Nature vs. Nurture
There is a never-ending debate between those stating that human qualities are inborn and those who believe that they are acquired in the process of upbringing. It will be hardly ever possible to reach the consensus about the two points of view, as the truth seems to be in the middle. Yet, in her novel, Mary Shelly suggests that wrong environment is able to tar the best qualities that are innate and evoke cruelty as a result of disappointment.
From the very beginning it is obvious that Victor treats his creature as a scientific experiment. It is not about the fact that he is an immoral person, as he proves to be quite affectionate to his friends. Yet, because he is an obsessed scientist and researcher, he loses orsome aspects of humanity, which are responsible for love of his own creation. He is disappointed that he created a monster and turns his back on his. This blow is horrible for the creature because his expectations of a miraculous world are shatters by his own creator. To him, Victor is God or father, this is why his love is so important, yet he is unable to get it from him. There is a parallel between Frankenstein story and the Biblical story of creation, between which there is a considerable contrast. The divinity of God's love is opposed to human egoism, perfectionism and being judgmental and haughty about others. Because Victor fails to get the result he wants, he turns away in disappointment, which is traumatic for the creature.
The book demonstrates that the creature is not a monster at the beginning, on the contrary, he has a number of noble inborn qualities and believes that the world is good. He is able to appreciate beauty and admire people, from whom he expects the same treatment. Yet, this does not work as simple as that, so the light is ousted by the darkness because of utter despair. Yet, even several cases of mistreatment do not turn the creature into a monster, so he changes gradually. The author demonstrates how people's negative experience makes them sad and suspicious at first, while later his caution turns into disappointment, despair, loneliness and then anger. After being hurt for the first time he just becomes less open, which proves that he is born good natured. "What chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people, and I longed to join them, but dared not. I remembered too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers, and resolved, whatever course of conduct I might hereafter think it right to pursue, that for the present I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching and endeavouring to discover the motives which influenced their actions."( Shelly).
This passage demonstrates that there are inborn talents and virtues in Frankenstein's creature: he is kind, affectionate, and thoughtful. He is able to take genuine interest and show admiration for people. He adores nature, which later becomes his only resort when everyone turns away from him. The author is interested in psychological motives that lead a person to crime and immorality, and it appears to be that these motives are mostly not inborn but acquired. Loneliness and hostility from the world make one cruel, yet initially there are no bad people but there are unhappy ones. The book raises the theme of responsibility that a family has over a child. In case of the monster the element of a family is absent at all, so he has little chance to stay as gentle as he is at the beginning, when he is blank about what is going to happen. It is also important to underline that although the creature is ignorant, this is an angel's ignorance because whenever he does not know, he fantasizes about a positive option.
The creature's need is not only for being loved but also for his love to be accepted. Thus, altruism is an innate characteristics according to Shelly: "I looked upon them as superior beings who would be the arbiters of my future destiny. I formed in my imagination a thousand pictures of presenting myself to them, and their reception of me. I imagined that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanour and conciliating words, I should first win their favour and afterwards their love". When his attempts are rejected, the creature becomes frustrated and turns his anger to Frankenstein who is in fact his parent. He cannot understand why he turned away from his because he should have been the first to support him. This feeling of being betrayed becomes the cause of the creature's monstrosity, which transforms his personality forever.
In conclusion, it is worth saying that the author reveals an idea that the evil is never inborn but is nurtured as a result of pain and negative experience. The example of the monster demonstrates that he has a gentle soul when he comes into this world but becomes evil because of rejection, betrayal and absence of love. As a result, he becomes angry and envious about other people, which eventually leads to revenge and self-destruction, as well as killing innocent people.