Shelley transitions Victor’s life from one of happyness to one where everything is lost to the monster he created. “I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking the the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.” (Shelley 44) The stark contrast between the satisfaction he feels and the loss directly after shows how Shelley is developing the theme of this book to be one of heartbreak and sadness.
Following the American and French Revolutions, the people’s trust in authority lessened, this, combined with England’s Industrial Revolution, which increased the socioeconomic gap between the upper and lower class, many writers to use their works to pose questions society desperately needed to answer. These questions ranged from the topics of democracy to freedom and education, all of which can be seen in Godwin and Wollenstonecraft’s works. This is the world Mary Shelley grew up in, and the world in which Frankenstein was written. Following her elopement with Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley lost contact with William Godwin, which is when she “rejected her utopian and radical heritage and opted for a more conservative and pessimistic view of the world” (Sterrenberg). This can be shown in Frankenstein, where the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, is shown to be both repulsed and astounded by his “monster.”
The author, Mary Shelley, develops Victor Frankenstein’s character into more of a monster, himself theoretically, in contrast to his creation who gains the brain and emotions of a human which demonstrates insanity and growth that are used to add contrast and character development. These traits of a monster can be seen when Victor’s mental and physical health declines which shows insanity. This is proven when Victor starts his studies in Ingolstadt:
Victor falls ill with anxiety, and as a result of Victor’s neglect the monster begins to destroy his life. Even when the monster confronts Frankenstein, threatening that he “will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of [Frankenstein’s] remaining friends, 102" Victor does not acknowledge the problem he has caused, the literal embodiment of his anxiety. He does not attempt to confront the monster head on or alleviate his loneliness, both a form of acknowledgement and thus a healthy way to respond to his fears. Instead, he once again pretends the monster doesn’t exist which only further enrages and empowers him. Once again, this mirrors the fact that when fears and anxiety go undealt with they will only grow and confirms that the monster is the embodiment of this
Victor’s creation is described as a “monster” in the story of Frankenstein. He is immediately considered to be evil because he has committed murder, even though he meant no harm. He wrongfully forges his identity according to how others see him; as an evil monster. He forges his identity on how others view him, which is an evil monster (Lall 36). At this point, he is growing out of the mental stage of an infant and is beginning to learn how to take care of himself.
Victor is stirred by his work, but not in a positive manner. He goes on to explain his feelings towards the creature by saying, “… my heart sickened and my feelings were altered to those of horror and hatred” (136). Victor is so bewildered and repulsed by the creature that he misses key signs of violence, from the creature, that may have saved Victor’s family had he not been so
The fictional horror novel of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is driven by the accentuation of humanity’s flaws. Even at the very mention of her work an archetypal monster fills one’s imagination, coupled with visions of a crazed scientist to boot. Opening her novel with Robert Walton, the conduit of the story, he also serves as a character to parallel the protagonist’s in many ways. As the ‘protagonist’ of the story, Victor Frankenstein, takes on the mantle of the deluded scientist, his nameless creation becomes the embodiment of a truly abandoned child – one left to fend for itself against the harsh reality posed by society. On the other hand, Walton also serves as a foil to Victor – he is not compulsive enough to risk what would be almost
Indeed, Frankenstein is richly furnished with descriptions of incidents that expose Victor Frankenstein’s mental condition” (Hirche
Throughout Frankenstein, Shelley uses Victor to warn the reader of the dangers of aspiring to godliness, and the consequences one faces in the aftermath doing so, even going as far as to compare Victor to Satan, tempting the crew of Walton’s ship, in the book’s final pages. The Victor Shelley creates is very similar to the Satan created by Milton in his book, Paradise Lost, which explores the biblical tale of Adam and Eve. In Frankenstein, Victor speaks of his desire to create the Creature, saying, “I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellow-creatures.” (152). Shelley’s diction choices, such as the word “useless” exemplify Victor’s excessive hubris, portraying him as a man who creates his Creature for, in his mind, the good of society.
Mary Shelley describes the changes that occur between Victor and the monster throughout her novel by using indirect characterization to show these transformations. Throughout the novel Victor is conveyed as a dynamic character who changes from obsessive to regretful through his actions and feelings. Shelley shows that Victor is obsessed with his creation of the monster by how he disregards everything around him so he could finish his work. Shelley describes,“Winter, spring, and summer passed away
"Have the courage to use your own understanding" is probably the best-known quotation by Immanuel Kant (Kant 58). He refers to the Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, which was a major historical movement of the eighteenth century. The era was characterized by significant social and intellectual developments which led to several shifts in people’s way of thinking. Moreover, the era was accompanied by major scientific research and discovery. In her novel “Frankenstein’’ ,which was first published in 1818, Mary Shelley addresses numerous ideas of the movement which are embodied by the main characters, Victor Frankenstein and his monster.