The Alienation of Victor Frankenstein and Dr. John Faustus
Victor Frankenstein and John Faustus are two characters that are alienated because of their intellectual curiosity. Faustus’s and Frankenstein’s pursuits of knowledge begin with an inexorable journey to their downfalls as they become alienated. Both characters attempt to exceed human ability and are alienated from God because of their attempts. These men are concerned with the secrets of nature and are ultimately alienated from the world because of their quests which violate nature. They are alienated from themselves because of their extreme passions for knowledge. Faustus and Frankentstein could escape their tragic endings and their alienations if only they had fortitude.
According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1985), alienation is “of or belonging to another person or place, foreign in nature or character, the action of a stranger, or a state of estrangement, or a withdrawing or separation of a person or his affections from and object or position of former attachment”. According to the class lecture on alienation, Raymond Williams defines alienation as “ cutting off or being cut off from God, a state of being cut off or estranged from the knowledge of God or from his mercy or worship, loss of original human nature, or a loss of connection with one’s deepest feelings and needs or sense of powerlessness”(notes).
Victor Frankenstein’s journey begins with his notable childhood. Victor is extremely loved by his parents and they bestow upon him a wonderful and educated life as a child. Victor states, “During every hour of my infant life I received a lesson of patience, of charity, and of self-control”(39). However his ...
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...l. The men are alienated from God by their attempts to exceed human ability. Frankenstein and Faustus are estranged from the knowledge of the world because of their concern for the secrets of nature. They lose a connection with their deepest feelings and needs because of their desire for knowledge. If the men had fortitude they could avoid their alienations. These characters are alienated by their intellectual ability and their pursuit of knowledge beyond the scope of human knowledge. Their human knowledge, or humanity ironically denotes them from that which nurtured them.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. (1985) .Springfield,
Massachusetts: MERRIAM-WEBSTER INC.
Geckle, Dr., Lecture Notes. (1/14/02)
Marlowe, Christopher. Doctor Faustus. New York: Signet Classic, 1969
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Bantam Books
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