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Guilt Portrayed in Frankenstein (Letters-16)

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Patricia Blackmon

on 11 October 2013

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Transcript of Guilt Portrayed in Frankenstein (Letters-16)

Guilt Portrayed in Frankenstein (Letters-16)
Victor
Creature
Elizabeth
Victor's guilt over William's Murder
-"I threw the letter on the table, and covered my face with my hands...tears also gushed from the eyes of Clerval, as he read the account of my misfortune" (60).
-"I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done" (63).
-Victor's attempted repression of the creature fails and he is forced to acknowledge the overwhelming guilt he feels in the face of his brothers death.
Victors guilt over Justine's false Accusation
-referring to the trial, "during the whole of this wretched mockery of justice I suffered living torture" (67).
-"A thousand times rather would I have confessed myself guilty of the crime ascribed to Justine" (67).
-
Victors assumes that no one will accept his testimony as valid so he doesn't confess to the crime. He instead watches Justine suffer the affects of his mistakes and is once again consumed by guilt.
Victor's guilt from the creation itself
-"Two years had now nearly elapsed since the night on which he first received life; and was this his first crime? Alas! I had turned loose into the world a depraved wretch" (63).
-"A being whom I myself had formed" (63).
-Victor begins to come to terms with the Creature's confrontation. When the creature appears before Victor after Williams murder, Victor is struck with clarity and realizes the extreme error of his ways.
Murder of William
Destruction of the Cottage
" ... but again when I reflected that they had spurned and deserted me, anger returned, a rage of anger and unable to injure anything human, I turned my fury towards inanimate objects." (119)
" ...the blast tore along like a mighty avalanche, and produced a kind of insanity in my spirits that burst all bounds of reason and reflection." (119)
Avoidance of guilt through blame
"Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust... Satan had companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred." (111)
Elizabeth's Lack of Guilt in Williams Death
Victor's father wants him to convince Elizabeth that she is not guilty of Williams death.
"Come, dearest Victor; you alone can console Elizabeth. She weeps continually, and accuses herself unjustly as the cause of his death." [60]
After finding out William has died Elizabeth blames herself for his death because she let him wear a miniature, which was assumed to be the murderers temptation.
"O God! I have murdered my darling child!"[60]
Elizabeth's Emotions Towards Others Guilt
Elizabeth's Guilt Toward the Death of William
Justine
The quotes above describe the point in chapter 16 when Victor's creature burns down the house of his once beloved cottagers out of revenge. The quotes above show the possibility of him feeling guilty in the future. It talks about the insanity that "burst all bounds of reason and reflection". This is saying that the insanity that overcomes him frees him of feeling guilty for that time, but once that insanity passes, he may feel guilt then.
Victor's Emotions towards the Accusation of Justine
Victor feels that he is the cause of Justine's accusation of murder alongside his brother's murder, by creating the dreadful 'creature.'
Elizabeth's Emotions towards Accusation of Justine
Justine's Emotions towards Accusations Against Her
"'God knows,' she said, 'how entirely i am innocent. but i do not pretend that my protestations should acquit me: i rest my innocence on a plain and simple explanation of the facts which have been adduced against me; and i hope the character i have always borne will incline my judges to a favourable interpretation, where any circumstance appears doubtful or suspicious"' (68).
"I gazed on my victim, and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph: clapping my hands I exclaimed, 'I too can create desolation; my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him.'" (122)
The passage above depicts the scene after creature kills William. It shows how creature feels no guilt after the murder.
Creature curses his creator saying it is his fault for his misery. Because he created him so horribly, creature will never be happy. He avoids guilt of his unhappiness by blaming Victor for his creation of creature.
Justine portrayed emotions of surprise, horror, and misery when she was convicted of murdering William, a boy as close to family as she had. After many accusations, she fell into believing that she could have in fact commited the murder, causing her great guilt as she met life's end. Justine, a submissive, non-confrontational, was a motherly figure to the Frankenstein's.
"During this conversation i had retired to a corner of the prison-room, where i could conceal the horrid anguish that possessed me. Despair!...The poor victim, who on the morrow was to pass the awful boundary between life and death, felt not, as I did, such deep and bitter agony" (71).
"She told me that that same evening William had teased her to let him wear a very valuable miniature that she possessed of your mother...Come, dearest Victor; you alone can console Elizabeth. She weeps continually, and accuses herself unjustly as the cause of his death;"(60)
Elizabeth wants Victor to prove Justine innocent.
"You're arrival, my dear cousin," said she, "fills me with hope. You perhaps will find some reason to justify my poor guiltless Justine. [65]
Elizabeth feels guilty because she was the one that gave William the locket with a picture of their mother. She believes that is why the killer went after him, thus Justine was the one blamed for the unfortunate event.
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