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An Exploration into the Obsession that Evolves from the Longing for Knowledge.

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Introduction

An Exploration into the Obsession that Evolves from the Longing for Knowledge There are many interesting theories on the reasons why Mary Shelley wrote the book Frankenstein. She began writing the book while on vacation at Lake Geneva with her husband when Lord Byron challenged everyone to write a ghost story. Frankenstein can be read from different viewpoints and is still relevant to this day. There are also many theories to the evil and cruel imagination that goes into the story. Mary's Mother died at a young age and Mary was scared to have children incase it was deformed and that she could not love it, which can be reflected on in the book. Her stepmother was a cruel, shallow woman who neglected Mary and her daughter. She also used to spend hours visiting her Mothers grave, which can be reflected when Victor searches in graveyards for body parts for his creation. Obsession can be seen throughout the story in the context of hate, love, knowledge and adventure. The story begins with the letters from Sea Captain Robert Walton who is about to embark on a journey to the North Pole where his obsession has been developing for six years. He is thrilled that he will satisfy an `ardent curiosity,' by setting foot on a part of the world never visited by man. Although he is very excited for the adventure he does not seem to be very fond of anyone aboard so feels alone socially and the fact that he will be in the middle of no where. ...read more.

Middle

This obsession with death causes Victor to create the monster that eventually will destroy him. Similarly, Walton's childhood desires, push him into an obsessive preoccupation with sailing and, more specifically, an expedition to find the North Pole. These are potentially destructive passions brought on by childhood experiences. In chapter 12 to 16, we see the creatures deep longing to understand and join human society. He takes curiosity in all that the humans do and learns the manners, governments and religions from Safie's book and weeps of the destruction that man causes. What he had originally been so obsessed with had now turned to disgust. Reading the three books he finds in the satchel; Paradise Lost, Plutachs' Lives and Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther he learns of death and suicide and creation. Reading about the struggle between God and his creations, he feels increasingly alone in the world without a companion or friend. His increasing knowledge makes him more aware of his hideousness and deformity and becomes obsessed with his disfigurement. After Felix beats him with a stick after the monster had longed to be with them, his only desire now is revenge against mankind and its callousness and cruelty and his creator. When the creation comes across Victor's brother William, he destroys the boy and both the creation and creator had now swapped roles. The creature now realised that his creator, like God, was not invincible or invulnerable and he had power and control over him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says that he was "the slave, not the master, of an impulse which I detested, yet could not disobey", a state somewhat similar to the Victor's obsession with science. The monster, just as Victor, reaches a point where he has no feelings left except for hatred. When he sees that his final victim namely Victor Frankenstein, is already dead, he shows remorse. He has now accepted that there will never be any being who "pardoning my outward form, would love me for excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding." With an immense self-hatred, he promises Walton that he will "consume to ashes this miserable frame" so that future curious, obsessive generations would not create "such another as I have been." We can see throughout the novel that obsession is a vital aspect of life, which leads to greater things. However, when used in either desperation, unnatural longing or anger this can be reversed and it ends in disaster or worse, death. Obsession in the novel leads to the death of five people yet not all were searching for something but rather caught in the anger and frustration of the hatred between Victor and his creation. Knowledge can be neither right nor wrong. Victor reads about Cornelius Agrippa's works, which in reality seem ridiculous but Victor is keen to know and understand more. In addition, when the creation reads of the hatred between God and his creations or that the World is only filled with hate he takes an oath that all humans should be destroyed. Obsession has two paths, success or disaster. ...read more.

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