In Mary Shelley's Romanticism-era classic novel Frankenstein, the main characters, Victor Frankenstein and the Monster, are linked in a complex, multidimensional relationship. On one hand, the Monster is subservient to his creator, who is the only man with enough knowledge to create another of his kind. On the other hand, however, Victor is subservient to his creation, because it is physically stronger than he and able to murder his whole circle of family and friends without putting forth much effort. .
Their relationship is not marked by a simple hero-villain pattern. Neither of these men are exactly heroes, but neither of them are anti-heroes. Mary Shelley sympathizes with both while condemning them both simultaneously. Through Frankenstein, she shows the readers that good and evil are not always easy to determine, and that human beings have both of these qualities within themselves. However, readers tend to want to label the characters of a novel as either good or evil, hero or villain. .
On the surface, Victor and the Monster appear to be representatives of good and evil respectively; yet Shelley's characters are more similar to each other than one might at first conceive two sides of a single entity forming a Doppelgänger relationship and they are in fact even dependent on each other as they come to develop their characteristics.
It is difficult to decipher who represents good and who represents evil. One would initially assume the Monster is the evil one, yet it is Victor who creates the Monster and then hides from the responsibility. When we first look at Shelley's Frankenstein, it seems as if Victor is a kind and good-natured man, opposite of the Monster who is cold-hearted and brutal. But upon closer inspection of the novel, the labels that we willingly attribute the characters, become more indistinct. Moreover, a great many similarities between the two can even be found, and the traits that the first character lacks, the other one instead possesses.