Home » Liberal Studies » Moral Responsibility in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Moral Responsibility in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Angie Allard, Simon Fraser University

download this essay as a pdf file: Allard_Frankenstein

Hirabayashi as F.

Jay Hirabayashi, Kokoro Dance. Photo by Peter Eastwood


American philosopher Martha Nussbaum believes that everyone has the capacity for evil and that it is more closely connected with circumstance than with any innate human quality. In Upheavals of Thought she writes,

… in reality it seems likely that all humans are capable of evil, and that many if not most of the hideous evil doers are warped by circumstance, both social and personal, that play a large and sometimes decisive role in explaining the evil that they do (452).

Nussbaum’s argument is supported by empirical research. In his discussion on understanding evil acts, Paul Formosa cites Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments in which students, when told to do so by the researchers, continued to apply shocks to recipients even when they were unresponsive. For Formosa, these experiments were an example of an evil-encouraging situation, one that increases the likelihood of performing an evil act. He explains that individuals always act within a particular situation that, in many cases, allows or even encourages their evil behaviour (Formosa 10).

Human beings seem to be vulnerable to a variety of ‘evil-encouraging’ factors including authority, ideology, distance, dehumanization practices, and incrementalization. Even though many people likely find it difficult to imagine themselves committing evil acts – those that go beyond normal comprehension – real world experience and controlled experiments illustrate that ordinary people are capable of causing terrible suffering.

According to Nussbaum it is therefore dangerous to view some people as monsters since it obscures self-reflection. In trying to explain how people willingly participated in the holocaust, she favours the accounts of Robert Brown and Hannah Arendt to Danial Goldhagen. Nussbaum states that Goldagen’s account, which argues that Germans in the 1930’s were an aberration, is problematic because it views evil people as disgusting. It places murderers outside our moral universe, and therefore runs the risk of preventing us from scrutinizing ourselves. Nussbaum believes that if instead we see the commonalities, we are able to confront the evil within each of us (Nussbaum 450).

Much like her arguments regarding evil acts, Nussbaum views some people in the criminal justice system as not altogether responsible for the situations in which they find themselves. She considers factors such as social background critical in determining a person’s degree of responsibility. Furthermore, she believes that although offenders are responsible for their crime, society should acknowledge its role in the circumstances that led to their wrongdoing (112).

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Auschwitz

The role of circumstance in evil and criminal misconduct raises interesting and complex questions regarding moral responsibility. For example, if factors such as circumstance can lead previously good people to behave in evil ways, or if social background plays a role in committing horrific crimes, what implications does this have for moral agency? At what point are people morally responsible individuals rather than simply victims of their environment? Although attempting to understand the interplay of circumstance and moral agency is beyond the scope of this paper, it will explore some of the factors that have a role in determining when blame may be appropriate, several of which relate to these concepts. They include intention, consequence, remorse, character, and choice.

Given the complexity of the questions surrounding moral responsibility, it may be helpful to adopt Nussbaum’s approach to explore the subject. She claims that literature can be a useful tool in understanding important philosophical and social issues. In Upheavals of Thought she relies on a wide variety of authors – including Proust, Joyce, Whitman and others – to think about how emotions may help aid ethical principles.

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a narrative that offers a rich source for thinking about how good people can become bad and what this may mean for moral responsibility. With careful reading, we can see that the moral virtue of the novel’s two main characters is not straightforward. Their experience offers a number of insights regarding the nature of moral responsibility and its implications for blame. While some readers may object to including the creature in this discussion, it seems clear that Shelley intended him to be a moral agent. He is rational, has emotions and, for the most part, possesses the qualities that make Victor Frankenstein human.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that Shelley appears to share Nussbaum’s idea that literature can educate on important human matters. In Frankenstein, the creature learns what it means to be human by reading classical literature. Through books such as The Sorrows of Young Werther he learns about human emotions, relationships, suicide and other life concerns (Shelley 168).

Intention

There is not much dispute over whether intention plays a role in ascribing moral blame. After all, someone who intends to cause suffering is clearly different from someone who does not. Even when an act motivated by good intentions results in unfortunate consequences it is not seen in the same way as a deliberately wrong act. In fact, intention is particularly important in determining moral responsibility because knowing what a person intends to do may be more revealing than how they feel about a mean or careless act, after the fact. It considers the blameworthiness of an act or decision on its own, unlike remorse which is sometimes based on the terrible results.

