How Latent Homosexuality Assisted in the Quest For
Immortality in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein
The latent homosexuality among the male characters in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein plays a significant role in their quest for immortality through achievement and creation. The three main male characters in Frankenstein, excluding Victor Frankenstein’s creation display homosexual characteristics as well as an intense drive for everlasting recognition and or life. Homosexuality in the 18th century would have closed off the common form of immortality through children for anyone who would not submit to a life unfitting to them. Without the desire for family life the men become obsessed with other avenues to achieve their goal of Immortality.
Captain Robert Walton, whose homosexual tendencies are the easiest to discern, is the first male character we, the reader, becomes acquainted with in the novel. Robert who is journeying through the perilous arctic sea in search of the North Pole and fame is a single man who only enjoys the female companionship of his sister who he relates the tales of his travels to through letters. It is when Robert meets Victor that his affection for the masculine sex becomes apparent. “His full-toned voice swells in my ears; his lustrous eyes dwell on me with all their melancholy sweetest.” (Frankenstein 14) Robert speaks of Victor with erotic undertones multiple times throughout the novel. (Frankenstein 11, 12, 13, 14, 155, 156, 157) It is when Robert speaks of Victor as being above anyone Robert has ever known that we see how deeply enthralled with Victor Robert has become. (Frankenstein 12) Robert and Victor share the same lust for immortality but in different ways. Victor asks Robert early on “Do you share my madness?” (Frankenstein 12) and as we discover, the answer was yes. Robert wants to make a discovery that will have an everlasting positive effect on the human race causing all those who come after to him to forever remember his...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document