Fake news. A propos to our times, how can you ever be certain of reality, and just causality that brings order to chaos, when facts can be presented in such a skewed way into whatever form is most convenient. Elizabeth is the type that would rather be miserable from the truth, than happy in a pretty lie. How do you go on, move forward in confidence, when you realize that the narrative of reality that you’re expected to abide by is so subjective? This moment is the loss of Elizabeth’s innocence, and her faith, because she can no longer trust that justice will prevail.
Much like the other men in this story, Victor Frankenstein’s father shows that it is okay to express emotion. This idea of a sensitive man is no longer as prevalent in present times and men are encouraged to hide their feelings of sadness and grief. Frankenstein’s father also steps up as a father to console his son and encourage him to finish his grieving period seeing as Victor owes it to himself to be happy or, at the very least, fine. Another example of the sensitive men of the novel.
Men today are expected to be “manly” and therefore cannot show emotions because that can represent weakness. Victor’s father says “excessive sorrow prevents improvement or enjoyment”. Although Victor’s father encourages him to grieve, he explains how it can prevent him from feeling better.
Recurring motif of the power of nature (Romantic type ideal). The description of the Alps is that it is almost unworldly with its size and intimidating presence. Undermines the cottages, the trees, the castles, the human race with its reign.
The Alps are described as “white and shining pyramids”. The theme of the significance of nature occurs over and over, describing the alps as belonging to another earth.
Based on Victor’s introduction, he portrays the feeling of pain and guilt after the death of Justine. The natural reaction to being quiet about our own mistakes reflect upon Victor as he understands that the death of his younger brother was from his own hands. Victor’s responsibility for creating his creature leads to a haunting future for him. The creature, known to be inevitable and manipulating, proceeds to murder his creators’ remaining loved ones, leaving a heavy feeling in him.
Victor is feeling guilty for the deaths of his loved ones. He mentions how though he is still alive by saying “the blood flowed freely in my veins” he is feeling remorse and nothing can be undone.
The Luddites of the Industrial Revolution destroyed the machines that were helping the world to progress because they felt threatened, just as Victor Frankenstein felt threatened by his own progress and had wanted to destroy it. This is also much like technologies today such as AI, artificial intelligence. For example, in the movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark, (played by legendary actor Robert Downey Jr.), creates an AI that he believes will be able to help him, which they then spend nearly the entire movie trying to destroy because they fear that it is a threat. The movie series, Terminator, is also about people who create a technology to help better the world, and then spend multiple movies trying to destroy. Yes these are just movies but these movies were made because this is a real fear that people have.
The concept of guilt may well be a bit more complicated than it first appears. The two most common understandings of guilt are at work in the text, prompting us to think about the idea of guilt in relation to both Victor and the creature. First, guilt describes the person who is responsible for an act that is unethical or illegal or both. Second, guilt describes the feelings that arise after an act—feelings that can be said to haunt a person and potentially shape his or her future actions.
The second understanding of guilt is clarified by psychoanalytic thought, which theorizes that guilt can be at work even when a person does not consciously attribute his or her actions to its effects. For more on this understanding, see Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents  1961. Freud’s arguments about the inextricable link between guilt and civilization make for a fascinating parallel to Frankenstein.
In the first understanding, guilt is also attributed to a person for failing to do what he or she believes is required in a situation. For example, Victor could be seen as guilty for his failure to make the creature’s existence public, especially at the trial of Justine. As Shakespeare has Claudius say in Hamlet, “[M]y stronger guilt defeats my strong intent” (III.iii.44).
Later in the novel, Victor makes a universal claim about the consequences of guilt: “Ah! it is well for the unfortunate to be resigned, but for the guilty there is no peace” (here).
Victor again feels guilt about not disclosing the existence of the destructive creature that he has created. Yet he continues to fail to recognize and concede that his treatment and desertion of the creature, not the initial creation, have brought about the destruction. In this instance, Victor does sense the potential impact of his desertion on his family and others but remains blind to his earlier desertion of his own creation.
This ironic passage speaks of the reality that what appears to be true or what people take to be true is often false. Elizabeth recognizes and expresses to Victor Justine’s innocence and the injustice that has been done. But it is in fact Victor’s inability to profess the truth about the creature, the murderer, that is the greatest lie. Society can maintain its emotional and moral equilibrium so long as someone has “paid for a crime,” even when that person is innocent.
Someone had to be punished for the crime that was committed, that is the only way society can continue after a crime has been committed, and in this case even though the person was innocent.
Mary presupposes a direct relationship between knowing the truth and experiencing happiness, though many other works of science fiction suggest otherwise. The Matrix (Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, 1999) presented a generation of movie-goers with a choice between uncomfortable truths and blissful ignorance: “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” One reading of Victor’s behavior is his desperate attempt to cling to something like happiness in the face of an increasingly dangerous truth.
The nature of truth has been debated by philosophers throughout human history. Difficult decisions about truth or deceit are often made by finding a set of facts to support a preexisting belief. In the legal system, the accused can be convicted based on circumstantial evidence that later turns out to be either patently false or unreliable or full of gaping holes (the Innocence Project is a nonprofit organization that focuses on overturning convictions in such cases). Justine’s fate is decided by just that type of evidence. In scientific endeavors, determining what is true from research results likewise requires ensuring that any analysis is independent of personal biases.
After the death of Justine Moritz, Elizabeth is confronted with the unpredictability and temporality of life—that is, the awareness that life is forever changing and moving forward even when its trajectory is one we would never choose for ourselves. In contrast to Victor, who at least initially was preoccupied with notions of fate and destiny, Elizabeth cannot help but see the world as unjust and capricious (see this note on existentialism).
The remorse Victor expresses is reminiscent of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s sentiments when he witnessed the unspeakable power of the atomic bomb. A passage from the Hindu scripture of the Bhagavad-Gita flashed before Oppenheimer’s mind: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” In this short phrase, Oppenheimer, as one of the architects of the A-bomb, acknowledged that he had unleashed a force that could lead to the annihilation of civilization. He also proclaimed, “The physicists have known sin, and this is a knowledge they cannot lose” (qtd. in Bird and Sherwin 2005, 388).
Victor’s responsibility for his horrific scientific experiment has already passed. It appears that the creature is beyond control. All that is left is remorse. Oppenheimer, who witnessed a test of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos in 1945, still had an opportunity to prevent the use of the bomb against humans. Also see Heather E. Douglas’s essay “The Bitter Aftertaste of Technical Sweetness” in this volume.
Scientists’ responsibility must be engaged before their creations are unleashed; otherwise, the consequences cannot be retracted. Those scientists with high moral conscience view their responsibility to warn about the malevolent uses of scientific results to their students, to their colleagues, and to the public. They would cease and desist from scientific research that has no redeeming value but destruction or baneful dehumanization. Victor’s anguish is a warning to those scientists who bracket away the moral quality of their work under a banner of pure inquiry, whatever its outcome. Whether it is cloning a human being, creating a new biological weapon, releasing transgenic species, or designing human genomes, these ends call out for acts and acknowledgments of social responsibility.
The “creature” that Victor created through his experiments is now beyond his control. It is the responsibility of scientists to manage their experiments, now that all Victor has is regret.
The interior anguish Victor experiences is given heightened expression here. Language has limitations, and Victor finds he cannot disclose his interior conflicts. He has a tortured conscience. Intense sensations of remorse and guilt disrupt his efforts to achieve and maintain a serene conscience, a sense of being right. No words can express the hell and torture he is feeling.