Unintended Consequences

The story Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, revolves around the life of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who decides to play God by creating a disproportionate monster out of inanimate material, and ends up regretting having done so. Throughout the work, the author repeatedly demonstrates that every action taken without much consideration often leads to bad consequences that might affect or endanger one or more individuals.

To begin with, choices that are made without much thought can completely change one’s character along with one’s lifestyle. An example where this can be seen in the work is when Victor chooses to eagerly pursue his dream of giving life to a being through scientific methods. The reason why that is case is because once he succeeded in doing so, a big change in his personality as well as in his manners can be perceived. In fact, the precise moment when the creature finally opens its eyes for the first time, Victor is deeply traumatized by the its hideous physical appearance, and abandons it by quickly running away from his laboratory (59). Victor’s escape not only symbolizes his retreat from the scientific world, but it also indicates that he is somewhat irresponsible since, before proceeding with such a big task, he did not fully analyze all the possible outcomes that might be engendered by his invention. Moreover, after that incident, the fact that he, who usually has a very strong passion for knowledge, has lost interest in science and become afraid of returning to his much-loved laboratory reveals how much that one single decision of his has profoundly scarred him. Not to mention that he has also developed symptoms that are quite similar to paranoia, where he constantly feels scared, anxious and nervous at the thought that the wretch might come after him. Hence, it would be correct to say that one simple choice can affect someone’s behaviour and lifestyle in a big way.

Moving on, carelessly made decisions can put other people’s lives at risk. For instance, in Frankenstein, despite knowing that there will be serious repercussions to what he is about to do, Victor destroys the fiend’s mate on which he was still working on. Upon seeing this scene play out in front of him, the fiend gets extremely furious and promises to get back to Victor one way or another. In fact, the giant says, “It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night” (173). This threat expresses the creature’s thirst for vengeance, and hints at the fact that blood will be shed, pain will be inflicted, and someone will die on the day that Victor gets married to his beloved cousin, Elizabeth. In a way, it also emphasizes the gravity of Victor’s action. Also, if that lone warning was not enough to make Victor regret destroying the mate for the rest of his life, the wretch murders his closest friend, Henry Clerval, on the very next day in order to put even more stress on his threat and to show that his words should not be taken lightly. Thus, not even the innocent people are exempted from the consequences of one’s reckless action.

To conclude, in the work Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the main character is subjected to many decisions, which end up altering his usual habits as well as harming the people from his close entourage. With that being said, considering the fact that people from the 18th century were not as open-minded, would it really have made a big difference if the gigantic creature hadn’t turn out disproportionate and yellow, but beautiful as planned instead?


602 words


1 thought on “Unintended Consequences

  1. In response to your (great) question, I can’t help but think of what an interesting story that would make—perhaps someone could play with this idea in a short story. Just imagine if Victor—who is defined by his vanity and hubris—succeeded fully in making a man who was not just bigger, stronger and as/more intelligent, but also physically desirable. The end would be the same, I expect, as Victor’s jealousy and envy would be every bit as malignant as his taste for revenge.

    Now onto the post:

    I like your approach here, Suzanne, and though the wording of the thesis could be tightened up a bit so that the argument is a bit more clear, it provides a clear guide for the development of your post.

    IN terms of the body paragraphs, I would suggest clarifying your focus by actually referring to the novel in the topic sentence of each one (it is only the thesis itself that should remain neutral and universal). Doing this would give the paragraphs more clarity from the start. Other than this, the structure is quite solid. You use transitional words well and have good control over quote integration (though you could include one or two more to further back-up your interpretation).

    The writing is clear, but there are several small errors that give the reader pause. These are more easily indicated on a hard copy, so print one out if you think you might like to revise your work.


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