In today’s society, people have many different ways that they interpret their dreams. Some people believe that they give us a view into the future while others believe that they tell us more about ourselves. Historically, they were once believed to be symptoms of mental illness. It was through the work of Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalyst, that the value of dreams was shifted; we were able to learn the significance of the information that they gave us (“Dream in History”, para. 9). In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses dreams and nightmares to share information with the reader on Victor. These dreams — specifically Victor’s — give us details relating to his desires which affect his character. As the book progresses, we begin to see a shift in his character which parallels with these dreams. As the book begins, we are introduced to Victor’s personality, which is highly enthusiastic at first. He is immersed into his studies at Ingolstadt, slowly making his place within his university with his interest in the sciences. While studying, he is captivated by the structure of humans and shifts his studies into attempting to create a human being from a dead body (Shelley, 46). Slowly but surely, Victor begins to drift in daydreaming about giving life to a dead body. He says, “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through..Pursuing these reflections, I thought, that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might..renew life where death had
While attempting to uncover the meaning of life and death, and though he believed his experiments would further the paths of science, Victor fails to see the potential consequences of “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter” (Shelley 37). This, in turn, creates a monster. After his “great” experiment, Victor spends his life in grief. Despite this, he manages to belittle his creation, and act superior to him, claiming that “I [Victor] will not hear you. There can be no community between you [the creature] and me; we are enemies” (Shelley 84). Even later on, when assured by the creature himself that Victor would be left alone if he creates a female counterpart, Victor cannot see past the shreds of pride he has left and refuses, causing the death of his family and loved ones. It’s Victor’s pride and his fear of the creature that clouds his judgement and in the end leads to his
However, in Victor's role as God he is so enthralled with the thought of bringing life to a lifeless corpse that he ignores the moral affects that his creation will have on society. He wants so badly to understand, and potentially prevent, the mortality of man that he never thinks there may be a reason we can't create life or live forever. He thinks nothing to altering a system that has existed in the world since the inception of life. It is not until after he completes his experiment, he can only begin to understand some of the consequences. In discussing the shock of his creation Victor states, " how can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pain and care I had endeavoured to form?"(34). Much like with the current stem cell and genetics research ethical questions being raised, there are a lot of things to consider when one begins messing with the complexity of life. Life itself is complex beyond our understanding; relatively little is known today about its inner-workings. Therefore, it can be nothing better than irresponsible to create life from death, when you don't understand what is already alive. The admittance of his disappointment in his work causes one to question why he would create such a monstrous creature that would obviously not fit into society. The most obvious explanation would be that he is so overpowered with the possibility of his own death, that he hopes to gain the knowledge of
Victor becomes addicted to the science of life after his mother dies, and learns the secret of reanimation He succeeds in creating life, but the creature he creates ends up killing the ones he loves most. An example of Victor’s obsession over life is, when he is reading the works of Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Parcelsus who were all famous alchemists. He states that “there attempts were futile,
Victor becomes so engaged in his scientific creation that he abandons his family and friends to complete the task before him. He becomes obsessed with his goal to the extreme that he fails to realize the negative effect it has on his health. When the creation was complete, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled his heart”(Shelly 70). The creation is let free to roam the town due to fear and Victor becomes extremely ill thinking about the ability of his new hideous creation. is based on an adventurous young man who is fascinated by science but specifically by the revival of the dead. During the 1800’s not many were interested in the field yet alon
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
During adolescence, Victor develops a fascination for the mysteries of natural science. He goes to Ingolstadt to enhance his knowledge where he engrosses himself in his studies eventually developing a deep passion for science and human anatomy. After attending the university, Victor’s thirst for more knowledge leads him to take on the project of creating a living creature. He submerges himself in his work and refuses to give up, even sacrificing his health. “After days and nights of incredible labour and fatigue, I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter” (Shelly 41). Victor’s obsession with learning the secret to life causes him to become isolated and unhealthy. He removed himself from his social life and never did anything else besides work on his creation. Victor’s thirst for knowledge is what urges him to make the creature, eventually leading to him
Throughout the novel, Victor ignores and shows no interest or empathy towards human beings. He is an alchemist himself who is interested in making things come to life from the dead specifically. He was unable to differentiate the “impracticability” of this creation he had in mind (Shelley 54). Victor has this big idea of taking body parts of the dead people and creating this creature that also becomes known as the Monster. He does not think about the future of the
It seems as if Victor Frankenstein is charmed with the thought of death: “To examine the cause of life, we must first have resource to death.” (78) In order to create a living thing Victor must have access to a dead body to analyze the process of death. In other words, Victor is wanting to learn the cause of life by working backwards through an entity that was once alive. Victor talks about corpses with no attitudes of respect: “deprived of life…food for the warm” (78). Victor does not look at bodies as if there were once a living person or animal. The thought of someone digging up burial sites and collecting body parts to create a monster would be classified as a psychopath which questions Victor’s sanity. There is a possibility that there is something missing from Victor’s life and this is the reason why he is infatuated with the dead because he can relate to the deprived of life notion. This notion influenced Victor to do something with his time and possibly he will feel warmth and not deprived of life once he constructs an existence.
