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PeterLemonjellow t1_j90ru1k wrote

I think it's a mistake to come from the standpoint that "the charge mistakenly likens the Monster to a human child". I think the charge doing that is in your favor. If you try to refute that idea it'll get turned around on you - so make "The charge likens the Monster to a human child" the argument that is in your favor. Start here -

If the charge does assume that the Monster is like Frankenstein's child, then we must also ask ourselves a question about fathers and parents - when is it that a parent is no longer culpable for the actions of the child? It could be argued generally that this happens whenever the child reaches the "age of reason", whatever that might be for the culture in question. In our culture, that equates to the teen years sometime, but the actual age is not important - it's the autonomy that is gained. When one becomes an adult and stops being a child/minor/whatever, they gain personal autonomy.

Was the Monster acting with autonomy? We have to conclude that he was. He made the conscious decision to do the things that he did with direct influence or instruction from any outside party. Not only that, but he did those things while sustaining his own existence. Did Frankenstein abandon him, like so many fathers abandon children? Perhaps, and perhaps what he did was even worse than that (because Frankenstein is definitely morally reprehensible - you can't avoid that and should avoid trying to make him the "good guy" at any point). But if the Monster was a helpless dependent, then he shouldn't have even survived without Frankenstein. He not only survived, but he learned to speak and read while in hiding, from watching people. He was isolated, but he thrived and grew - all on his own. Did the father influence the child? Even with nothing more than absence this is inevitable - parents always influence their children. But did the father instruct or force the child - the Monster - to do what he did? No - he did that on his own completely.

Further, in his own narrative the Monster says that he initially wanted to connect with humans. It was only after mistreatment after mistreatment that he decided that he was going to start killing humans. If Victor was responsible, why didn't the Monster immediately begin killing after Victor abandoned him? The answer is because the Monster chose to do those things, and Victory Frankenstein was not involved in that decision. He created the person that made the decision, but he did not motivate it.

Finally: Did Victor Frankenstein intend to create a creature which would cause death? Absolutely not. His intentions were... sort of good. His real intention was to self aggrandize and be a little god. Still, at least he wanted to do so by creating, by bringing forth life from death. It was the Monster, while isolated completely from it's "parent", who decided that humans did not deserve to live. What did Victor Frankenstein ever do that would motivate the Monster to kill? Well... I guess the only thing would be that Victor did abandon him. But every single person the Monster meets rejects him. If Victor Frankenstein is responsible for the Monster's actions, so are we all, every single one of us who would run in fear at the sight of him. And I know I'm not responsible, and I don't think you are either - so that means Victor Frankenstein isn't, just the same.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I hope this is cogent and maybe even helps. smoke bomb


aeon_ducks t1_j918irv wrote

Your argument is in bad faith because even if something/ someone is born fully sapient they are still ignorant. The "monster" was given no chance to adjust to his sudden existence. You people are putting all the blame on the monster despite him being the only innocent character in the story. Every living creature has a need to survive brain washed into the deepest part of our brains you can't expect him to just give up and die because everyone dislikes him, there is a reason a right to life is included in the constitution of nearly every free country on the planet.


PeterLemonjellow t1_j929a14 wrote

It's not a matter of a "right to life". It's a matter of who is making choices in that life. Even if the Monster is sapient but ignorant, that doesn't change the fact that the Monster is making decisions without the influence of Frankenstein (he's just making those decisions from a place of ignorance, which is further proof Frankenstein did NOT influence the Monster towards killing people). If the Monster were even truly physically and mentally identical to, say, an average 6 year old child, if that small child committed a murder you couldn't blame the father of that child; epecially if it was a father who abandoned them at 5 years old. Sure, what the father did in abandoning the child is despicable, but in the interim period the child showed personal autonomy and made its own decisions. It was acting outside the sphere of the father's influence or control. The father can be held culpable of abandonment, negligence of the child's own safety, etc., but he is not culpable for the actual acts of murder - those were completely the idea of the child (here "Monster").

The deny the Monster this autonomy, then you are denying the Monster's humanity entirely. So, is the Monster truly an inhuman monster incapable of the free will all humans share? Or is he a man, but a man that chose to kill?

(Just as an aside, I want to make it clear that this is just how I would argue this point to defend Frankenstein. I don't actually believe that Frankenstein is worth defending, but that's the assignment at hand.)