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In the case of Victor Frankenstein, there is some evidence to suggest that he has good intentions as he is interested in improving the human condition: “I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow human beings” (Shelley 111).

Even his interest in animating life seems well-intentioned. He hopes to eliminate death, a seemingly noble goal given the suffering it causes. In relating his tale to Robert Walton he says, “…I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption” (65).

At the same time however, Victor is intent on acquiring a unique and far-reaching type of power; one that is tainted by the means which it is to be attained and also by his illegitimate claim on it. In hindsight he recognizes his error but initially Victor sought a high degree of omnipotence which is implicit in the following statement: “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs” (65).

Since it is difficult to know whether attaining power or aiding the human condition was primary for Victor, it is unclear what impact his motivations have on his blameworthiness. If his interest in helping humankind motivates him more than his desire to create life, this may lessen his moral culpability. Perhaps if he subscribes to both types of intentions in approximately equal measure, then determining his blame based on intention alone becomes an impractical and not very meaningful task. After all, a process that requires weighing primary and secondary intentions turns into an abstract measurement exercise not well suited for moral problems. Victor’s conflicting intentions then are one way in which Frankenstein helps us to understand that the role of intention in moral blame is complicated. It involves more than determining whether a person simply has strictly good or bad intentions.

Frankenstein also suggests that identifying a person’s intentions is not easy to do. Given that it comes from within, the reader must rely on Victor to disclose his intent. Although he appears open about his objectives – in part because he seems ambivalent about his blameworthiness – this will clearly not be the case for all people in all situations. Generally people do not declare their bad intentions freely, particularly when they expect others will view them negatively.

The difficulty in knowing one’s own internal judgments further complicates the matter. Victor does not seem to fully understand his motivations, particularly his interest in acquiring power by creating life. As we see above, although he is clear about wanting to animate life, he does not see this as connected to his desire for creator status. Clearly then it is not only extremely difficult for an onlooker to know another person’s intentions, it is not always easy for the person directly involved. Correctly identifying intentions assumes a person to have some level of self-awareness which, of course, may or may not be the case.

It appears that intention must therefore be relied on cautiously when ascribing moral blame. On the one hand, it seems Victor did not deliberately mean to create pain and suffering and that this should have an impact on his moral responsibility. We may think of his actions as mistakes since, as Nussbaum and the Stoics explain, it is hard to be good (Nussbaum 365). Mistakes are an inevitable outcome of our human vulnerability.

On the other hand, given that the issues surrounding Victor’s intentions are complicated, it seems unlikely that he should be absolved completely of moral blame. He may be slightly less morally responsible however if he truly had good intentions. One of the insights the reader may then take from the novel is that there are degrees of blame – it is not an either/or proposition. Good intentions, although difficult to be certain of, can mean a person is comparatively less blameworthy.

Consequences

Regardless of Victor’s intentions, the consequences of his actions are quite serious and suggest a degree of moral responsibility. Although he does not directly commit murder, he sets in motion events that result in several deaths and terrible suffering, including his own. While outcomes are generally outside of a person’s control, it seems reasonable to say that by acting thoughtlessly, Victor has some responsibility for them. In attempting to discover the secret of life he does not carefully consider the various possible consequences of his actions. For example, he seems unaware of the obligations attached to his scientific pursuits; it was not until long after the monster’s creation that Victor finally recognized his duty to him. In contemplating the monster’s request for a female companion he remarks, “For the first time, also, I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were, and that I ought to render him happy before I complained of his wickedness” (Shelley 126).

As well, although at some level Victor is aware of the dark side of his endeavour – he is secretive, recognizes his physical deterioration, and willingly isolates himself from his family – he never wonders about the results of his work. He unquestioningly carries on with his tainted task. Then later on, when Justine is to be hanged for William’s murder Victor seems initially unable to draw a connection between his silence and her wrongful punishment. He naively hopes that somehow, without his intervention, she may be freed.

