When I was a college student a professor reffered to Frankenstein in a lecture. That was an introduction to English Literature or something like that. Until then I thought Frankenstein was the name of monster a scientist made. I can't remember the details. All I can recall is change of Frankenstein's image. I didn't even know the author was young woman.
"The man who had invented the bomb was quite powerless to stop it."(Countdown to Hiroshima by Stephen Walker p.106)
While I was reading the book, I remembered the passage quoted above.
Frankenstein, a young ambitious man, made an artificial creature and abondoned him because of his ugliness. The monster went out somewhere else. After that a tragedy happened. Frankenstein's younger brother was killed by someone. And a woman who has close relationship with Frankenstein's family was accused of the murder.Of course she was innocent, but was sentenced to guilty and executed.
He knew her innocence and the true killer. The monster.
In the creature's perspective he wasn't merely malicious. At first he wanted social relationship and friends. But people who encountered him were afraid of him and attacked him. He also tried to get acquainted with a family. He made great effort to carry it out. That was not rewarded. In a sense these betrayal or biases raise his resentment.
The murder of Frankenstein's brother was the monster's revenge to his creator. And he blackmailed Frankenstein for making his spouse. As a result Frankenstein didn't keep the promise and increased the creature's fury.
The second and the third murder had occurred. Although Frankenstein himself gave birth to the monster, he was quite powerless to stop it.
Who has the responsibilities? The point was, the monster has his own will. He wasn't the secondhand subject. If he didn't have the will, for example he was only machine, weapon that human use, or something like that, who should be blamed for the murders were those who used it. If Frankenstein has to be blamed, how about the parents of human murderers?
In contemporary world parents of criminals are often blamed for their offspring's violation. On the otherhand, some say only the criminal has the responsibility. As far as the crime is concerned, their parents are less resoponsible.
From another point of view, does the scientist who invented technology or theory applied to mass destruction arms have responsibility of the outcome, that is , very large number of victims?
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein makes me ponder on the ethical problems of those who can make what has great social influence.
Finally, I will quote a Frankenstein's remark.
"Seek happiness in tranquillity, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries."(p.162)