Professor Patricia Barker
15 November 2013
In Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor and the monster share similar nature. Throughout the story, Victor Frankenstein and his creation share hatred towards one another. The two characters have the same objective that they are trying to achieve. They each not only value their learning through reading, but appreciate the natural world to help them cope, and have a craving for revenge when they feel it is necessary. While reading the story, the reader can see similarities between Frankenstein and the monster’s eagerness for knowledge, gratefulness for nature, and devotion for revenge.
As a young boy Frankenstein enjoyed learning new things. Victor’s determined character was what begins his disintegration. In Victor’s younger days, he enjoyed reading the books of Cornelius Agrippa. After reading these books, Victor had a different view of the world. Victor’s parents thought that he should attend the University of Ingolstadt to expand his cultural knowledge, although Victor at the time was attending the schools of Geneva. “When I had attained the age of seventeen, my parents resolved that I should become a student at the University of Ingolstadt. I had hitherto attended the schools of Geneva; but my father thought it necessary, for the completion of my education, that I should be made acquainted with other customs than those of my native country” (Shelley 25). This inspired the young Victor to attend the University of Ingolstadt to study science. “His mother's death causes him to delay his departure by many months, but once at the university, Victor spends two years studying chemistry under the direction of M. Waldman and M. Krempe” (Guyer). In addition, the monster himself enjoyed to learn new things. From the very first day of being created, the monster had a desire to understand the way the world worked. Just as Victor had once done, the monster came upon three books. The Sorrows of Werter, a volume of Plutarch’s Lives, and Paradise Lost were the three books that helped the monster open up his mind to the knowledge that these books had to offer him. “I learned from Werter’s imaginations despondency and gloom: but Plutarch taught me high thoughts; he elevated me above the wretched sphere of my own reflections, to admire and love the heroes of past ages…But Paradise Lost excited different and far deeper emotions” (89-90). These books shaped how the monster viewed the world around him. The monster did not only learn through reading but from the cottagers as well. “It impressed me deeply. I learned, from the views of social life which it developed, to admire their virtues, and to deprecate the vices of mankind” (88). Victor and his creation both had the passion for learning; this is what would eventually lead to their destruction.
Similar to Victor, the monster appreciated nature. They both enjoyed the views of nature; it had the effect to be able to calm them down in the awful situations. After the murder of Victor’s son, William, Victor still found peacefulness upon looking at the mountains. ”Dear mountains! My own beautiful lake! how do you welcome your wanderer? Your summits are clear; the sky and lake are blue and placid. Is this to prognosticate peace, or to mock at my unhappiness?” (55). “The call--a version of the lyric gesture of addressing the earth with the assumption that it can respond--establishes a relation of nativity and origination: Victor is the mountains' as they are his. He identifies the calm landscape as a response, but an enigmatic response that he is unable to interpret” (Guyer). Also, after gazing out the window for hours Victor “felt the silence, although I was hardly conscious of its extreme profundity” (120). “The sublime mountainscape gives Victor a feeling of potential freedom and of mastery; however, in order to live that freedom he will have to free himself from the dead who haunt him, a freedom...
Cited: Romanticism 45.1 (2006): 77+.Literature Resource Center. Web. 15
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: W.W. Norton and Company Inc.,
1832): 730. Rpt. inNineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jay
Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
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