Frankenstein toils in his laboratory, gazing at the being he is about to bring to life. He will have his own subjects that honor him as their creator. He will be forever remembered and respected by the scientific community. If he only knew how wrong he was. In Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley illustrates how social isolation leads to loneliness, guilt, and revenge.
The story starts off with the correspondence between explorer Robert Walton and his sister.
Walton expresses his hopes of scientific discovery as he travels through Russia. This voyage was Robert’s childhood dream. Even with his success as captain, he is lonesome. “You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend” (14). Walton fears that he could never find a true companion in such a remote area of the world. All of this changes when he discovers the mysterious Victor Frankenstein and invites him on board. In Victor, he finds a fragile and dark soul who is also capable of great kindness and wonder. Frankenstein shares Walton’s scientific curiosity but warns him against ambition. “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been” (24). With this quote, Shelley foreshadows Victor’s downfall.
Frankenstein relates how the works of ancient scientists fueled his interest in natural philosophy. After arriving at the University of Ingolstadt, he gains support from M. Waldman, a chemistry professor. His words greatly inspire Victor to achieve the impossible in science. Frankenstein soon devotes all of his attention to his research, isolating himself fro...
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...e a part of the family. He works up the courage to address Felix’s blind father, but Felix beats him and drives him from the cottage. The entire family is terrified of him. The creature has lost his only connection to society. “There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies?” (135). He cannot bear to harm the family, so he burns down their deserted cottage instead. The creature shows he is still caring towards humans when he rescues a girl from drowning. He is repaid with a shot through the shoulder. Frankenstein’s creature feels abandoned by his creator and everyone he meets. “Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend” (98). The creature cannot feel love and acceptance, so he turns to revenge.
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