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Frankenstein Passion For Knowledge Is His Demise English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 3692 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Thesis: Victor Frankenstein had such a curiosity for life, death, science and electricity. Victor leaves everything he knows to further his education. His thirst for knowledge controlled his life. His goal was to find a way to dissolve all sickness and keep the human body alive. He was trying to play God. He was creating life from death. He would create a monster that he immediately rejects, due to his appearance. This rejection plays a major part in the monster’s hatred for others. While creating this creature, Victor thought it would have great respect and loyalty to him. Victor brought life to this creature without thinking of the consequences. He was in this world all alone. In the beginning he was merely a lost innocent soul. The monster just wanted to be loved. He just wanted to be accepted. Since acceptance was not a choice for him. He wanted Victor to make another creature like him, but of course a female. He wanted the kind of love he seen in Victor and Elizabeth. If he could not have this love and happiness, then he would take his creators happiness. In the end, this monster took everything Victor had ever loved, even his life.

Frankenstein’s Passion for Knowledge

A. Victor was very curious about life and death early in life.

B. After the death of his mother, Victor left his true love to pursue his education.

C. Victor’s passion for a way to preserve life was even stronger after the death of his mother.

II. Frankenstein’s Creation

A. Victor innocently created this monstrous being.

B. Victor worked for a long period of time to try to perfect life. He thought this creature would be grateful to him for giving him life.

C. Victor was really trying to play God; he was trying to give life to death.

III. The Monster’s Innocence, Love, and Kindness turns to Anger

A. Victor rejected his creation.

B. The monster’s anger came from the rejection shown by Victor. The monster’s appearance was so hideous; he hated his creator for making him this way.

C. The monster also had a yearning for knowledge, which increased his senses and peaked his curiosity. The Monster learned from the villagers from afar.

IV. Frankenstein’s Passion would also be his Demise.

A. The Monster demanded a mate, so that he to could also be loved and feel that experience.

B. The Monster just wanted to be loved. He wanted the kind of love the villager’s shared. Victor decided not to give it to him a mate.

C. He killed Victor’s friends and family out of rage. The monster would also be the death of Victor…

Frankenstein: Passion for Knowledge is his Demise

In the novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein had a great curiosity for life and death at a very early age. He became very interested in electricity after lightening had struck a tree near his home. He thought if electricity could destroy something so massive, what it could create. Victor then started to experiment with electricity. He made a small electrical machine and also made a kite with a wire for a string to try to harness the electricity.

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Victor had a great yearning for knowledge about life and death. His favorite philosophers of science were Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paraclesus, they intrigued his imagination. He also learned several different languages in order to pursue different philosophers. Victor had been to school in Geneva, but his father thought that he needed to further his education, so he suggested that he go the a University in Ingolstadt to complete his education. As Victor was to go off to school, his mother became very ill with Scarlet Fever. She told Victor and Elizabeth that she wanted them to be joined together forever. She knew she was dying and told the children that she will indulge of the hopes of meeting them in another world. His mother dies calmly with her children by her side. Victor loved his mother very much. She was like a part of him that was gone forever. He expressed his feelings of a void in his soul. This was hard for him to accept, but he knew he must continue with his regular duties. His journey to Ingolstadt was delayed by the death of his mother. He was even more eager to learn about life and death with the passing of his mother.

Victor went to Ingolstadt alone. Elizabeth had to stay home and take care of the younger children, Ernest and William. Henry Clerval, his best friend, went to work for his father. Victor started his classes at the University, he had two different instructors. He went to visit M. Krempe, professor of natural philosophy. Victor expressed his works he thought most interesting. Krempe told him he had wasted his time studying the likes of exploded systems and useless names. He told him he must start his studies anew and gave him a list of books he needed to read. Victor returned to his apartment, he did feel the need to read such book that he has so strongly probated. He then spent the next few days in solitude. He then went to M. Walden’s class who was a professor of chemistry. He liked this professor much better than Krempe. After a few experiments, he concluded the session with in which Victor will never forget, “The ancient teachers of science promised impossibilities, and performed nothing. The modern masters promised very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted, and that the elixir of life is a chimera. But the philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pour over the microscope or crucible; have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recess of nature, shew how she works in her hiding places. They ascent into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the most nature of the air we breathe.

