Frankenstein by Mary Shelley challenges science when it comes to life, death and the interpretation of god. She introduces us to the character Victor who can be recognized as a mad scientist, he is obsessed over creating a perfect human being. However, according to Victor's actions, his experiment of creating the perfect human being goes all wrong when his creation the Creature comes out hideous (Shelley 43). Nevertheless, the Creature is not as horrible and “wretched” as Victor proclaims. He is a human with feelings and a soul (Shelley 43). The Creature is of a stature far exceeded by humans, he is able to learn without guidance and supervision. Through struggles, experiences and observations, the Creature learns and adapts to the environment without guidance; as portrayed in Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, the organism that's best adapted to the environment will evolve into a stronger and powerful being. The Creature is abandoned by Victor, because Victor is afraid of the Creature’s appearance (Shelley 44). This results in the Creature going out into society alone. When the creature encounters Victor later on in the story, he argues with Victor and points out that he has a soul and that he is a human (Shelley 87). The Creature indicates that it is humankind that can't accept him (Shelley 87). The Creature can't accept himself because not even Victor his creator can accept him. He notifies Victor of how his heart grew with love for humanity but humanity rejected him just like victor had he was alone (Shelley 88). All he ever truly wanted was a companion, a friend; this became his only request from Victor. This relates to Darwin's point in regards to how men have to work harder than any other species (326). The Creature had no guidance he was abandoned by Victor. He needed to work his way up. He needed to teach himself he needed to work hard and learn to survive on his own (Shelley 90-97). Darwin indicates that the stronger species will live and the weaker species will become extinct [survival of the fittest] (324). If the Creature was not in fact an extraordinary form then he would have died already. A new born baby dies without his mother. However, the Creature was able to survive without victor's guidance. After Victor abandons him the Creature struggles to find food and shelter (Shelley 93). He has no one to turn to for help. Eventually he finds food and he finds a place to stay. At first, he eats berries however, that changes when he learns to make fire and cook (Shelley 91). At this point, the Creature doesn't know how to speak. His only way of communication is groans. As a result of his size and features people are scared of him (Shelley 94). Despite that he is able to adapt accordingly. The Creature learns fast for a new born. He learns to make fire and cook all within one night. Due to the Creature's strength and size and his eagerness to learn he was able to develop survival instincts and adapt to the environment. The first observation he makes is the fire that's left by the Begger's (Shelley 92). When he put his hand near the fire he burnt his hand. That made him realized that the fire is good enough to keep him warm but getting too close to it will injure him (Shelley 92). He then realizes that the fire is formed from wood, he first gathers wet wood but seeing that it doesn't help, he then realizes that it's dry wood that keeps the fire going (Shelley 92). Through this observation he learned how to keep himself warm and how to create fire which is essential to making food (Shelley 92). This relates to Darwin's Sexual Selection: Man because Darwin points out in his theory of evolution that the harder a person works, the faster they learn and the better they are able to evolve and adapt to their environment (352). When the creature gets tired of consuming berries he struggles to feed himself so he starts to steal food from his neighbors, but after he observes and figures...
In the beginning we find Victor growing up in a wealthy family, where he is encouraged to seek a greater understanding of the world around him through science. He is surrounded by loving family and friends and appears to grow up a normal boy with the exception of his obsession of studying outdated theories of science that focused on the natural wonders. Inspired by his youthful obsession, Victor leaves for the University of Ingolstadt to pursue his passions; however, tragedy strikes a few days before with the passing of his mother from scarlet fever. We can only imagine the distraught Frankenstein traveling to school with the sadness that must have plagued him during this time, and how when he arrived may have unconsciously lead him down the road to the construction of the creature.
Victor attacks his studies with enthusiasm and, ignoring his social life and his family far away in Geneva, makes rapid progress. Fascinated by the mystery of the creation of life, he begins to study how the human body is built and how it falls apart. After several years of tireless work, he masters all that his professors have to teach him, and he goes one step further: discovering the secret of life. Privately, hidden away in his apartment where no one can see him work, he decides to begin the construction of an animate creature, zealously devoting...
...Frankenstein and How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)
The pursuit of knowledge is the very heart of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley depicts how the very pursuit, thirst for knowledge ruined one man’s life. Victor’s life is consumed by a want for more knowledge and Mary Shelley shows the before and after effects of that relentless pursuit. Robert Walton life could also be ruined by an endless need for more knowledge. The ruthless pursuit of knowledge, of reaching for a distant light proves dangerous to both Victor and Robert. The monster, Victor’s act of creation, eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him and Robert’s expedition is dangerously encased sheets of ice. It is here that the two characters pursuit of knowledge diverges. Victor’s telling of his story shows the dark path his need for knowledge led him down and ultimately his obsessive hatred of the monster, his creation, leads to his death. It is the telling of Victor’s story that pulls Robert back from his single minded mission and shows him the destruction that can lead from a blinded need for knowledge. Although the monster’s learning experiences and knowledge are not as advanced as Victor and Robert’s it is significant in this book. The monster’s thirst for knowledge was driven by a need for acceptance and understanding of his creation and ultimate rejection.
...Man (Victor) vs. God
Half-frozen, trembling, and troubled are all adjectives that could describe VictorFrankenstein when a ship captain by the name of Robert Walton rescued him in the middle of the Artic. From dialogue between the two, we are informed that VictorFrankenstein has spent his entire life trying to learn everything he could about science and medicine. However, Victor used his knowledge differently than his professors had intended for him to. Written in 1816, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - is vivid portrayal of VictorFrankenstein and the “fiend” he creates. In the early stages of his education, Victor was interested in learning new and foreign things –concepts and ideas about life and death. Though as the story progresses, it becomes clear Victor becomes consumed with trying to “play” God by creating a new life. Frankenstein – tells the story of the age-old battle of Man vs. God.
