Kasayah AlexisMrs. Fluharty AP Literature 20 December 2017The Better Foil “Who is the real monster?” acts as the dominant question throughout the novel “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelly as the reader explores the protagonist Victor Frankenstein and his nameless creation. As the novel progresses, the reader notices how the relationship between the two characters goes far beyond a neglectful creature and resentful creation, for the two influence the thoughts, actions and emotions of each other. Furthermore, the creature’s physical appearance acts as his purpose throughout the novel as well as a mirror of Victor Frankenstein’s true identity. Additionally, the creature’s lack of identity begins to initiate Frankenstein’s shame towards his own identity, revealing the flawed character of Frankenstein and determining the resolution to the question “Who is the true monster? Who is the true catalyst of destruction?” During the novel, the reader is able to identify the creature as the most effective foil for Victor Frankenstein because the creature causes: Frankenstein to view the action of the creature as his own work, the shift between pride and shame in Frankenstein, and his physical appearance demonstrates his purpose to reveal the true character of Victor Frankenstein. Throughout the novel, the creation begins to slowly murder the people closest to Victor until he is left in solitude as he is forced to bear the burden of this knowledge of the murderer in addition to his own accountability for the deaths since he is responsible for the creation. These actions reveal the guilt in Victor and his ability to become vulnerable and face moral accountability for the creation’s actions. For example, in chapter 9 Victor mourns on Justine’s death, “Justine died, she rested, and I was alive. The blood flowed freely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart, which noting could remove. Sleep fled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible and more, much more (I persuaded myself) was yet behind.” (Shelly, 58). The actions of the creation influence the survivor’s guilt of Victor, for he views it as his own act against humanity for not only creating but allowing the creature to be released into society. The excerpt starts off as “Justine died, she rested, and I was alive” which shows the irony of events that occurred. Victor believes that since his creature murdered William, he should be the one dead, not Justine. The structure here demonstrates that Victor is the cause, yet Justine is the unfortunate effect. Also, paying attention to the structure of the sentence “The blood flowed freely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart which could remove”, it exhibits the idea that although Victor is physically living, he should be dead and that he is holding a deadly anguish since the creature is a product of him. Shelly uses the creation as a foil here to present consequence and the human condition of culpability which uncovers the truly flawed nature of Victor. The creation forces Victor to take accountability for his product, leading him to feel shameful of his own identity caused by the neglect of the creation’s identity. However the actions of the creation motivated by his character traits create a shift in Victor’s attitude towards himself, justifying the creation’s foil role. Victor starts off as an arrogant, know-it-all character which leads to creating the creation in the first place—out of his own desire to play God and be praised for his work. For instance, Victor boasts “A new species would bless me as its creator and source: many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me, I might in progress of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption.”(42). The creation’s existence highlights Victor’s true motivation, his own desire to cheat death and be treated as a human God, revealing his arrogant nature. However Victor creates the creation, he is repulsed by what he creates and falls into a deep depression, shameful that he fails to meet his goal. The creation’s characteristics of abandonment, loneliness and resentment reveal the heightened ignorance and shame in Victor as the creature conducts acts of destruction motivated by the feelings of resentment and loneliness, but Victor sees these actions as a pure wretchedness of his creature. The shame in Victor stems from the existence of the creature, rather than his additional accountability of neglecting his creation, thus causing him to attempt to rid the creation rather than to attend to it. This cycled vengefulness initiated by the creature’s resentment towards the neglect from Victor reveals Victor’s ignorance, for he longs to get revenge on the creation and feels shame from the creation’s part, rather than on his own part for neglecting the needs of love and affection to the creation. This further demonstrates how the creation’s contrasting characteristics influence Victor’s own character, shifting from arrogance to shame and ignorance. In addition to the creation’s personality characteristics, the creation serves as a foil to Victor due to his physical attributes as well. The creation falls into the marked for greatness archetype for he expresses the nature, physical marks that sets him apart from society and calls attention to him immediately during an encounter. Victor describes his monster “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriance’s only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips.” (43) His physical mark is that he a hideous monster in the eyes of society, rather than a ‘normal human’ His physical appearance is meant to mirror Victor’s true identity, allowing readers to understand the ugly nature of Victor through the literal ugliness of his creation since his creation is a product of him. The creation’s purpose in the book would be to represent the ethics of Victor and the external world around him, proving that Victor’s arrogance and flawed morals is the flaw that peaked through his creation physically. Additionally the monster has a purpose in his journey that shows the influence of the external world is so grave it manifest into the mind of the individual shown by both him and Victor, thus proving that he is the effective foil of Victor. In sum, it is important to pay attention to and compare the mentality of Victor before and after the creation of his creature. Comparing the difference and similarities reveal the effect that the creation truly has on Victor and how the characteristics of resentment and loneliness help establish and heighten Victor’s characteristics of arrogance, shame and ignorance throughout the novel. Therefore, by closely analyzing the relationship between Victor and his creation, it is shown that the creature as the most effective foil for Victor Frankenstein because the creature causes: Frankenstein to view the action of the creature as his own work, the shift between pride and shame in Frankenstein, and his physical appearance demonstrates his purpose to reveal the true character of Victor Frankenstein.