After continuing my reading of Frankenstein I have discovered more interesting themes and topics I can connect to. The one thing that really stood out to me is the way that Victor connects with his family. Being in grade 11, my research for post secondary education has started and I know that it’s going to be a big transition when I do end up moving away for school, especially because I plan to move to a different country for University. I feel as if no matter how much I prepare myself to leave home, that it will still change the way things are now significantly. Victor undergoes a lot of changes when leaving for University. The changes I am going to talk about in this blog are the beginning of the stresses and problems Victor faces with a focus on how these changes affected him.
“When I had attained the age of seventeen my parents resolved that I should become a student at the university of Ingolstadt. I had hitherto attended the schools of Geneva, but my father thought it necessary for the completion of my education that I should be made acquainted with other customs than those of my native country. My departure was therefore fixed at an earlier date, but before the day resolved upon could arrive, the first misfortune of my life occurred – an omen, as it were, of my future misery” (Shelley 42).
This quote that begins chapter three in Frankenstein is the first glance from Frankenstein that starts the story of Victor’s adventures away from home. This seems pretty normal at first. Your parents tend to have goals for you and the departure and separation from your home life usually leads to misery as quoted, especially if your mother dies unexpectedly. Change is hard, but how did this change effect Victor so greatly? What made him become so determined to do the unimaginable when he started to become more isolated away from home?
Victor explains near the beginning of the novel how important his family is to him and the role that they played in shaping his life, saying “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” (Shelley 36). This was a very genuine quote that showed me how much Victor depended on his family and looked back on his childhood and the way that he was raised. It would be devastating to already be reluctant to leaving for school; never mind having your Mother die from Scarlet fever soon before your departure. In my opinion Victor’s Mother’s death contributed greatly to his isolation and urge to recreate life. In many cases today you hear of someone going into a harsh mental state as a result of a death of a loved one, such as depression or anxiety. I think Victor dealt with these mental states by using his knowledge of science in negative ways, mainly by creating the monster with very little thought of the consequences.
Obviously I can’t connect to the exact plot of Victor’s unfortunate events, but I can clearly understand why something like this would put a damper on his life. Victor’s parents in my opinion put a lot of pressure on him and tended to make a lot of decisions for him, a couple of big ones including him being forced to move away for University, and his Mother basically guilting him into marrying Elizabeth while she was on her deathbed with the Scarlet fever. I feel almost as if when Victor’s mother died, that he was not content with the ideas that were forced upon him before she was gone. I think that is why he tried to find a way to bring her back and ended up creating the Monster. The one thought that comes to mind when I think of all the life changes that shaped Victor into the negative person he became, is that everything happens for a reason. Victor should have taken the time away from home to calm down and find himself rather than try to bring back what should have been left alone.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.
Shmoop Editorial Team. “Frankenstein Characters.” Shmoop, Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008, www.shmoop.com/frankenstein/characters.html.