Analysis of the Tragedy of Victor in the Novel Frankenstein
Written by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein is a story of a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Presented in Jill Lepore article in New Yorker, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein out of the death of her first child, “Dreamed that my little baby came to life again.” Frankenstein was a character based from wanting her first child to be reborn. Beneath the initial monster story, the use of archetypes, themes, and characterization help develop the character of Mr. Frankenstein.
Victor is a tragic hero because he is the main character in a tragedy and his flaw of sacrificing anything to gain knowledge eventually brings about his downfall. Do to the long months and months of trying to study his experimental creature before it came to life, Victor would write notes in his journal. “I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit.” Victor has an unbridled ego which helps him satisfy the urge to know and use his learning to create a new race of man. He isn’t fully aware of his consequences while creating a new race of humans. The archetype is shown because he overreached to seek knowledge that shouldn’t be known by any human being and when he receives such knowledge it ends up turning his life upside down.
Frankenstein is a look at humanity and sticks to the theme of keeping information from family and dangerous knowledge. Victor did everything he could to keep his secret from his family, and it ended up ruining his life. If he had told at least one other person, they might have been able to help him or at least give him some advice on what to do with the monster. Victor found the knowledge of life; this theme still remains relevant to today. With Victor trying to make new creations using man, he is upsetting God which is why his life ended up being ruined. Informed in Forbidden Knowledge, Danny has stated that, “The first that man should not play God. Victor Frankenstein embarks on a quest to create life, which ends in tragedy.” Frankenstein was supposed to be visioned as another human being just with larger features, but instead he turned out to be a terrifying monster. As the monster fled the house, going out into society trying to fit in the picture, but humans weren’t being welcoming sending the creature; hatred, fear, and confusion.
Through other characters such as Walton, the author made Victor seem like a mad-scientist and like a man with a deep passion and curiosity of the sciences. Frankenstein tried to portray himself as a kind, benevolent creator who just made a simple mistake, he ended up sounding like a shallow, prideful man.
The use of archetypes shows the character description Victor is filling in the storyline. It also helps the reader understand how he should be viewed in the story. Using themes shows how the plot of the story will eventually play out once the characters are developed. Lastly the use of characterization shows how the person is viewed and the characteristics shown.
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