"Frankenstein": Are characters responsible for their own destiny?

Essay by robichouA, December 2006

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"Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction." Victor Frankenstein says this right before telling Walton his story. Destiny played an important role in the book Frankenstein. Victor sees it as the force that caused his downfall. He blames most of what has happened on destiny. At first it was his

destiny to build the monster, afterwards he says it is his destiny to destroy it. Victor felt as if some force was making him experiment, that some force was making him make the

monster and he had no control over it. This is why when he was building the monster he

shut him self off from everything else and committed himself to his experiment. He

didn't have to do this but something was driving him to, and it might have been his

curiosity and his wanting to cheat death, or play god, or do something no one else had

ever done before, but also, he may have had those characteristics because he was destined

to have them.

Maybe this all happened so he and others can understand that you shouldn't

play god, but then after he built the monster it was his destiny to destroy it. As a result of

Victor's actions, many of his loved ones died, Elizabeth, William, Justine, and his father.

After Victor made the monster his destiny became to be punished for it, but could Victor

have prevented all this? Maybe, and maybe not.

The answer to that question depends on whether you believe in destiny or not. Is

destiny really so powerful that Victor had no control over it? Could Victor's destiny have

been different if he hadn't built the monster? Could Victor have sustained from building

the monster, or was destiny too powerful? How about...