Deadbeat dad: Victor Frankenstein as the failed father
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In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1831), protagonist Victor Frankenstein and his relationship to the creature have often been characterized in terms of creator and creation, with Victor trying to usurp women's procreative role or trying to become God through scientifically giving life. Although Victor can be rightly understood as a mother or a creator, he also has a distinct relationship to the creature as a father because of his position in society as a man. Victor, however, fails in his role as father to the creature, which creates new implications for his relationship with the creature. In addition to abandoning his creation, we might say Victor abandons his child. Instead of condemning Victor for creating the creature, we can identify his chief failure as refusing to be a father to the creature, including failing to be legally and morally responsible to him.