Dr. Frankenstein as a Product of His Environment

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shelley illustrates how the environment tears apart the life of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein. Victor’s generation of a creature from dead matter seemingly deems him an immoral man. However, one often overlooks the fact that Victor is simply the product of his environment. The social and scientific environment that Victor immerses himself in induces his desire to create the monster and compels him to continue its construction. The only environment that comforts Victor is that of nature and of his family. By revealing the manipulative side of society, Shelley shows that even if the monster is Victor’s creation, Victor is equally the creation of his own environment.

In Victor’s world, the value that society places on science eventually incites his obsessive behavior. Throughout his life, people condition Victor to leave behind his interest in old philosophies for the more important concepts of natural philosophy. This scientific society first reaches Victor through his father. Although Victor’s father has no personal experience with the sciences, his knows that the concepts are important to society. Victor explains that his, “family was not scientifical,”(23) but his father still, “expressed a...

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