Victor did not show love and kindness to him, on the contrary, he was terrified: ‘breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.’  Having lost the support of his creator, the Monster does not know what to do, the only thing that he needs is love. He studies everything himself and wants to find society, but all people are afraid of him. Monster understands that he is not like everyone else. He asks himself: ‘Was, I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?’ The last straw for the Monster was the rejection of him by summer residents, for whom he had long watched. After that, the monster vows revenge on all people, and in particular to its creator: ‘ Cursed, cursed, cursed creator! …my feeling was those/of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the/ cottage and its inhabitants.’ Deprived of love, the Monster whose good soul no one wants to see behind his appearance becomes a murderer. He kills Victor’s brother, saying that “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend.’ Victor’s perception of his creation broke the monster inside. 

Victor did not take responsibility for the creature, but in spite of all the evil that Victor did to the creature, the Monster deeply regrets that he has become a tool of evil and bitterly weeping. He leaves with the phrase: ‘I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt’. He does not want to feel more suffering and is ready to die. On the example of Monster and Victor, we see what happens when a person is not responsible for their actions. Victor just ran away not wanting to carry his load. The monster was completely defenseless before the world and needed love, like every person needs. 

In the novel Frankenstein, the protagonist and feels guilty for the actions committed by his creation. Victor’s refusal to accept responsibility for its creation was the reason for the death of His brother William and innocent Justine. Victor feels himself partly a murderer “I not indeed, but in effect”. He does not commit a crime in real life, but he is still its cause. Sometimes our actions push others on the wrong path, and if it happened, then we must take responsibility for our actions. A person is responsible, to the outside world, to loved ones and most importantly to himself. Only when a person can accept the consequences of his choice, he deprives himself of guilt. Victor, however, feels guilty only for his dead relatives and remains cold to the creature to which he caused so much suffering. Victor justifies and frees himself from the guilt of desiring the Monster’s death:’ I feel myself justified in desiring the death of my adversary’ Victor did not accept his responsibility before the monster even before his death, wanting revenge. He ended shamefully. Each person plays a certain role in society and is responsible for something. A responsible person will never commit an act contrary to social norms. 

Thus, We can conclude that Victor is not able to bear responsibility before himself and others. Mary Shelley showed the importance and significance of responsibility both for the individual and for a member of society. The consequences of creating the Monster and not wanting to be responsible for this led the protagonist of the novel Frankenstein to moral downfall and death of his relatives, leaving him with nothing.  

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The Importance and Significance of Responsibility for the Individual and for Society. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from
“The Importance and Significance of Responsibility for the Individual and for Society.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
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