At the start of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein, the novel’s protagonist, is immersed in his work to complete his creation. However, whilst doing so he becomes isolated and sickly as he is left with his own thoughts and doubts to not reveal the secret of his work. In the novel, Victor is presented as an anxious being, not being able to express his goals to others as he feels they will be a hindrance to his success in achieving his ultimate goal, creating life. Victor’s secrecy is crucial to the novel’s plot as it eventually affects not only his life but the lives of those around him, especially his loved ones. Victor Frankenstein’s choice to keep his creation a secret is a pivotal and influential decision to the novel as it results into a series of unfortunate events for his loved ones and entices the readers to continue the novel. Without Frankenstein’s choice to keep his work a secret, there would’ve been no story. The novel would have probably been cut off promptly as the public’s opinion would have influenced Frankenstein to not further his work into his creation as it would have several ethical and moral consequences. However, since Frankenstein chose to keep his secret to himself, the story progresses. As Frankenstein began to work on his creation, the necessity for this to become a secret overtook his conscience as he believed that, “his tale was not one to announce publicly; its astounding horror would be looked upon as madness by the vulgar,” (Shelley 65). In a way, Victor knew that his creation had consequences but he chose to ignore those comments and continue his work; he describes himself as “always having been imbued with a fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature,” which further proves his passion he put into his goal as he does so in the name of science (Shelley 7). This decision also shows the start of Victor’s cowardice as he steadily becomes aware of his consequences but still selfishly chooses to ignore them in order to gain fame and accomplish his goal of creating life, “what glory would attend discovery, if I could banish disease from human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!” (Shelley 42). Thus with Victor’s secrecy, the growing horrors of what will come with his creation and his reaction to it shapes Victor’s character and gives him substance. As the novel progresses, Victor’s cowardliness and secrecy helps entice the reader as his secrets steadily provoke chaos and therefore interesting the reader to continue reading. Victor’s choice to refrain from telling a soul about his creation takes a major toll on the novel’s plot and contributes to the work as a whole as his seemingly innocent quest unravels a series of unfortunate events onto his life and the lives of those around him. Once the creature was “born” and was unwillingly thrown into the world as he was rejected by his creator, the issue around Victor not revealing that the creature was his own affects the plot as his secret becomes the cause of death for many innocent lives. Due to Victor’s rejection of his creation, the creature grows to become vengeful against the Frankensteins, “I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my archenemy,” (Shelley 125). Therefore, when the creature’s first victim turned out to be Frankenstein’s younger brother, William, Frankenstein was sure that his creature was responsible. However even with his knowledge on the case, he still remains silent as he contemplates on his actions, “It was to be decided whether the result of my curiosity and lawless devices would cause the death of two of my fellow beings… A thousand times rather would I have confessed myself guilty of the crime ascribed to Justine, but I was absent when it was committed, and such a declaration would have been considered as the ravings of a madman…” (Shelley 67). Frankenstein’s refusal to take responsibility in order to maintain secrecy contributes to the meaning of the story as a whole as it shows the irony of humans trying to play “God” in the name of science. The process of Frankenstein creating the creature caused great emotions of excitement and wonder as he was completely entranced by his works. However, this all ended horrifically as his attempts at creating caused massive chaos and death. In the end, Victor’s choice to maintain his creation a secret resulted crucial to the novel’s plot as it eventually affects not only his life but the lives of those around him, especially his loved ones. The influence that Victor’s secrecy had on the novel’s plot also contributed to the meaning of the work as a whole as it analyzes the progress of science and its practice.
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