Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, was a story about a man named Victor who was interested in philosophy. This interest is then what led Victor to create the monster, which was the cause of all of his problems. When he created the monster the sight of it caused him to run away and after this he became sick. The monster then ran away and killed Victor's younger brother which is what was the beginning of the issues that happened in the story. After this many people began to die by the hands of the monster and ultimately Victor's wife and father died which were caused by the monster but ultimately by Victor's hand since he was the one who created the monster. All of these issues happened because the monster wanted to be accepted by his creator but Victor did not. In the end Victor died while trying to chase the monster and he asks the captain of the ship who found him to kill the monster.
Throughout the story, we see Victor go from a curious and knowledgeable young man to a distraught and infuriated man. In the beginning of this book, Victor had always been a big fan of the life sciences and how life itself works. But, as the story progressed and after he made his own being, he began to change his views and regret ever creating his beast. " I then reflected, and the thought made me shiver,that the creature whom I had left in my apartment might still be there, alive and walking about. I dreaded to behold this monster..." (pg 63) In the end, he is chasing his own creation, trying to get revenge and avenge his family's death.
The Monster, Frankenstein
The monster was brought into the world with little, if not any, knowledge of the world that he was brought into. The poor thing did not really have that much direction, training, or proper care thanks to his creator, Victor Frankenstein, not wanting him after creating him. " My heart beat quick; this was the hour and moment of trial, which would decide my hopes or realize my fears." (pg 158) The monster, throughout the story, was really just misunderstood and wanted to reach out to help people but everyone was disgusted by the monster for the way he looked and did not want anything to do with him. If the monster was given the care and attention that he needed in the first place, then he probably would have been better off and there would have been no casualties.
We first hear from Robert Walton at the very beginning of this book in 4 letters that he writes to his sister. At first it seems like these letters have nothing to do with the entire book to begin with, but after a while, we learn how Robert and Victor relate. After the 4 letters at the beginning of the book, that is the last we hear of Robert until the end. "Strange and harrowing must be his story, frightful the storm which embraced the gallant vessel on its course and wrecked it—thus!" (pg. 23) Robert, in his fourth letter, is saying how he is being told Victor's story, and a story that was indeed. We do not really learn all that much about Robert throughout the letters except for he has a sister, in which he was writing the letters to, he helped and befriended Victor in his final days, and his different emotional states throughout the letters.
One of the themes that prevailed through the entire story was despair. This feeling was shared between all of the characters and it began at the beginning of the book starting with Walter's letters. In one of his letters, Walton wrote "I have no friend, Margaret: when I amglowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be noneto participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment,no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shallcommit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poormedium for the communication of feeling. I desire the companyof a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyeswould reply to mine.(pg 7)" This quote shows the despair that Walton was feeling due to his lack of having a friend while he was on his trips. He did have people around him that he liked and they liked him back but he did not have that friend he was looking for on the boat. This theme also appeared again in the story after the monster was created. After Victor created the book read "At these moments I wept bitterly and wished that peacewould revisit my mind only that I might afford them consolationand happiness. But that could not be. Remorse extinguished every hope. I had been the author of unalterableevils, and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom Ihad created should perpetrate some new wickedness.(pg.103)" This quote showed the despair that Victor was feeling after he created the monster. He was ashamed of his creation because of the way that it looked and because of that he felt that it would cause evil and this is where his despair kicked in. This theme also went to the very end of the book and it was what the monster experienced also. At the end of the story when the monster realized that Victor was dead, he said " shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon theseburning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeralpile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturingflames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; myashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. (pg. 277)" This despair that the monster felt because he was not accepted by his creator traveled with him through the entirety of the story until the very end where this quote shows that it will travel with him until he dies.
The next theme that was prevalent throughout the story was the passiveness of the females throughout the entire story. This theme was prevalent in the case of the character Justine when she was killed even though she was innocent because she was framed for killing Victor's younger brother(pg 86-89). Another way that females were shown as passive figures without say was when Victor was creating the female version of the monster. Instead of bringing her to life, he chose to kill her on the table and of course she had no say in this because it was not up to her because she was not the creator.(pg 203).
Romantic Time Period
This story was written in the Romantic Time period and this was apparent in the story because a good amount of the story took place in nature, such as when the monster spent a lot of the time in the caves watching the people, or when Victor was chasing the monster into the north. The story also included a lot of emotional because there were a lot of parts in the stories when the characters were talking about their emotions, such as when the monster was talking about how he wanted to be accepted by victor at the end of the story.
A Lament by Percy Bysshe Shelley
O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more -Oh, never more!
Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more -Oh, never more!
This poem also seems to share the theme despair because the character in this poem seems to be dying and will not have to deal with life no more and he is also trembling and such which shows his despair.
The painting from 1818 relates to the theme of dangerous knowledge. When Victor Frankenstein was a young boy, he was very in tune to all the different things he learned and only craved to learn more. Soon, when he went to college, that knowledge and wanting to know and learn more only became his down fall. In the end all that knowledge and what it led up to would take everything away from him and even kill him.
Overall I thought that the story was a good story and I feel like the letters were a unique way of showing character development because it showed how the characters thought but they were not actually there, and the two main characters who I would say developed with this method would be Captain Walton and Elizabeth because they seemed to write through the letters often. There was nothing that I could say that I disliked about the story, it was just a classic novel that I often heard about and wanted to read about for myself. I interpret this novel as saying that a person should live their life how they want to without worrying about their divine leader or creator's opinion of themselves. I came to this conclusion because in the novel Victor says "At these moments I wept bitterly and wished that peacewould revisit my mind only that I might afford them consolationand happiness. But that could not be. Remorse extinguished every hope. I had been the author of unalterableevils, and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom Ihad created should perpetrate some new wickedness.(pg.103)" Most people say that they are created in their creators image, because I have heard many people say these types of things before in my life but in this story the monster was creator in Victor's image but he would not accept him for anything. Throughout the entire story the monster wanted to be accepted by Victor, and Victor would not accept him even though he was the one who created him in his image. Mary Shelley seems to be saying that instead of living for your creator you should live for yourself.