With time however, Victor becomes better at predicting potential consequences. After initially agreeing to create a female companion for the creature, he decides against it. It occurs to him that the female could be a threat and although he acknowledges his duty to the creature, he realizes that the potential for harm to his “own species” is greater. Victor’s ability to think through consequences seems to improve, even if too late.

Given there were several signs that Victor should have noted, the novel seems to indicate that consequences are important in deciding when blame is appropriate. Victor acts thoughtlessly and, even though consequences are difficult to control, under the circumstances he could have reasonably expected something terrible to happen.

Victor’s initial recklessness in creating the monster means that he should probably account for some portion of the suffering that results. Nonetheless, there is an element of moral luck involved in his moral responsibility. If the creature had not survived, or had somehow found happiness in roaming the glaciers and the deserts alone, perhaps Victor’s actions would not seem deserving of the same level of moral blame. This appears to be a dubious method for moral evaluation however, as it is based completely on chance and not on Victor’s will.

The novel though is not dismissive of how difficult it can be for human beings to predict the consequences of their actions. Even if readers recognize Victor’s moral failing, they also feel some compassion for him. Someone in Victor’s position should probably have sensed of the type of results his experiments would produce, but it also would have likely been difficult to predict the degree of devastation they were to cause. Perhaps we can understand from this that the appropriate degree of blame depends on how reasonable it is for someone to make such a prediction. Could Victor have anticipated the monster’s appearance, his subsequent reaction of disgust, and the creature’s unhappiness and eventual storm of revenge?

Choice

Frankenstein raises an interesting question regarding the role of choice in determining moral culpability. Most people would probably agree that a person forced to commit an evil act has limited, if any responsibility. They are not viewed as having the same degree of blame as someone who acts freely. However, the issue becomes more complicated if internal factors may be the reason for the limited ability to choose.

Victor’s degree of choice is uncertain given that when he begins experimenting he is in a kind of delusional state. His ambition makes him virtually helpless. He is not sleeping, eating, or enjoying social interaction with others. After comparing his frenzied work to a hurricane, he says:

My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had grown emaciated with confinement. Sometimes of the very brink of certainty, I failed; yet I still clung to the hope which the next day or the next hour might realize (Shelley 65).

Does this seemingly possessed occupation which may be beyond Victor’s control mean he is less blameworthy? While he may not have a gun aimed at his temple, it seems possible that his ability to choose is affected by his deranged mental state. The criminal justice system may offer some guidance on his blameworthiness given that perpetrators of ‘crimes of passion’ are provided some leniency. The system determines that they, much like Victor, are not insane but still somehow not fully in control. In considering choice, Victor’s obsessive pursuit of knowledge may mean that he is less responsible for his actions than someone who was able to think clearly.

Martha Nussbaum would likely agree that Victor is not fully to blame but for a slightly different reason. She explains that in the case of adolescents who make a poor decision, we make a two-stage judgement. We blame them for what they have done but we also we feel compassion for them since adolescence is not their fault (Nussbaum 314). Perhaps in a similar way Victor’s disturbed state of mind is not his fault and therefore lessens his moral responsibility.

Looking to Aristotle for guidance may also be helpful. Although the philosopher argued that people cannot be held responsible when their capacity to choose is grossly impaired – as in the case of intoxication – he also believed people can be responsible for getting themselves into such situations. Even though it is difficult to know how much control Victor has over his actions given his compulsion, it does seem possible that he could have halted his experimenting at an early stage, before his obsession took over. Since Victor arguably puts himself in a situation which leads to an ‘intoxicating’ passion, he has some choice and, based on Aristotle’s perspective, his decision to continue with his tainted science suggests that he should be accountable for that decision.

Victor’s educational environment also appears important to a discussion regarding choice. Shelley is quite deliberate in her selection of Victor’s university – Ingolstadt. This is where he studies the ancient sciences and then creates the monster. As the time of Shelley’s writing Ingolstadt would have been known as the birthplace of the Illuminati, an Enlightenment secret society linked with Freemasonry. As well, the university had an anatomical institute in the late 17th-century, likely increasing the appeal of such a setting for a horror novel. Clearly Victor’s educational environment was intended to be dubious, and to negatively influence his moral behaviour. It seems unlikely that under such circumstances, Victor could have turned out much differently. Martha Nussbaum would perhaps agree given her belief that circumstance has a considerable bearing on a person’s moral decisions.

