Contents Index

misery made me a fiend

The Creature picks up the name Victor has just hurled at him and subtly recasts its point. From the first Victor has looked upon his Creature as essentially depraved, that is to say, evil in his very nature. The same issue hovers over the treatment of Justine Moritz, particularly by members of the Frankenstein household, in Chapters 6 and 7 of Volume 1. The Creature's rejoinder is constructivist: which is to say, that a sentient being is molded by material conditions. It is a position stoutly argued by William Godwin throughout Political Justice (1793). In terms of contemporary criticism of Frankenstein, this issue has a high visibility in all gender criticism. Beyond litertary criticism per se, the terms in which the novel casts this debate are highly resonant for modern social and critical theory.