They have acquired almost all new unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.” (28). He later spoke privately to M. Walden. Victor told Walden that his lectures had removed his prejudices against modern chemistry. Walden was pleased with this statement. Walden took Victor into his laboratory and showed him his devices. Walden also told him to study mathematics and when he had advanced enough he could use the equipment in his lab. He also gave him a list of books to read. Victor knew this was an eventful day, a day he would never forget. This day had decided Victor’s future destiny. He then focused his studies natural philosophy and particularly chemistry. He threw himself into all his studies. He would sometimes work/study until early morning.

His full attention was on his pursuit of his discoveries, in which he had high hopes of making. He had not been home in several years. He felt as thought he had improved as much as he could through the University and was planning to go back to Geneva, when an incident protracted him to stay. Victor learned he must examine the course of life he must first have recourse of death. He then became very familiar with anatomy. He also studied the decay of life; he became able to bestow animation upon lifeless matter.

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He spent several months collecting his materials, to make his creature. He finally begins to puts all the pieces together. While creating this creature, Victor thought it would be grateful to its creator. Victor thought it would owe their being and happiness to him. He hoped to renew life where death had corrupted the body. He worked thru the summer and Victor had still not written or visited home. He was working on the conclusion of his masterpiece. His work had started to make him sick; he ran a low grade fever each night and became nervous to a painful degree. He had once enjoyed his health and then he promised to get more exercise and amusement when the creation was complete. The creature is complete. After all the hard work that he put into this being, it was a hideous creature. Victor had given up rest and his health to create such an ugly being. Victor was filled with horror and disgust. Unable to endure the creature he created he rushed out of the room. Dreams now become a hell.

His friend Henry had come to see him surprisingly. He felt joy for the first time in several months. He took Henry back to his apartment, but first went to check to see if the creature was gone, and he was. Then he led Henry up the stairs to the apartment. Victor then got a nervous fever, which confined him for several months. Henry was Victor’s only nurse. Henry would also write home for Victor to keep in touch with his family. Henry did not tell the family that Victor was extremely sick. Finally Victor began to recover. He asked Henry what he could do for him. He told him to write home in his own handwriting and let his family know that he was better.

Victor was awaiting a letter from his father, to let him know when to come home. The letter Victor received was something a little different than expected. Victor received a letter from his father asking him to return home immediately. His youngest brother William had been murdered. His father did not know who had killed William. When Victor returned home he was told that Justine Moritz was the murderer. He was for sure there must be a mistake. Justine would not have hurt William. The family tried to help Justine. The evidence of the photo that was placed in her possession this leads the court to declare her guilty and she was put to death. The actual murderer was the monster. The monster killed William to get revenge upon Victor for rejecting him or even creating him.

The monster and Victor finally meet up. The monster told Victor his struggles since his birth. He knew nothing when he was created. He learned thirst, hunger and cold very quickly. The monster told Victor of how cruel people had been to him, just because of his appearance. He was an innocent soul. He finally took refuge in a building, near a cottage where some villager’s lived. He watched these people and learned from them. He learned to speak and read. He more importantly learned of giving, caring, intimacy and love. He helped the villagers gather wood for their fire and vegetables from their garden, from afar. He wanted so badly to be part of that family. They had all that he knew of as being right in the world. They had food, shelter, fire, clothes and each others company. What more could one ask for? When the monster goes to talk to these people they feared for their life, just to look at this monster. He was so scary that people did not give him a chance to even speak. People immediately thought he would hurt them. They too were mean to him and hit him with sticks to make him run away. This is what made him so angry and even more eager for revenge on his creator. The monster spoke to Victor and demanded he make him a mate. He just wanted to be loved. He wanted to be able to share the kind of life he seen with the villager’s, with a mate of his own. He only wanted to be happy. He would go far away from civilization and live with this other monster, if only Victor would comply. Victor was reluctant at first but then told the monster he would create one more of his kind. Then the monster gave Victor back his journal and told him he would be watching him.

