Close Analysis of Frankenstein

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Frankenstein is an emotionally driven recounting of how Victor Frankenstein rises to the challenge of proving himself while receiving an education, even going so far say he had “made some discoveries in the improvement of some chemical instruments which procured me great esteem and admiration at the university” (Shelley, p. 49) to eventually creating a monster, through which he hoped to make his mark on this world. Victor’s desire to create the monster was driven by his obsessive and unflinching drive to prove his worth in the realm of natural sciences. “No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.” (Shelley, p.52) The quote above describes Victor’s confusion regarding his determination to create this living being. Victor was undeniably focused on innovating scientifically, shattering the laws of “life and death” (Shelley, p.52) and creating a means of initiating life beyond the scope of natural death. Before setting off to the University of Ingolstadt, Victor’s mother passed away after tending to his sister Elizabeth’s scarlet fever. Victor describes this tragedy saying: “the first misfortune of my life occurred – an omen, as it were, of my future misery” (Shelley, p.40), hinting that the passing of his mother possibly played a role in his downfall. “I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” (Shelley, p.55) Victor worked steadily and unrelentingly for two years, pouring over the challenge to “bestow animation on lifeless matter” (Shelley, p.52). The goal was to engineer and...
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