Who Is the Victim and Victimizer in the Novel Frankenstein?

Who makes a good man a devil? Who is responsible for all this misfortune? Who are the victim and the victimizer? The following paper will provide you some of the insights into these questions and offers you a question to meditate about. In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, the monster is both a victim and a victimizer. To define victim and victimizer, victim means people who are unfairly persecuted by others. On the other hand, victimizer means who persecute other innocent people in an injustice way.

First and foremost, the discriminations and misunderstandings from others have caused physical and psychological trauma to the monster. The monster was kind, just like he said: “Believe me Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone?” (Shelly 78). Indeed, since the s terrifying appearance, the monster has been treating unfairly, even his creator Frankenstein disguises him. Frankenstein said: “He approached; his countenance bespoken bitter anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes.” (Shelly 76).

Moreover, some people attacked the monster, until he was grievously bruised by stones and other weapons, just because he tried to enter a place like a coffee house. Furthermore, almost all the monster’s kindness deeds were rewarded by heartless hurts. For instance, once he had saved a young girl by dragging her from the rapid current “with extreme labor form the force”. However, “[when the girl’s father saw the monster], he darted toward him, and tearing the girl from [his] arms, hastened towards the deeper parts of the wood. [When the monster came near], [the father] aimed a gun, and fired toward [the monster].” (Shelly 115).  The father had misunderstood the kindness of the monster because the monster was trying to save his daughter instead of hurting her. From this perspective, the monster is a victim of society, because he has suffered from discrimination and misunderstanding since he was born.

Secondly, according to Abraham H. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, people have five levels of needs that are physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. In this perspective, the monster is a victim of society because his physiological needs, security need, and social need didn’t get basic satisfaction, let alone higher levels of needs. There is no guarantee of his most fundamental physiological needs and security needs, since he lives in hovels, searches food in wildness and endures people’s attacks, such as beating and shooting. Additionally, although a blind man had provided the monster ephemeral warmth, respects, and understandings, which had satisfied his social need temporarily. 

However, when the son of the blind men came back and saw the monster stayed with his father, “he darted forward, and with supernatural force tore [the monster] and  dashed [him] to the ground, and struck [him] violently with a stick, and [the monster ]refrained” (Shelly 110). Due to the unfulfilled emotional needs, the monster request Frankenstein to create a female monster. Unfortunately, although Frankenstein compiled the request, he destroyed the female monster finally. Consequently, the monster decided to rake revenge by murdering Frankenstein’s relatives. As a result, he became a victimizer.

Finally, the monster is also a victimizer because he murdered innocent people for his revenge on Frankenstein. Elizabeth and Clerval were all victims of his revenge. He murdered these innocent people who never persecute him, even met him, because of his resentment and anger of his injustice encounters.

In contrast, although those “innocent” people never hurt the monster directly, their innocence is arguable. If we take a deeper look at the reasons of almost everyone who have seen the monster (except the blind man) either run away or attack him, we will find that using appearance to judge others’ good and evil seems a common value of the people. In the novel, people consider the monster as a devil as his terrifying physical features; and this social value is formed according to every individuals’ values including people like Elizabeth and Clerval. Therefore, it is inappropriate to say that those “innocent” people have no responsibility for the tragedy of the monster.  

In conclusion, in Marry Shelly’s Frankenstein, the monster is both a victim and a victimizer. Since the horrible appearance, the monster endures the discrimination and misunderstanding of people, which threatened his basic living and social needs. While the monster is also a victimizer that he murdered innocent people because of personal resentment.

Nevertheless, as the components of the social value, the innocence of the victims is controversial. In addition, to answer the questions at the beginning of the paper, it is the society that turns the monster into a monster and everyone in the society should have the responsibility of the misfortunes.

In reality, people display the role of victims and victimizers. However, people usually blame the injustice of society, hardly think about themselves is a member of society and as a victimizer to others. In your life is there any moment you are a “victimizer”, but you didn’t have awareness of it?

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