In this essay, I am going to explore the character of Victor Frankenstein in the opening chapters of the novel. Showing his ambitious, arrogant and insane side in the novel. This novel was written in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which was during the gothic period. During this time, gothic type of literature was very popular and prevalent because people found this very interesting. Supernatural and mystery. Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley, which is also one of the famous gothic novel in those time.
Through out her background and the novel, I know Shelley would be interested in science because there was many of her family members die in her life. Therefore, I think she written this novel to express her feelings, she written Frankenstein as herself. She refers galvanism in the novel because she believes chemistry might provide the secret of life. And she written this novel to satisfied her thoughts. In the novel, I think Shelly trying to give a message to the reader through the character of victor.
The message she tries to give is thinking of the consequence before do anything, which this really link to the story that Shelley’s husband wrote-The Prometheus. Because they both have the same moral behind the story. Firstly, this novel is using flashback on Frankenstein’s life to tell the reader. In the beginning of the novel, Shelley introduces Walton to the reader before she introduces Victor to the reader. The reason for that is because Shelley wants the reader to compare the character of Walton and Victor. In Walton’s letter, there’s a quote that Victor said to Walton “Unhappy man!
Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips! ” This is like a warning for Walton and the reader from Victor. Because Victor doesn’t want Walton to go through what he went through. Victor wants Walton to think of the consequence before he going to North Pole. And that’s what Victor didn’t do in his life. Victor is saying this to Walton because he found that Walton is similar to himself and they both are ambitious of success in their life.
If Shelley didn’t introduce Walton before Victor, the moral behind the novel will be different, because Walton and the reader wouldn’t know it is very important that to think of the consequences before do anything. Moreover, Shelley tells each person’s story in the first person because this can let the reader to know each of the characters really well. For example, this could be shown in the beginning of chapter 2. ” I was capable of a more intense application and was more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge.
” This can show to the reader that he is very curious in his childhood and he is very ambitious. If this weren’t written in first person, the reader wouldn’t perceive the inside of Victor. From the beginning of the novel, I found that Victor had a really happy, carefree and buoyant childhood. To proof this, there’s a quote in chapter 1 when Victor telling his childhood. “They seemed to draw in exhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me” This quote use a metaphor to emphasise how happy his childhood was. He using the word “mine” to describe how much Victor’s parents loves him.
It also portrays the image that the love never going to run out. At this point, the reader will think Victor was a kid that living in a perfect environment that have no worries and so much care from his parents. On his relationship with his mother, I found that Victor loves his mother; he thinks she is so kind and humane. This can be shown in chapter 1 “Their benevolent disposition often made them enter the cottages of the poor. This, to my mother, was more than a duty; it was a necessity, a passion” This can point out how kind his mother was in Victor’s mind.
He use ‘benevolent”, “passion” to emphasise the kindness of his mother which this really show Victor had a really good relationship with his mother. Secondly, the relationship between Elizabeth and Victor was totally different from the relationship with his mother. When Victor first seen Elizabeth is like love in first sight. This can show in the second paragraph of chapter 1 “her blue eyes cloudless, and her lips and the moulding of her face so expressive of sensibility and sweetness that none could behold her without looking on her as of a distinct species, a being heaven sent, and bearing a celestial stamp in all her features.
” Shelley use gothic type of language to create a supernatural feeling for the reader. Shelley use “distinct species”, “heaven-sent” to say that Elizabeth is too good to be human, she is like an angel for Victor. She really stands out and supernatural in his eyes. Also, Frankenstein wants to own Elizabeth. This can show in the end of paragraph 2 in chapter 1. ” Look upon Elizabeth as mine- mine to protect, love and cherish. ” This shows Victor want to treat Elizabeth as an object more than a sister. He wants to own Elizabeth. From this the reader might felt he is a bit mad and demented on Elizabeth.