Victor went back to Ingolstadt and started working on the female. He worked for a long period of time to try to reconstruct another creature. His friend, Henry, tried to talk him out of making another creature. Henry told him, he will only continue to demand more from you. The monster watched Victor from afar. Then one night, Victor realized that what he was doing was very wrong. He was not God; he should not be creating life from death. Victor then destroys the body. The monster was enraged with anger. How can you deprive me of happiness? The monster then tells Victor, “If you can not give me happiness then I will take yours” (00). He also tells Victor, “I will be with you on your wedding night.” He promised to make Victor’s life miserable. So the monster takes off once more.

The monster then kills his friend Henry. Victor is accused of the murder and was taken to prison to wait his fate. He became very ill once more and was nursed back to health while in prison. Mr. Kirwin had written to his family to tell them of Victor’s situation and his father was to come see him. Victor’s father finally arrives in Ingolstadt.

Victor was soon to have a trail, but not one of public proportion. The grand jury left it up to the lower courts to decide. Mr. Kirwin was helpful in getting witnesses for Victor for his trial. They did not have enough evidence to convict Victor, so he was set free. He and his father started their travels home. They had several stops along the way. Victor receives a letter from Elizabeth. She tells of her love for him, but wonders if he may have found another love while out in the world away from Geneva. She worries greatly as to the reason for his sadness. He writes back to her from Paris to let her know that he truly loves her, but that he does have an awful secret that makes his so miserable. Victor tells Elizabeth that he will confess this secret the night after their wedding.

Victor and his father arrive home in Geneva. Elizabeth was so excited to see him. See rushed out to hug him and she starts to cry as she sees how emancipated he had become. She was just so happy for him to be home. Alphonse then spoke of a wedding for the two of them, so it was set to take place in ten days. Victor was excited to be marrying his true love, but was so very frightened of what may happen on his wedding night. All he could this of was the monster telling him I will be with you on your wedding night. As the wedding day grew closer the more heart sick Victor became. Victor just wanted to be happy and for Elizabeth to be happy. Victor took every precaution to protect himself. He carried pistols and a dagger, which gave him some tranquility. He somehow started to this of the threat from the monster as a delusion and focused himself more on his happiness. Victor’s father was so joyful and excited about the wedding as he made all the plans. After the wedding, the reception was held at his father’s house. Elizabeth and Victor were to retreat to Evian and then return to their new home in Colgony the next day. They started their journey toward Evian by way of water. This would be the last moments in which he would have feelings of happiness. They landed about 8 o’clock. They had talked on the journey; Elizabeth was a little quieter but expressed that even if her face did not show her happiness that it was in her heart. Victor had been calm during the day, but now after dark he became very agitated and nervous. He became so nervous, he made Elizabeth retire to her room. Victor then inspected the entire inn. He could not see a way that the monster could get in. Then Victor heard a shrill and dreadful scream, it was repeated again just before he entered Elizabeth’s room. Victor found her lifeless and her head hung over the bed. He could not bare this site. Victor then fainted. He awakened to find the inn’s people around him. He went to Elizabeth and held her cold lifeless body and wept in agony and despair. He looked up to see something in the window; it was the monster pointing toward Elizabeth with a grin on his face. Victor took his pistol out and shot at him but he went into the lake. The inn’s people came when they heard the shot and Victor explained he was in the lake. A search was conducted for him without success. Victor knew his father would expect their return. Victor quickly returned back to Geneva. Victor kept thinking that my father and Ernest could also be in danger. When he returned his family were alive. Victor’s father could not live under the horrors that were accumulated around him. His father took an apoplectic fit and died a few days later, in his arms. Victor then lost all concepts for life and was retired to a solitary cell for several months. When Victor awakened to reason, he awakened to revenge.

