In Frankenstein, the theme of the brutality in human nature is presented in the eponymous character, with an 'eager desire to learn' and an obsessive nature, which obstructs his personal relationships and displaces his sense of humanity. This obsession is heightened by the idea of creating life, which would give Victor the power of a deity and responsibility of a father. His sanity is hindered by his growing fascination with the 'metaphysical' alienating himself from his loved ones, leading to the abandonment his creation a 'hideous wretch' that defies Victor's expectations. The tragic result of the monsters abandonment causes the reader to consider an age-old question: "can one be born evil"?.
Victor's obsession stems from his hobbies, which occupy his time so significantly he is never truly allowed a normal childhood and causes him to alienate himself from his family. Cornelius Agrippa, writer, theologian and magician, influenced young Frankenstein enormously. Agrippa's main idea was the transformation of everyday metals into precious gold, but Frankenstein twisted this theory to turning corpses into new life. When his father tells him it's 'sad trash' he continues pursuing these self-indulgent ideas. However he holds his father accountable for the distress these pursuits cause in later life, rather than face the responsibility of his own actions. Eva has a similarly self-indulgent passion to travel and craves the extraordinary. The quote 'happiness isn't dull it just doesn't tell well', displays this ambiguous attitude towards life. Society's assumption of 'maternal instinct' could influence a reader to assume Eva may at least anticipate feelings of attachment to the child. Eva's contorted feelings towards Kevin questions the role of 'nature' in motherhood and the assumption that all mothers will love their child. It's this ideal of a 'maternal instinct' that creates an inner conflict: as this allows Eva not to question her behavior towards her son, but instead blame the innate 'badness' of Kevin for their detachment and the brutality that punctuates their relationship.