In Frankenstein, self-sacrifice is a god-like characteristic. It becomes the only way that Victor, our tragic, fallen hero, is able to redeem himself at the end of the text. Yet his self-sacrifice also includes the sacrifice of those he loves. It seems more an act of inhumane, self-absorbed, injustice than it does an act of love for humanity. Victor’s fears overwhelm his reasoning, and he chooses to be a hero in his own mind rather than preserving the lives of those he loves. In his mind, he is acting for the good of society when he destroys the companion he is making for the monster, but in doing so, he is sacrificing the lives of his family as well as himself.
Victor’s desire to destroy the monster, although in part based on his fears of the new monster’s free will, is equally motivated by a selfish desire for revenge against the monster for killing his brother, William.