Frankenstein, Chapters 1-3

When Mary Shelley set off on a journey to write a ghost story, she wanted it to be nothing but a classic! And she absolutely succeeded in her endeavor!

Frankenstein is one of those novels that have your attention instantly grabbed from the very first paragraph.

Even though I am familiar with the plot of the novel, it doesn’t take anything from the excitement I feel from page to page.

Victor is a very appealing character at the beginning of the story. He is young and innocent. He is obsessed with science from an early age. “His thirst for knowledge” is going to be his ultimate curse. Shelley indicates that early in her writing “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 bee.” These are Victor’s words to Robert Walton, who is determined to accomplish his scientific endeavors at any cost. In my opinion, by incorporating these letters into the story, Shelly draws an important parallel between the two men who share the same intellectual drive.

I also couldn’t but notice the shift in Frankenstein’s relationship to others. From what we learn about his childhood, it was very happy and idyllic. He was a loved child and had very supportive parents. Now, maybe his father wasn’t very knowledgeable when it comes to science and was unable to respond to young Victor’s curiosity but there certainly wasn’t the lack of love and support in his family. It seems that at the very beginning, Victor reciprocates the love received but as his scientific journey advances, he is more and more caught up in his work and slowly becomes alienated. He desperately wants to create life, that he devotes himself completely to reaching that goal.

My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement.” What is behind his obsessive desire to do so? Could it be glory? And what happens when he finally reaches his goal and his creation comes to life?

I am looking forward to further reading and finding out the answers to all the questions I have at the moment.

 

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One response to “Frankenstein, Chapters 1-3

  1. This is such a wonderful response. I love what you write about the parallels between characters in the novel. Clerval, too, provides an interesting parallel. There are all of these paths in the story that Frankenstein might have taken, but didn’t, and I think that you’re correct in assuming that this is important.

    I also love the background of Mary Shelley and this story. I wish that I had been able to introduce it before everyone began reading, but sometimes it helps, too, to find out more about the author as I’m reading. (That’s my justification, at least! This class goes by so quickly!)

    Great job, as usual!

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