Contents Index

what were my duties with regard to this destroyer

"Duty" has been a charged concept throughout Frankenstein, invoked in regard to family affairs, social obligations, legal contracts, uses of knowledge -- even, in Victor's rationale for suspending his second creation, the human race. This occasion is different from all the rest, involving the question of what is the moral duty of a human to another sentient but alien being. This assertion of the priority of moral obligation requires willed self-abnegation on Walton's part. No other figure in the novel, certainly not Victor Frankenstin, has ever assumed that the Creature was owed anything.