The Road to Despair: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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The obsessed search for knowledge, fame and fortune can often undervalue one’s life and become the main focus of their existence. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, she proves that obsession is a dangerous aspect of the human behavior, which always results in a negative outcome, this is mainly portrayed through the protagonist of the story Dr. Victor Frankenstein, because of Dr. Frankenstein’s obsessive personality he fails to recognize the affects of his scientific experiments which eventually lead to his and his family’s death. As the doctor gives a glimpse of his early childhood, his earliest memories include those of “Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensation I can remember” (Shelley 22). Very early on in Dr. Frankenstein’s life he was curious about science, his eagerness to unveil the “hidden laws of nature” is like a seed which then grows to the point of becoming his obsession later on in life with finding the cure for mortality. Once he begins his work on the creation of the monster he is often left sleepless and grows weaker because of the long hours of work he commits himself to. He states, “Every night I was oppressed by a slow fever, and I became nervous to a most painful degree” (Shelley 42). The reader has now witnessed his appetite for scientific breakthrough morphing into a self-obsessed yearning for acclaim and recognition. This gives a perfect example of his obsession as he is so focused on his work that he begins to ignore his family as well as his declining mental and physical well being. He knows that the religious and scientific communities would frown upon his experiment; this creates nervousne... ... middle of paper ... ... captain to “undertake my unfinished work, and I renew this request right now, when I am only induced by reason and virtue” (Shelley 207). Even on his deathbed he still wants to accomplish his goal of killing the creature. Some of his last words are used to pass on his mission to the ship captain. After the loss of almost all of his family he now feels the same bloodlust the monster has felt since the beginning. Victor Frankenstein is blinded to the consequences of his scientific experimentation because of his overly obsessive personality. Mary Shelley’s story serves as a cautionary tale warning against the damaging powers of obsession. The search for knowledge, recognition and prosperity can lead one down a very dangerous road and take them away from what really matters in their life. Works Cited Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Bantam Books, 1981. Print

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