Selfishness: The True Monster of Frankenstein

Proposal Type


Presenter Information

Seth RosamiliaFollow


Jerry Falwell Library, Terrace Conference Room B

Start Date

11-4-2015 2:40 PM

End Date

11-4-2015 3:00 PM

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Apr 11th, 2:40 PM Apr 11th, 3:00 PM

Selfishness: The True Monster of Frankenstein

Jerry Falwell Library, Terrace Conference Room B

A neophyte of science practicing forbidden arts, a hideous monster wronged by society, and adventurer on a quest for glory and discovery—all of these characters and more come together to form the story of Mary Shelley’s acclaimed novel Frankenstein. In the years since its writing the book has sparked much theory and popularity, becoming both the subject of psychological analysis and multiple Hollywood films. However, in both pop culture and academia, readers of Frankenstein often fail to grasp an appropriate or adequate picture of the source of the tragedies which befall the various characters. Psychology often makes the mistake of delving too deeply into the mind of Victor Frankenstein, thereby missing a seemingly more obvious cause. Those merely familiar with the film or popular understanding of the novel swing the other way, failing to dig into the characters and their motivations, and thereby failing to find the true culprit. In reality, however, one fiend plagues the three major characters of the novel, working in their lives to create most of the tragedies in the book. Unseen and largely unrecognized, this villain works behind the scenes, wreaking havoc and destruction and accounting for much of the death, foolishness, and heartache present. Victor Frankenstein and his shortsighted science; the creature and his murderous atrocities; and Robert Walton and his quest for glory and recognition all find their motivation in egocentric self-interest which drives the tragic events of the novel.