On the other hand, Victor’s study at Ingolstadt may also seem to be a bit of bad moral luck. If Victor had attended another university he could have been guided in a completely different direction. In fact, even at Ingolstadt he could have been steered correctly. Initially, he was determined to give up studying his dark, ancient sciences after a professor told him they were nonsense. However, soon after he meets another professor who encourages him to pursue them.

While Victor’s study at Ingolstadt may seem to indicate a lack of choice it can also be seen as presenting options. After all, the professors present two different views to Victor and he clearly makes a choice. Interestingly, Shelley places the two perspectives in opposition by characterizing the first professor as unpleasant and unfriendly, while the latter is charming, warm, and appealing to Victor. In the context of education it seems that once again Victor’s ability to choose is complicated, and yet despite strong outside influences choice is not entirely removed.

Choice is also an issue for the monster. Not unlike Victor, the creature seems propelled by an internal force. However he is motivated by a revenge that he views as outside of his control. After learning of Victor’s plans for marriage he says, “…I was the slave, not the master, of an impulse which detested but could not disobey” (Shelley 278).

Since his acts of vengeance differ dramatically from his earlier behaviour, his words ring true. He begins as a good, sensitive being that carries out kind acts such as saving a child from drowning, collecting firewood for the cottagers and not taking their food when he realizes that they need it more. When he sees the blind cottager comfort his daughter he is overtaken by emotions:

…I felt sensations of a peculiar and over-powering nature; they were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I had never before experienced either from hunger or cold, warmth or food; and I withdrew from the window, unable to bear these emotions (35).

It is also not impossible to comprehend the monster’s overpowering desire for revenge given that he only wanted love and friendship, which he was refused because of his appearance. After being rejected by the cottagers whom he developed a genuine affection for he said, “No; from that moment I declared ever-lasting war against the species, and more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery” (172).

Nussbaum’s argument about the role of upbringing in allowing people to be as good as they can be also supports the idea that the creature may have had limited choice. She claims that a criminal may be formed by social and parental factors that strike from without in much the same way as misfortune. Since all people are fallible, the difference between criminal and juror may be personal and social circumstances (Nussbaum 446). Given that the creature was abandoned when in a child-like state, it seems plausible that his ability to be good was hindered from the start. There was likely a direct connection between his lack of parenting and the situation in which he found himself. As indicated by Nussbaum, he would therefore be less blameworthy since getting to that point was not altogether his fault.

In addition to the potential significance of societal factors, Frankenstein helps to illustrate a number of the ways in which choice relates to moral responsibility. First of all, it tells us that the matter of choice is complex and that people’s ability to choose when making moral decisions is not always very clear. This seems particularly true if an individual is facing a type of internal ‘coercion’. Delusion, injustice and revenge are strong drivers and can, in a sense, diminish real choice. It is difficult to know for certain how much control Victor and the creature had over their actions but they seem to fall into a middle area in which it would be incorrect to say they did not have any choice, or that they were fully in control.

Secondly, Frankenstein reveals that there are several decision points which have a bearing on blame. For example, even if passion diminished Victor’s choices he could have stopped his experiments at an early stage, before he was taken over by its force. Furthermore, over time he makes increasingly regrettable decisions and his inclination for moral misjudgement becomes more and more evident. This suggests that the degree of control varies with each situation and as the conditions deteriorate, the scope for choice can ultimately narrow. In the end Victor seems unable to regain his moral foothold.

As well, the novel perhaps concedes that evil acts motivated by injustice are somehow different. Shelley depicts a desperate creature that is deeply lonely rather than a thoughtless killer. While recognizing that the murders he commits are evil acts, the reader also understands that they are motivated by something more than a meaningless evil.

In a related way, the story shows that moving from good to bad has significance for moral responsibility. Their starting points as good individuals uncovers that, at their core, Victor and the creature possess moral character. Consequently their transformations – depicted dramatically in both cases – point to the importance of circumstance. Even good people under the right conditions can go wrong and they are different from people who are immoral from the start, potentially lessening their moral blameworthiness.

