Cruelty Becomes Life or Death 

In the novel ‘Frankenstein,’by Mary Shelley, there are many different characters that go through different acts of cruelty. But one character that sticks out from everyone else is the monster himself. This creature has been through many different forms of cruelty both physical and emotional. The topic of cruelty affects the theme of the novel as a whole because it shows that being mistreated has an effect on you and can lead to becoming something you are not, like a monster.

Cruelty is the driving force behind nearly every plot development. Set in 18th century Geneva, scientific mastermind, Victor Frankenstein, embarks upon a treacherous journey to satisfy his undying want to create life; however, Victor and his creation become overwhelmed by their own selfish ambitions and bitter resentments of one another, resulting in horrific misfortune for them both. Through the pair’s lack of understanding for each other’s circumstances as well as their mean-spirited desires for revenge, Shelley illustrates to her audience how easy it is for cruelty to turn an innocent victim into a heartless monster.

In order to attract Victor’s attention, the monster resorted to killing his younger brother, five-year-old William. The cruelty which was continually exhibited toward the creation finally blackened his naïve heart, causing him to become a creature capable of great destruction. Had someone simply saw past his horrific features and shown him how to give and receive love, he could have remained an innocent, humble creature, but, instead, cruelty turned the impressionable, young victim into yet another ruthless perpetrator.

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His killing spree did not stop with William but continued as he framed the innocent Justine and murdered Victor’s own wife in response to Victor’s refusal to create the monster his own companion.

Through all of these cruelly motivated plot developments, a powerful lesson is taught: Kindness breeds kindness, and cruelty breeds cruelty. Victor played god, yet, unlike God, he abandoned his creation, leaving him to fend for himself. With the creation of life comes responsibility, and Victor did not fulfill his parental role to his creation. It was his duty to the creature to not only bestow life but to teach him how to live. All of the brutal murder and aching despair of the novel could have been avoided had Victor taught the creature to love from the beginning rather than cultivating him in the deep-rooted ways of cruelty. In conclusion, Frankenstein is a story of cruelty from the very beginning. Victor and his creation are each consumed by cruelty, causing them to lose all of the happiness they acquire throughout their lives. Cruelty is a choice, not a destined fate. The creation is often referred to as a “monster,” but at birth, he is far from any kind of monster. He is an innocent victim of fate. Victors and the creation both end as monsters due to their actions, not appearances. Cruelty is a choice, and it is their choices that made them so miserable, not their genes. In all actuality, cruelty becomes a life or death situation you can not create something and then become crucial to it.

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Cruelty Becomes Life or Death . (2021, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Cruelty Becomes Life or Death 
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