“the nature of motivations that direct an individual’s course of action”
Ambition is the key for an individual to strive for something they are longing to do. Aspirations are reached via the motivations people have; thus, allowing them to choose the path and action/s they would be taking to direct them to any certain goal. This is present in the text when each new event in the Monster’s life served as motivation which directed his courses of action. Thus, by looking at Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, one can see how the Monster had acquired multiple motivations that have guided him to different courses of action throughout the entire novel.
Each course of action the Monster has taken has motivations behind it. Starting with the Monster’s life, after he was left to fend for himself, he stumbled upon a family in the woods. This family is the best symbol for the proper, kind familial bonds that Frankenstein started to desire almost right away. This desire encouraged his motivation of learning and working hard to acquire the same familial connections which led him to figure out that the only way he would be able to approach this family, was if he had learned the language first. In the novel, while he tells Victor Frankenstein his story, it is obvious that the reader is gaining newfound respect and sympathy for this character. He is so determined and motivated to fulfill his goal to become literate that he follows through with different actions such as: listening in to any stories and lessons the younger members of the family received. He was also motivated to teach himself how to read and pursued to read a vast variety of pieces, including complicated ones such as Plutarch’s Lives, which he mentioned in his story. He then proceeded to “collect wood” and “stack wood” for the family to help out, receive credit and gain early recognition from the family. What this says about the Monster is that his ambitions and goals are very important for him and that he will not give up before he can attain them. This motivation guided and directed him to execute any course of action for him to achieve the end-goal he desired. It is important to note that this means that he is very ambitious and motivated by anything he puts his mind to. Yet, taking into account that he is very young and his knowledge is only from books and not from true connections with people, it means that this positive course of action could go south very quickly. Him becoming so intelligent could also lead him to pursue motivations that are higher on the intellectual scale, allowing for his actions to become more thought out and advanced. Unfortunately, this intelligence was used negatively for the rest of the novel.
Prejudicial claims against an individual negatively harm one’s psyche and that is seen in the novel, Frankenstein. After everything the Monster has persevered to do to appease the family, once his motivations finally turned into action and he went inside the house, he first-handedly experienced prejudice in his direction. Everything was going exceptionally well with the oldest, blind, member of the family, who spoke with the Monster and proceeded to tell him that he is a very intelligent being, but that was until the younger members came in. They immediately rejected him without taking into consideration the fact that the Monster meant no harm. After getting chased out, the Monster proceeded to say that he will seek “vengeance” against society and especially against his creator, Victor Frankenstein. One might think that this is a play on words, but this new, unjust experience motivated him to execute a new course of action. Revenge became the highlighted verb in his head now. He didn’t exactly know how he was going to complete his new-found motivation, but he was planning on doing it soon. He was motivated to find Victor and to demand action from him. He tried to grasp onto anything to make him feel secure so he immediately went to his creator who, in theory, is supposed to have responsibility for his creations. He went on to the unorthodox way to get Victor’s attention by killing his brother, William. Even though it worked, this simply shows that his book-smart self didn’t fully know how to properly function in society, but he didn’t get the chance to achieve anything more in the first place. Being rejected from a young age required him to mature a lot faster and to put his motivations and plans into action which led to most of his actions being impulsive.
The Monster proceeded to come to his problem with different solutions beforehand. It is one thing to work hard and have those solutions accepted, but an immature mind like his, will not be able to comprehend the fact that a lot of the time, rejection will happen. The, arguably, last proper and civil interaction the Monster had with Victor Frankenstein was when he told his story to his creator. To wrap up his story, he came to Victor with a proposition. The proposition was for Frankenstein to create a female like him. Victor immediately denied but after more convincing done by the Monster, Victor gave in and proceeded to create the new being. After some time, Victor realized that this is an awful idea and destroyed the female. That is when the Monster faced new rejection, rejection of his idea. He then proceeded to say that he “will be with [Frankenstein] on his wedding day,” which means that he will be killing anyone important to Victor, including his wife until he gets what he wants. This new incident now motivated him to plan and carry out revenge solely upon Victor Frankenstein. He was now motivated to terrorize Victor and proceeded to kill quite a few people, all whom meant something to Frankenstein. This is important to take into consideration because even though what was done to him was cruel and he was facing oppression his entire life, it is unfortunate that his mind immediately went to murder when thinking of a solution to his problems. Unfortunately, he went through with his ideas and course of actions which affected not only himself, but a handful of innocent people.
The Monster’s motivations caused him to follow through with any course of action that he desired. It initially started as very childish and progressed to become more and more awful with each new event. It is important to remember that each action might result in your doom in the end.