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Themes in Frankenstein

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Introduction

´╗┐From our reading so far I can identify many themes within the novel which I will now explore and analyse in this essay. Possibly the most powerful theme shown in Volume One is the dangerous pursuit of knowledge and the possible moral consequences of ambition. From the day we first meet Victor we learn that he is an obvious over-reacher and will attempt to surge beyond any regular human limits to access the secret of life. Through Victor and his ruthless ambition Shelley makes it clear that she believes knowledge such as the type of which Victor is enthralled in can lead to no good and that it soon becomes destructive when uncontrolled. Although, not only Victor is affected by this theme, Walton too succumbs to his uncontrollable passion, saying this though; it is Victor whose obsession is bizarrely intense. ?I collected bones from charnel-houses and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop ...read more.

Middle

Friendship is obviously a theme which pervades the entire novel although we as the reader do feel it very strongly through only Volume One. Friendship is crucial and Mary Shelley shows us this through many of the relationships ending in pain, loss and suffering, this is especially true of those connected to Victor. Victor?s parents have a large part to play in his state and his way with relationships: the first new relationship Victor ever experiences is when he is a child and his parents decide to adopt Elizabeth. The night before the adoption Victor?s mother says ?I have a pretty present for my Victor, tomorrow he shall have it?, implanting the idea that Elizabeth is a possession of his. It is from here on the he describes here as ?more than sister?; stating his conceptions of ownership and ?since death she was only to be mine?. To add to this we see Victor?s mother wish whilst on her death bed that Victor and Elizabeth should be married showing just how strongly parental pressure influences him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The monsters first experience with the world is his own ?father? rejecting him despite the fact that he was his creator, ?unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room?. The monster never chooses to be isolated rather that others alienate him because of his hideous appearance and is left yearning for companionship and affection. Victor too is a victim of alienation although as explained above this is self imposed; Victor avoids and rejects any family or friends who show love or affection towards him. This suggests to me that Victor is rebelling against any human ties to avoid any type of interference with the pursuit of his needs and desires. The isolation that both Victor and the monster feel is primarily caused by their alienation from others. Walton in my opinion is not as isolated as the other two characters mentioned as Walton does have his crew to rely on and his studies are not considered ?secrets? like Frankenstein?s are. ...read more.

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