The Monster Within the Creator
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tells a story, which occurs in the 18th century in Europe, intertwining the lives of a monster and its creator, Victor Frankenstein. Shelley, using a series of letters, conveys the tale through the eyes of both the creature and Victor. Initially, the reader experiences the ugliness and horror of the creature through its physical characteristics but eventually becomes conscious of the true beast, Victor Frankenstein.
Victor Frankenstein, a privileged and happy child, describes that “no human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence” (Shelley 33). However, the reader sees flaws in this perfect childhood when Victor portrays his temper as “sometimes violent” and his obsession with the “secrets of heaven and earth” (33). Victor’s father dismisses this fascination by calling it “sad trash” which makes Victor feel abandoned by his father (34). In fact, “Victor explicitly criticizes his father’s execution of his parental role: ‘if my father had take the pains to explain to me ----it is even possible that…my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin’ (34) ” (Claridge 108). This abandonment that Victor feels by his father will soon rear its ugly head again.
Upon Victor’s mother’s death and entering the University of Ingolstadt, Victor becomes consumed with “natural philosophy and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term” to master the ability to create life (45). “As he researches into the ‘secrets of nature’ become more feverish and his ambition ‘to explore unknown powers’ grows more intense, Victor begins to metamorphose from Adam to Satan” (Gilbert and Gubar 101). Frankenstein “works hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body” (51). Victor, creator and parent, builds and then abandons the creature, his son....
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