Remorse

Given that remorse follows rather than precedes an immoral action, it could simply represent a reaction to unfortunate consequences rather than a moral response. It does not indicate anything about an individual’s thoughts or motivation at the time. Since the person who feels an emotion is the only one who can really know it, we need to look to Victor’s words to try to understand his remorse. This is a challenging task since he wavers between feelings of guilt and innocence. On the one hand Victor’s regret seems quite certain:

…instead of that serenity of conscience which allowed me to look back upon the past with self-satisfaction, and from thence to gather promise of new hopes, I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me a way to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe (Shelley 110).

Later however Victor sees himself as innocent, more unlucky than guilty: “I felt as if I committed some great crime, the consciousness of which haunted me. I was guiltless, but I had indeed drawn down a horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of crime” (205).

Even when reflecting on his past actions near the end, Victor misses the point. Although he recognizes his duty to the creature, he focuses on his decision to refuse to make a female companion. Interestingly however, he dismisses his initial transgression as “a fit of enthusiastic madness”, finding himself blameless:

During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blameable. In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bounds to him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being. This was my duty; but there was another paramount to that. My duties towards the beings of my own species had greater claims to my attention because they included a greater proportion of happiness and misery. Urged by this view, I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature (274).

Even though Victor’s remorse may not have any real bearing on his blameworthiness, for the reasons described above, it does have an effect on the reader. His expressions of remorse are successful in generating compassion. The criminal justice system subscribes to a similar approach in that offenders that are remorseful are sometimes punished more leniently – a legal expression of compassion or mercy – even though they are not seen as less guilty.

Remorse may also be beneficial since it can shed light on other aspects of moral responsibility, such as character. Undoubtedly, Victor’s guilt is complicated. He feels badly about what he has done and yet, at times, he sees himself as a victim rather than a moral agent. Victor’s movement between guilt and innocence may signal that he does not have a clear understanding of right and wrong. We would expect a deeply remorseful person to understand their transgression, and accept blame for it. Since this may not be the case for Victor, it places his moral integrity in question and suggests that he may have a greater capacity to do wrong.

In the end, Frankenstein seems to show that there is in fact a relationship between remorse and moral responsibility. People who do not feel remorse are more deserving of blame than those who do. Although Victor’s remorse is arguable, society does encounter offenders who express none and sees them as more deserving of blame than those who do. Seemingly this is because it reveals that something is not right with that person’s ability to recognize wrongdoing and to act accordingly. They are different from people who regret their mistake and acknowledge the pain and suffering they cause. So although remorse follows a transgression, it still can have this indirect relationship with moral responsibility by revealing something about a person’s character.

The novel also draws a connection between remorse and the desire for forgiveness. Victor admits his duty to the monster but never asks for forgiveness from him or anyone else. In contrast, the creature who seems genuinely grieved by Victor’s death asks for his forgiveness, even if too late. While Victor’s sense of guilt seems tenuous, the creature’s acceptance of blame appears more solid, suggesting that experiencing real remorse may be a necessary component of wanting forgiveness.

Character

Although research suggests that circumstances or social background may often be why ordinary people carry out horrific deeds, it is not reasonable to dismiss completely individual characteristics. Otherwise at the extreme, almost everyone’s evil can be explained away and moral blame becomes an almost meaningless concept. Surely different people in similar circumstances can behave differently. Instead, it seems critical to consider character since it is the factor that relates most closely to moral agency.

The novel offers several clues about the type of person Victor is and what impact this has on his decisions. He may not be a bad person but as we have seen, he is ambivalent about accepting blame. He even implicates his father in his objectionable pursuits suggesting that if Mr. Frankenstein had explained to him why Agrippa’s ancient science was ‘sad trash’ that he “… should have certainly thrown Agrippa aside. It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin” (46). This adds further support to the notion that Victor has some trouble recognizing moral acts and therefore making good choices.

Victor’s sense of responsibly also appears to be questionable. He abandons his creation, fleeing from the monster in disgust:”…it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived” (70). Moreover, he never wonders what happens to the monster once he leaves the laboratory, not once considering the harm he may have been causing.