It is Victor's story that truly exposes the true theme of the story, with him speaking of his days as a child and his first friendship with the girl his parents adopted. He lives a fine life, full of joy and happiness with friend plentiful. When he goes to college he is without friends, but soon befriends one of the professors and engaged in lengthy conversations with him. This isn't the same friendship as before, lacking the real love and companionship of his family, and he soon begins work on his creation. He so overwhelmed by the idea of creating a perfect person he is blinded from the deformity of the creature. When the creature is finished he examines his work and is mortified by it, running and hiding he escapes the creature that soon wanders away. Soon after Victor becomes sick and deathly, he shuns society and people and is almost dead when his friend Clerval arrives at the college. Clerval nurses Victor back to health, but Victor isn't physically sick, he has just
In chapters 9 and 10 Mary Shelley portrays Victor’s mood as dark he feels guilt that he is alive and Justine has been held responsible for his crime and has been executed. Although he is still alive feels dead, like his creation “The blood flowed freely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart…” Victor is saddened that his life as a scientist started with good intentions he was keen to help people but this ambition went astray.
Victor had an obligation to care for his creation, but chooses at first glance of his construction to abscond from its presence. The comparison of Victor as God-like highlights Enlightenment philosophers who have gone beyond the limits of humanity in order to attain knowledge. Victor is characterized then as a savant manipulating nature. The Creature acts as a balance for philosophers to stop and reflect upon their own enterprise and determine the fine line between acceptable and unacceptable knowledge as it pertains to nature. To this end, Shelley enforces that humanity must pay due respect to the limits placed in front of them by avoiding the Enlightenment philosophy that man is to find a definite definition for every phenomenon he encounters.
During Frankenstein Victor’s mental state was altered after witnessing the power of nature firsthand when he saw lightning destroy a tree near his home in Geneva.This observation leads him to study philosophy at the University of Ingolstadt where he became obsessed with anatomy. Victor takes God’s power into his own hands, “When I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it.” (Shelly 32) He has the gruesome idea to create his own human from the remains of the dead. Victor sneaks into charnel-houses, digs into graves to collect limbs, disturbing the resting corpses, and studies uses them to find the answer how to make life come from death. During the process of creating his monster, Victor
Perhaps the most interesting event in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the perverse dream that Victor Frankenstein experiences after he brings the creature to life. Examination of the dream through Freudian theories on sexual motivation and the Oedipal Complex provide insight to the actions and character of Mary Shelley's protagonist. Further examination also reveals the reason for Victor's actions and character and how each affects his relationship with those closest to him.
However, Victor is part of the problem throughout the novel, as his defiance of natural process exemplifies the need for humanity to control nature, through modification, identification, and oppression. Victor initially is inspired to create due to his unchecked foray into the sciences, to explore where "the principle of life proceed[ed]" (Shelley 31), and defy the natural courses of life and death. Victor's result, in that his creation subverts both humanity and nature through its actions, serves to illuminate the potential danger in attempting to control or modify nature for