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Frankenstein and How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)
The pursuit of knowledge is the very heart of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley depicts how the very pursuit, thirst for knowledge ruined one man’s life. Victor’s life is consumed by a want for more knowledge and Mary Shelley shows the before and after effects of that relentless pursuit. Robert Walton life could also be ruined by an endless need for more knowledge. The ruthless pursuit of knowledge, of reaching for a distant light proves dangerous to both Victor and Robert. The monster, Victor’s act of creation, eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him and Robert’s expedition is dangerously encased sheets of ice. It is here that the two characters pursuit of knowledge diverges. Victor’s telling of his story shows the dark path his need for knowledge led him down and ultimately his obsessive hatred of the monster, his creation, leads to his death. It is the telling of Victor’s story that pulls Robert back from his single minded mission and shows him the destruction that can lead from a blinded need for knowledge. Although the monster’s learning experiences and knowledge are not as advanced as Victor and Robert’s it is significant in this book. The monster’s thirst for knowledge was driven by a need for acceptance and understanding of his creation and ultimate rejection. Chapter 10: It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow

Mary Shelley uses the weather as a metaphor throughout Frankenstein. It is coupled with Victor’s sickness as a foreshadowing of coming events. The storm that occurred on the night of William’s murder is an example, a foreshadowing, of the misery caused by the monster that night. Another example of seasons and the effects of them on this story is seen when both Victor and the monster feel the lifting of their spirits during warm weather. The Alps show a spiritual awakening and self-reflection, whereas, the cold and stormy weather of the north arctic or the rain of Victor’s wedding night show depression and thoughts of death. Both examples underscore the desperation of Victor and the monster’s circumstances and remind them of their own coming doom. It is clear that the weather directly corresponds to the attitudes and feelings of the characters. Chapter 11…More Than It’s Going to Hurt You: Concerning Violence The use of gloomy imagery reveals the creature’s feelings of abandonment and how much his pain was greater than that of Victor’s. The creature goes through a great deal of hatred brought on by his feelings of suffering and abandonment. As the book develops Shelley uncovers levels of sadness in the creature. An observation discovered through Mary Shelley’s writing style is how she uncovers the sense of sadness in the creature. His feeling of abandonment is seen when he talks of his emotions to Victor stating, “Be calm! I entreat you to hear me, before you give vent to your hatred on my devoted head. Have I not suffered enough that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it” (68-69). The theme of no one listening to the monster, thereby excluding him from society, is scene throughout the book. During this passage between the creature and Victor, he explains his feelings throughout his journeys using dark imagery in his attempt to make Victor understand what he felt inside. An attempt to show Victor that his pain was greater and would hurt him more than any pain he inflicted upon Victor. The creature says that even though his life is an “accumulation of anguish”, he will continue to live because he cares about his life even though no one else does. Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?

Touches of violent imagery are given to the reader throughout the book. The violent side of the creature is unleashed and shown to the reader as he tries to find a moment of acceptance by the human...
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