“Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” by Shelley Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Aug 19th, 2020

Victor Frankenstein is the major character of this novel. He is a ruthless man who stops at nothing in his pursuit for knowledge. He studied in Ingolstadt where he discovered the secrets of life, which he uses to create a monster. Frankenstein narrates his life story to Robert Walton, an arctic sea farer who helps Victor Frankenstein regain full strength and health. Walton records Victor’s stories in letters which he writes to his sister, Margaret Saville who lives in England.

He tells him about his creation that he has managed to perform by assembling dead body parts. He pursues knowledge that is even beyond human’s limits, and in doing so, he ends up hurting everyone, even the people he dearly loves. To me, he is not a likeable character because he does things without considering their possible harm or their consequences. However, I do not mean that pursuing knowledge is bad. Rather, a person seeking for some information should show some restrain and consider the possible consequences. Knowledge pursued without consideration is selfish and irresponsible, that is why Frankenstein’s irresponsible acts lead to the loss of people’s lives.

After creating a monster, he damps it and leaves it lonely and alone. He is supposed to take responsibility for what he has created. Instead, he develops hatred for it and runs away to escape from that monster, and in return, his creation takes revenge on him.

Frankenstein knows the consequences of his actions, but still, he goes ahead and creates the monster. He does this in secret since he is aware of the dangers of his experiment. He knows that if discovered, he can face serious challenges and has to be accountable for his deeds.

In chapter 4, we see how Frankenstein engages himself in unhealthy, disturbing and unpleasant activities that are horrifying (Shelley, 47). It seems that he glorifies death when he talks about the worms (Shelley, 50).

His greed for knowledge leads to his physical deterioration. His cheeks grow pale because of the constant study, and he becomes thin and emaciated because he does not even have time to eat. His obsession and wish to succeed in creating his monster do not even allow him to care for himself. His body begins to decay like that of a dead person. It is shocking that a man can focus on something so much that he forgets to take care of himself.

That is exactly what happens to Frankenstein. He works and toils for several months without eating or sleeping, and his body succumbs to this. Even as the monster begins to come alive, Frankenstein’s own body continues to decay, and he nearly dies.

After achieving a success, Frankenstein is not still happy. Instead, the monster haunts him, thus Victor turns out to be deprived of rest as he has to hide from the monster. In chapter five, when he tries to go to sleep, the image of the monster still torments him. He dreams of decaying bodies, and as a result, he suffers from psychological breakdown.

He is so agitated that Clerval can’t help noticing that something is seriously wrong. His actions are like those of a person who has gone insane. The narrator tells that Frankenstein can barely stay in one place and even jumps over the chairs like a mad man.

Despite the fact that Frankenstein is remorseful about the things that he has done, he still cannot make himself tell the truth. This leads to the situation when everything gets out of hand as the monster continue to wreak havoc, and many people die as a result.

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. New York: Bantam Books, 1981. Print.

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