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The Theme of Being Selfish in Frankenstein

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Words: 493 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Words: 493|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, delves deep into the complex theme of selfishness and its destructive consequences. Throughout the story, the characters' desires for personal glory, power, and control lead them to make morally bankrupt decisions, causing devastation and suffering. This essay will explore the various manifestations of selfishness in the novel, how it drives the characters' actions, and the consequences that arise as a result.

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Victor Frankenstein: A Selfish Pursuit of Knowledge

One of the most prominent displays of selfishness in Frankenstein is Victor Frankenstein's relentless pursuit of knowledge. Driven by his ambition to become god-like and create life, Victor discards all concerns for morality and recklessly embarks on his scientific experiment. His motives are purely selfish, as he seeks personal fame and glory without considering the disastrous consequences that may follow.

Victor's grotesque creation, the Creature, is the manifestation of his selfishness gone awry. Initially, the Creature longs for companionship and understanding, but Victor's abandonment and rejection only fuel his rage and desire for revenge. Victor's selfish disregard for the well-being of others leads directly to the suffering and destruction caused by his creation.

Victor's selfishness is further portrayed through his relationships with others. He isolates himself from his loved ones, consumed by his work and personal ambitions. Even when his loved ones are dying, Victor remains distant, choosing to focus on his own desires rather than offer comfort or support. His self-centeredness ultimately leads to the deaths of those closest to him and his own mental and emotional downfall.

While Victor's selfishness is undeniable, the novel also explores how society's treatment of the Creature contributes to his own descent into selfishness. The Creature, rejected by Victor and society at large, is pushed to the margins of humanity. His initial innocence and desire for human connection are overshadowed by the cruelty and selfishness of those around him. Society's rejection of the Creature exemplifies its own selfish tendencies, choosing to fear and discriminate against what it cannot understand.

The consequences of society's selfishness are visible through the Creature's actions. Denied basic human rights and subjected to constant rejection, the Creature seeks revenge on those who wronged him. His actions, though horrific, are born out of a desire for justice and recognition. The Creature's transformation from an innocent being to a vengeful monster is a direct result of society's selfishness and inability to empathize with the "other."

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Conclusion

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the theme of selfishness permeates the narrative, driving the actions of its central characters and leading to devastating consequences. Victor Frankenstein's selfish pursuit of knowledge and glory ultimately leads to the creation of the vengeful Creature and the destruction of all that he holds dear. Similarly, society's selfish treatment of the Creature perpetuates a cycle of revenge and suffering. Through these characters and their actions, Shelley highlights the destructive nature of selfishness and the importance of empathy and compassion. Frankenstein serves as a cautionary tale, reminding readers of the consequences that arise when ego and personal gain outweigh moral responsibilities.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Theme of Being Selfish in Frankenstein. (2024, March 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-being-selfish-in-frankenstein/
“The Theme of Being Selfish in Frankenstein.” GradesFixer, 07 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-being-selfish-in-frankenstein/
The Theme of Being Selfish in Frankenstein. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-being-selfish-in-frankenstein/> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
The Theme of Being Selfish in Frankenstein [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 07 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-being-selfish-in-frankenstein/
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