Victor had asked for help in finding this monster, but was turned away. He gathered some things and was leaving Geneva. He came upon the grave sites of his family and kissed the ground and vowed to pursue the daemon that caused this misery and fight him till the death. The monster was there and whispered to him “I am satisfied: miserable wretch! You have determined to live, and I am satisfied.” (141). Victor tried to catch him, but his speed was that of an unnatural being. So Victor searches for him for several months. Victor would go until his huger would overtake him. He became very weak. Victor followed his creation for several weeks. He traded his horse in for a sled and dogs to continue his tract toward the north. Victor at last had Frankenstein in his sites, so he stopped and got some an hour of rest then he continued his search with vengeance. He got closer and closer to the monster. He then lost site of him, waves had broken up the ice of the sea and Victor was left stranded on a piece of ice in the middle of the ocean. Victor spends a few days on this iceberg with no hopes of surviving, two of his dogs died. Then out of no where he sees a ship stuck in the ice and they pull him ashore. The Captain takes him to his cabin to try to nurse him back to health. He was very weak and sick. Victor tells the Captain of his story. Victor asks the Captain to continue his search for the monster and to destroy him if he dies. Victor became weaker and weaker. Victor dies with his task undone. The Captain had retired to his room and then he hears a voice coming from the cabin where Victor’s body remains. The Captain enters the room to see this wretch of a man. The monster was talking to his creator. The monster said “That is also my victim!”(153). The monster was saddened by Victor’s death. He wanted a pardon form his creator, but it was to late. The monster said, “Farewell Frankenstein!” “I shall now die and what I now feel shall be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell!” (156) This creature had wanted revenge on Victor. He wanted him to suffer. He wanted him to be in misery. He took all that was good in Victor’s life. He took his brother, friend and most importantly his wife. Victor was haunted by his own creation. He has now at last destroyed Victor!

As I look back on the story, this was nothing like I had expected. I always thought of Frankenstein as just a Monster, which is definitely not the case. I felt this story was more of a love story than anything else. He was an innocent creature. He just wanted to be loved. In the story Mary Shelley makes a few references about God. Shelley refers to the monster as like Adam was to God. Only Adam had a father who loved him. Frankenstein did not. I think her theme is mostly about innocence of this creature and also of the innocence of Victor himself. As he created this creature he was not thinking of this outcome. He thought of a beautiful being. He was merely trying to abolish sickness in the world and come up with a lot more than he expected. Also, Shelly shows how hatred and vengeance can destroy the mind and the body. Shelly shows us that it is great to always want to better ourselves but if it takes your happiness then is it really worth it? In my eyes they both went to extremes to learn about different things; Victor about science and the Monster about life, love, and happiness. A human being should always preserve a calm and peaceful mind; never let passion or desire disturb tranquility. If the studies to which you apply yourself weakens your affections or destroy your simple pleasures then that is not benefiting the human mind.

Works Cited Page

Bentley, Colene. “Family, Humanity, Polity: Theorizing the Basis and Boundaries of Political Community in Frankenstein.” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, Volume 47.3.

Bloom, Harold. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, New Edition, Bloom’s Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2008. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.

Brackett, Virginia. “Frankenstein.” Facts On File Companion to the British Novel: Beginnings through the 19th Century, Vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.

Burt, Daniel S. “Frankenstein.” The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.

D’Ammassa, Don. “Frankenstein.” Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Horror Fiction. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.

Frankenstein Movie. Hallmark: 2004

Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein. WW Norton & Company, Inc.: 1996

Sherwin, Paul. “Frankenstein: Creation as Catastrophe.” PMLA (1981). Quoted as “Frankenstein: Creation as Catastrophe” in Bloom, Harold, ed. The Sublime, Bloom’s Literary Themes.New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2010. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. FactsOn File, Inc.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. “Frankenstein.” Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.


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