From childhood, Victor had the odd, but unique, obsession of the concept of life and death. His interest in death first sparked when a carriage killed his dog, Bruno. Victor desperately wanted to change fate and bring Bruno back to life, but being young and without proper education, Victor did not know how to go about reviving the dog. During a thunderstorm the very...
...MULTIPLE CHOICE UNIT TEST 2 Frankenstein
I. Matching/ Identification
1. VictorFrankenstein A. creator of the creature
2. Henry Clerval B. rescued Frankenstein from Arctic ice
3. Elizabeth Lavenza C. unknowingly taught the creature to read and write
4. Robert Walton D. recipient of a series of letters from her brother
5. Margaret Saville E. creature's first victim
6. Justine Moritz F. Frankenstein family matriarch
7. William Frankenstein G. Frankenstein's best friend
8. Felix De Lacey H. died of grief in his son's arms
9. Alphonse Frankenstein I. lived with Frankenstein family, married Victor
10. Caroline Beaufort J. wrongly executed for murder
II. Multiple Choice
1. True or False: The creature strangled VictorFrankenstein.
2. What threat did the creature make when Frankenstein backed out on their agreement?
A. He said, "All of mankind is now cursed."
B. He said, "I will pursue you to the ends of the earth and the end of your life."
C. He said, "I will be with you on your wedding night."
D. He said, "Alas, I am doomed to a wretched life on this earth!"
3. How did the creature learn to speak and to...
...the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, VictorFrankenstein is the true monster, not the creature himself.
VictorFrankenstein grew up in Geneva. He had a strong interest in reading the works of the ancient and outdated alchemists, and was fascinated by science and the "secret of life." One day he decided that he wanted to study further, so Victor actually created a person of his own out of old body parts and strange chemicals. When the creature came to life, he was a hideously ugly beast. The creature does have beauteous features such as "lustrous black hair," and "teeth of pearly whiteness," but they do not look good because they are out of place in relation to his other features, such as his "shriveled complexion," and "watery eyes." His beautiful features are wasted because they are set next to such ugliness (Halberstam 60). He was also a huge eight foot tall mall with the mind of a newborn child. Perhaps the creature could have turned out to be a normal decent human being if he had not been abandoned by his creator directly after his onset of life. But instead, he was left to fend for himself and learn everything on his own, merely by observing others and learning from their mistakes. Due to neglect and abandonment during his early stages of his life, the creature developed an aggressive attitude and began...
...Human in Spirit
In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley simultaneously spins both a gripping horror story and an intense line of philosophical questioning—specifically, what it means to be human. After the titular character imbues his gargantuan experiment with life, he is overcome with the repulsiveness of his creature and flees, rejecting it as a demon. However, in the years between his next meeting with his creator, the creature blossoms into a sentient being capable of many functions unique to humans. Though initially beast like in concerning himself solely with his survival, the creature almost immediately develops human emotions, including compassion, envy, and anger. These emotions would contrast to the creature's expanding capacity for reason, locking the creature in a bout of inner turmoil exclusive to humanity. Ultimately, the creature would eventually manage to obtain an advanced level of self-reflection that he might feel the complexities of regret and sorrow. In all of this, the creature shows that despite his abnormal appearance, his recognition of emotional needs, capacity for reason, and ability to experience feelings of self-reflection truly make him a human being, becoming ever more so as these traits are expanded.
Shortly after being thrust into the realm of the living, the creature quickly develops the level of intelligence necessary for...
...Father Like Son
There are obvious similarities between Victor and his creation; each is abandoned, isolated, and both start out with good intentions. However, Victor's ego in his search for god-like capabilities overpowers his humanity. The creature is nothing but kind until society shuns him as an outcast on account of his deformities. The creature is more humane than his own creator because his wicked deeds are committed in response to society's corruption, while Frankenstein's evil work stems only from his own greed.
VictorFrankenstein and his creation are very much alike. Their creator's abandon them both at a young age. Frankenstein is left without his mother after her death; the creature is rejected by Frankenstein's abandonment. Frankenstein and the monster are also similar in that they are isolated and outcasts of society. Frankenstein is hypothetically an outcast when he consumes himself in work and is isolated when the creature kills those he loves, and the creature is obviously isolated as a hideous outcast of society. VictorFrankenstein starts out with good intentions; he is merely seeking to gain knowledge of natural philosophy. Soon, his greed for god-like power overcomes him and he becomes consumed with the idea of creating life, "Summer months passed while I was thus...
...Many Critics have commented that the creature is ultimately a
character with whom we sympathise. Explore Mary Shelley’s
presentation of the ‘creature’ in light of this comment
The monster created by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, whilst hideous and terrifying in his
appearance is ultimately a production of the world in which he has been born into. Consequently,
through an accumulation of events throughout the novel, the creature becomes someone with
whom we can, and do, sympathise with.
In light of the comment, the purposely placed namelessness of the creature and use of
dehumanising epithets: ‘wretch…daemon…monster’ highlight, instead of the ambiguity as to its
monstrousness, his isolation from humanity. Furthermore, when his humanising, child-like persona is
taken into account (as shown through his learning of concepts, ‘I found with pleasure that the fire
gave light as well as heat’) his outsider appearance is transformed into that of an orphaned child and
thus, sympathy with his longing to be accepted and accepted into a family, ‘I looked upon them as
superior beings, who would be the arbiters of my future destiny’.
This disposition that the creature finds itself in is also furthered with his distorted appearance which
acts as the main reason for his isolation and his non-chance of finding any sort of companionship.
As a result, sympathy is felt for the monster and anger towards...