Through the exploration of value attached to friendship in Mary Shelley&#8217;s &#8220;Frankenstein';, it is found that Victor, Walton, and the monster each desire a companion to either fall back on during times of misery, to console with, or to learn from. During various periods throughout the novel, it is found that Victor depends heavily on friendship when tragedy occurs to keep him from going insane. Walton desires the friendship of a man to have someone who he can sympathize with. The sole purpose of the monster is to find a companion to learn from and not be a total outcast to society. None of these characters desire to be isolated and when
The idea of pursuing knowledge clouded Victor’s mind and when his creature is born he is shocked to discover that what he has created is far off his own expectations. Not only did the monster destroy his expectations of developing a creature that went beyond human knowledge, but it also affected his life, dignity, and fears. Victor himself admits to his own mistake when he says, “The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature...but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless honor and disgust filled my heart ” (36). Victor Frankenstein realizes what his obsession with pursuing an extensive amount of knowledge has brought him. His destiny to achieve the impossible with no regard for anyone or anything but himself shows that he is blinded by knowledge when creating the monster and is incapable to foresee the outcome of his creation. Victor’s goal was meant to improve and help humanity, but instead it leads to
Victor Frankenstein finds himself exploring the world of science where “it was the secret of heaven and earth… the outward substance of things or the inner spirits of nature and the mysterious soul of man” that attracted him (Shelley 18). Victor thirst for knowledge comes from his study of chemistry with a zeal for the antiquated world of alchemy. It was the alchemy books that convinces him to go beyond what the normal human limits can do, that is, the answer to life. Through the books he thrives on learning about natural science and looked upon the alchemists works and “took their word for all that they averred, and became their disciple” (Shelley 25). His readings direct him toward the study of forbidden knowledge which ultimately set him up for failure as he became addicted to create life to the point where he robbed graveyards for limbs and committing many unholy acts to create his monster. His unchecked ambition proves to have devastating consequences as his irresponsibility causes the death of those he loves most and he himself falls under the ascendancy of his own
As the novel goes on everyone Victor once cared for are decimated in the path of his creation. "I was possessed by a maddening rage when I thought of him and desired and ardently prayed that I might have him within my grasp to wreak a great and signal revenge on his cursed head" (Shelley 103). Now, due to his unwavering lust for knowledge, all that was once good and innocent has been stripped from him. This has left him as a former shell of himself, to be compared with his own creation, solely driven by vengeance.
Victor has become obsessed with studying (something no one should ever be interested in) and has locked himself in his room studying for days on end. He "applied so closely, it may be easily conceived that my progress was rapid. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students, and my proficiency that of the masters... Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make". (7) This early application of himself is what drove him to become lonely and reclusive, shying away from all who attempted to come into contact with him. He is also inspired in this chapter to start his reanimation project. He becomes consumed in this one project spending many months alone in the top of his apartment assembling his creature. He raided slaughter houses, grave yards, and dissection rooms to furnish what he needed to create his monster. The lines between life and death became blurred
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (Shelley 60). In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she expresses her beliefs regarding the danger of pursuing happiness through the attainment of knowledge, because true happiness is found in the emotional connections established between people. The pursuit of knowledge is not necessarily an evil thing, but it can cause destruction when it is pursued beyond natural limits. Victor Frankenstein becomes a slave to his passion for learning in more than one way; first his life is controlled by
Victor begins to possess an unnatural drive in his quest for knowledge where he begins intense study and experimentation, “These thoughts supported my spirits, while I pursued my undertaking with unremitting ardour. My cheek had grown pale from study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement” eventually isolating himself from his friends and family. As the seasons passed Victor’s obsession with his studies continued to grow, “And the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time” highlighting how his ambition is a fatal flaw, neglecting the outside world and his loved ones. Victor’s ambition to research and attempt to create life drains him of health and sensibility, “Every night I was oppressed by a slow fever, and I became nervous to a most painful degree” which is ironic to the goal he wishes to achieve. Shelly’s use of irony illuminates how Victor’s obsessive ambition has become a fatal flaw.
whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of a man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the secrets of the world.” (23) Victor has said, this quote shows Victor’s deep desire to learn about all the secrets the world may have. This is the when Victor realizes what he would like to dedicate his life’s work to. Victor ignores both his social life, and his health. He focuses solely on discovering the secrets nature holds. Victor’s obsession with this consumes all his time thus destroying relationships he had. This shows that Victor no longer holds his friends or family close, but instead he pushes them aside to focus on what he feels is more important. Victor speaks of all the countless nights and days he has spent, and how he is tired. Victor had stopped mailing Elizabeth, and she grows worried all due to his search for knowledge. Later on in the story Victor’s work comes alive. He creates a monster, and from this point on nothing will be the same between him and his
He tells of the void he feels in his soul. He tells of the bitter grief one experiences after the death of loved one and what it feels like to no longer see them and hear their voice. Mary Shelley illustrates that this life is not the end, but there is another life where loved ones will be seen. Victor’s mother is demonstrating how special Elizabeth is to her and that she wants her to take care of the family and to someday marry Victor. Later in the novel, Victor leaves for school. Victor’s father tells him, “I know that while you are pleased with yourself, you will think of us with affection, and we shall hear regularly from you. You must pardon me if I regard any interruption in your correspondence as a proof that your other duties are equally neglected”(33). After, Victor leaves for school to begin his studies he becomes self-absorbed in his work. Family is very important to Victor’s father. Victor realizes that he has become too involved in his studies and knows that it is unhealthy to behave in such a way. However, he does not want to quit and begins to justify his actions. He suggests that if others had given up, then history could have been altered. Victor feels isolated and lonely. He thinks of his family and how disappointed they are that they have not heard from him. Shelly uses this quote to emphasize the importance of human relationships and how important they are to a person’s well-being. The theme of human
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has a simple origin, compared to other stories. While stories such as It by Stephen king started a several year process of creation, Frankenstein began simply as a campfire story Mary Shelley shared with her writer friends one evening. Although the origins of this novel are fairly simple, it provides an in depth psychological perspective on the darker side of human psyche through the shifting first person perspective. Usually these darker aspects are associated with the character’s personal struggles, but one specific theme in all the characters. The theme of obsession has been consistent and the central focus of the three main characters Victor, the creature, and Robert. With this central theme in mind the author, Mary Shelley shows that obsession leads to the characters suffering negative psychological and physical effects, as well as impair their decision making. This is depicted through the decline of physical and mental health through Victor’s struggles with his obsessions with knowledge and justice.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein examines two phenomena of human nature, scientific curiosity and loneliness; the latter will serve as the focus of this essay. The very manner in which Frankenstein begins, that of the correspondence of an unattached explorer who longs for a companion on his voyage, with no one to write to but his sister, establishes the theme of loneliness immediately.
Victor Frankenstein's upbringing in a perfect society ultimately led to the destruction of his life which coincided with the lives of those emotionally close to
Psychoanalytical criticism analyzes motivations, which are the compelling force behind life’s myriad of decisions. Mary Shelley inventively evaluates the incentives which are responsible for propelling the characters of Frankenstein into their fatal downfall; making Frankenstein a prime source for psychoanalytical study. Shelley’s novel follows the work of a promising chemist, Victor Frankenstein, who makes a remarkable discovery that has the potential to forever alter the scientific study and nature of human life. Ultimately, this science becomes liable for Victor’s tragic fate. Previous to Victor’s revolutionary breakthrough, he had begun a process of detaching himself from the rest of humankind; following the completion of his
He is so consumed by keeping his secret safe; his loved ones are murdered as a result. For example, Henry Clervel has his life taken as an outcome of Victor’s betrayal to the creature. Victor’s failure to warn Henry creates increasing guilt which continues until the death of Elizabeth. He thinks of himself instead of logically warning his wife of the monster’s dangerous threats, “I shall be with you on your wedding-night.” (176) Right until Victor’s death, science is viewed as the only way of knowledge, as quoted, “the more fully I entered into the science, the more exclusively I pursued it for its own sake.” (77) This knowledge is ultimately used against him; the monster knows what Victor is capable of and uses his ability of creating life as a threat to make a new creature to acquaint the monster. As Victor contemplates this idea, he is also threatened by the possibility of new life being created, “… a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth” (174) which dictate his actions in destroying the wife of the creature. Knowledge ultimately consumes Victor.