Ideas of Philosophy, Religion and Psychology in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Ideas of Philosophy, Religion and Psychology in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Ideas of Philosophy, Religion and Psychology in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

One of the most prominent themes of Frankenstein is that of philosophy
and in as I will explain in particular the need for companionship.

There are indeed many passages that describe "domestic affection"; for
example, Victor's description of his childhood:

No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My
parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence.
We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to
their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights
which we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families, I distinctly
discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted
the development of filial love.

The next point is that as we find out toward the beginning of the book
in the letters to his sister that Captain Walton is ambitious and
knowledge-hungry, just like Victor Frankenstein; Walton "has been
inspired since early youth to satiate an ardent curiosity about the
unknown regions of the earth." Like Victor, Walton is lonely and
therefore unhappy. He feels his solitude to be "a most severe evil";
he longs for "intimate sympathy with a fellow mind.... A man could
boast of little happiness, who did not enjoy this blessing." When he
meets Victor, Walton finally tastes the pleasures of friendship.
Victor, however, warns Walton that his pursuit of knowledge will ruin
his life, as it has ruined Victor's:

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....


... middle of paper ...


... ... was in their hands ... as they
fulfilled their duties towards me ... I was their only care."

All of this, while seemingly idyllic, gave Victor a sense of godlike
importance, "bestowed on them by Heaven," like a gift from God.
Everything in his life revolves around him, and the only thing that
really matters in the world as he perceives it, is himself and his
happiness. Even when his parents adopt a beautiful, young orphan girl,
Elizabeth Lavenza, he interprets it as an action intended to entertain
and satisfy him. His mother, Caroline, reinforces this belief when she
announces, "I have a pretty present for my Victor", and he willingly
accepts her as his new toy, "mine to protect love and cherish ... a
possession of my own ... she was to be mine only."; all of this
bolstering Victor's sense of his own importance.

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