Monster?

Victor Frankenstein may be labeled as a mad scientist or a freak show, but not everyone can exactly pin point why. He was raised in a normal family with siblings, friends, and a cousin wife. After his mother died, he set out to study at Ingelstadt where his thirst for knowledge came about. Victor began his studies of natural sciences, anatomy, and natural philosophy. He discovered the “enticements of science (Shelley 77).” He also became obsessed with the thought of life and the human frame, so much that he even began to construct his own personal human being. He became so obsessed with his work he forgot his family and everyone. Victor was playing god.  He creates a human he believes is so ugly, that he cannot bear to look at, and becomes very ill. The “monster” is left alone until Victor gets word that his little brother, William has been murdered, and the little girl from his mom’s funeral was falsely accused for it but Victor knew it was his creation’s doing.

Knowledge is power. Before Victor left for his studies, he was an innocent family man. After he left for his studies, he created a monster that killed his own brother. This all arose from curiosity of human anatomy and natural sciences. Victor had found himself through literature of sciences so much that it consumed him. At one point he wrote, “natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term, became nearly my sole occupation (77).” He kept gaining and gaining more knowledge, that he became capable of “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter.” This shows how much power he gained through his studies. Victor became a creator through just self-explored knowledge of the natural sciences and philosophies. He wanted to be “blessed as a creator and source.” A key term in this section of the novel is curiosity. Victor displays curiosity in the natural sciences and believes that will make him happy, but in the end curiosity killed the cat.

One question that arose from the readings of Frankenstein was how did Mary Shelley relate to Victor? When Mary Shelley wrote the original novel she was 19 years old. This is around the age Victor is in the novel. The creation of the monster is often compared to child birth, so possibly Mary Shelley wrote the novel comparing the monster to a child being born and neglected. What is the deeper meaning to Mary Shelley’s writing? Another question that I asked myself while reading was, why did Victor dedicate all this time and health for something he never wanted to see again?

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