Victor Frankenstein: Beacon of Humanity
The tale of Victor Frankenstein is one of disillusioned fascination. As a young boy Victor begins reading the works of ancient and outdated alchemists, putting him on a path of scientific exploration and search for forbidden knowledge: specifically the secrets of life after strengthened by the passing of his mother. He delves into the world of modern science and forbidden alchemy, mastering and excelling in both in a short amount of time. From young boy to dying man recounting his life story, Victor is the visage of humanity—reflecting aspects and features of our race with stunning clarity. Commitment to self, irresponsibility, lust for power and arrogance.
As with most, Victor’s motivations are blatantly self-serving. No matter the cost, he will pursue his studies of the secret of life. “So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation (Frankenstein, chapter III)”. He relates to Walton how his chemistry professor ignited in him the desire to gain knowledge of the secret of life. He is driven by his passion, unable to control it. Further, the glorious, assertive quality of his statement foreshadows the fact that his passion will not be swayed by any consideration of the possible horrific consequences of his search for knowledge. Additionally, this declaration furthers the parallel between the captain, Robert Walton’s world explorations and Frankenstein’s exploration into unknown knowledge. No cost was too great, no sacrifice too much. Everything was forfeit compared to his quest for knowledge. The selfishness and greed that fuel our market and nations compare quite well to Victor’s—seeking power in a fervent pursuit by whatever means necessary. The quest for dangerous knowledge is echoed by the governments of the world,...
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