Feed on

In Volume I of Frankenstein, I noticed a reappearing character flaw in Victor.  His utter lack of responsibility continually crops up in all that he does.  His trait of irresponsibility first stood out to me when he begins his education in Ingolstadt.  Victor’s obsessive and successful focus on his studies allows for him to push his family and friends aside.  While such envelopment may understandably occur, I realized his irresponsible behaviors were dangerous once he gives life to the demon.  Instantly finding himself in utter disgust, Victor ran away from the demon instead of perhaps, restoring it to lifelessness or restraining it in some fashion.  His choice to leave is yet another example of his lack of taking responsibility.  Due to his actions, as inaction, the demon is able to escape and face him another day.

This is when a light bulb went off for me.  I realized that all of Victor’s irresponsible choices allow for his continual problems, much like a tragic hero.  Having a protagonist with a detrimental character flaw is a significant trait in a tragic hero, who must carry the seeds of his own downfall.  In the genre of tragedy, there is a trial and investigation that must occur where at the end, the investigator finds himself guilty.  As Victor experimented with nature and science in playing God, it appears that he may become a scapegoat due to the unexpected paradoxes that will occur during the trial he must face, his demon.

2 Responses to “Victor’s Character Flaw”

  1. Josh Ambrose says:

    So, do you find him a tragic hero? Likable but flawed? Or do you think he’s unsympathetic, almost villainous in his lack of responsibility? He certainly is a pitiable character in his sorrow, much of the time!

    That said, will he really be a “scapegoat” if he was the one responsible for all of it?

    • csulli says:

      Thanks for your response Josh! I have left my post semi-unformed for the sake of the novel’s end. I don’t remember it and so I feel as if I cannot fully form my opinion around the tragic hero that Frankenstein is shaping up to be. I find that at the moment, his lack of responsiblitiy is currently what makes him a detestable person. His emotions reveal that he is sympathetic for the effects of his actions (death of Justine & agreeing to make a wife for the demon). So yes, he is very pitiful with his inaction and self-wallowing.

      Thus, we share the same questions, will Frankenstein become a hero of his own tragedy? I’m doubtful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *