Throughout the novel Shelley sets up a character who is so far removed from regular society that a common man could not even imagine trying to relate to him. Born of wealthy parents with large influence, it is easy to assume that when compared to a middle class man, there would be striking differences in terms of personality and demeanor. However Shelley uses this character, with all his social and financial privileges, to illustrate that no matter what class or position you are in society, the core of a man will always be like that of a child. There are many passages that allude to the various ways in which the many characters of the book act like children such as the way they judge others, whether it be by appearance or class, or how the ownership of people through marriage or servitude is a childish pursuit. One of the main ways she makes this point is via the use of the fickleness which Frankenstein displays throughout the novel when trying to place responsibility on someone for the deaths that occur in the novel. He argues his guilt and soon later argues against it, constantly changing his mind. It is in this way that she critically reveals the childishness of Frankenstein despite his class and position.
He first blames himself upon reflection of William’s death and Justine’s inevitable prosecution. He grieves "…I was the cause! A thousand times rather would I have confessed myself guilty of the crime ascribed to Justine but I was absent when it was committed and such a declaration would have been considered as the ravings of a madman” (83). He feels remorse for the unjust death of his brother William and trial of the servant Justine. He argues his is responsible for their death because he, due to his unchecked curiosity and drive, created a monster who took the life of those near and dear to him. However shortly after when confronted with the monster itself he screams, “do you not fear the vengeance of my arms wreaked on your miserable head?…I could with the extinction of your miserable existence restore those victims whom you have so diabolically murdered” (106). Victor then goes to alleviate himself of all responsibility and guilt when he blames the monster for the murders that have occurred. He, when finds something easier, or more palatable to his concious, chooses that in order to feel as though he did no crime at all. This cannot be more reasonably explained as a lapse of judgement after being faced with his creation after many years for time and time again he goes through the cycle of blaming himself and then when he finds it suitable, blames the monster. After learning of Elizabeth’s death he once again begins to repent. He reflects, “I murdered her. William, Justine, and Henry - They all died by my hands” (206). He once again takes upon the responsibility of their deaths when he has nothing else to blame in his state of grief. However when once again looks at his lifeless wife, he recounts the Monster and once again blames him when he says that “The death of William, the execution of Justine, the murder of Clerval and lastly my wife…I knew not that my remaining friends were safe from the malignity of the fiend” (227). He goes through the motions of this argument so frequently and mechanically one can’t help not to notice the childishness in his behavior.