As well, Victor makes selfish decisions. Following William’s death he returns to Geneva to discover that Justine has been wrongly accused in his murder. He chooses to remain silent and rationalizes his decision by explaining that no one would believe his extraordinary story and that even if someone did, the creature would elude arrest. Victor’s own interests outweighed those of Justine; he had nothing to lose by admitting what he did except his own sense of pride. Elizabeth, who openly blames herself for Justine’s situation without hesitation, provides a starkly contrasting position.

While revealing something significant about Victor’s character, this last act also marks an important change in his degree of moral responsibility. Up to this point he had been thoughtless and irresponsible but in his unwillingness to help Justine he falls to another level of culpability. It is as if Victor’s moral virtue becomes increasingly unsalvageable, eventually reaching a point of no return. The novel therefore seems to suggest that once people cross a certain line they are able to more easily engage in morally dubious acts. This gradual descent reminds us of Germany in the 1930’s where many people were able to progress from tolerating Jewish hate propaganda, to moving Jews to ghettos, and to finally transporting them to concentration camps.

In trying to assess Victor’s character, Walton serves as reasonable basis for comparison given that both men are obsessive about pursuing knowledge, even when it may lead to dangerous consequences. Walton clearly recognizes their similarity as he feels a strong kinship with Victor, one which he is unable to find in others. Nonetheless there are notable differences between them, particularly in the types of decisions they make.

As an example, unlike Victor who abandons his responsibilities to the creature and Justine, Walton recognizes that he is accountable for the men on his ship. Although he wants to continue with the expedition if they can free their ship from the ice, he is willing to accept the men’s decision on whether to give up on the voyage. In contrast, Victor was ready to pursue his science without considering the impact of his decision on others. As a matter of fact, despite his terrible experiences he implores Walton’s men to support their captain if their ship breaks free, otherwise he suggests, they will be disgraced. Unheeding his own warnings, he continues to defend a potentially reckless quest for knowledge.

Frankenstein appears to help us to better understand a few of the notable aspects regarding the relationship between circumstance and wrongdoing. First of all, it looks as though character does matter. Although Victor clearly faced difficult circumstances, he had some power within those circumstances to choose right over wrong. He acted in ways that other people did not, as in the case of Walton, or perhaps would not, as with Elizabeth. Secondly, it may be that individuals who have difficulty identifying moral issues will more likely find themselves in compromised moral positions, whatever the circumstances. Even if Victor had not attempted to animate life, because of his character, he may have eventually faced a particularly thorny moral problem.

Conclusion

A careful reading of Frankenstein uncovers a much more layered discussion of moral responsibility than may be expected. Drawing from its rich text, we can see that determining culpability is very complicated due to a number of factors. As an example, the issue of control presents a number of difficulties, both in terms of having real choice and predicting the consequences of our actions. Additionally, Frankenstein suggests that circumstance does not necessarily negate moral agency but adds a layer of complexity by reducing an individual’s sphere of control. In the end, the novel may reinforce the notion that humankind has freedom to make moral decisions, but that this liberty is somewhat constrained. As well, Frankenstein assists us with understanding that blame frequently appears to be a matter of degree, and not simply a question of strict guilt or innocence.

Although the monster is most often characterized as foul and evil, this analysis illustrates that Victor may be even more culpable in light of the factors discussed here. Interestingly, some of the moral blame may even extend beyond the two main characters. In a way that reminds us of Nussbaum and her belief that society should acknowledge its part in the crimes of disadvantaged people, the creature declares: …still I desired love and friendship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all humankind sinned against me? (280)

[EDITORS NOTE: images in this essay were taken from Frankenstein: the Graphic Novel. Illustrated by Jason Cobley, Declan Shalvey, Jason Cardy, Kat Nicholson. New York: Classical Comics, 2008. Publisher’s website offers a pdf preview. Editor Charles Robinson, in a non-graphic edition, compares Mary Shelley’s 1818 text with the revisions made by Percy Shelley, while Peter Ackroyd recasts the characters in his 2009 novel, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein. ]

Works Cited

Formosa, Paul. “Understanding Evil Acts.” Human Studies 30.2 (2007): 57-77.

Nussbaum, Martha. Upheavals in Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin Books Limited, 1989.

Williams, Garreth. “Responsibility.” The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 26 Feb 2009 <http://www.iep.utm.edu/r/responsi.htm >


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