monster - A Monstrous Transformation Victor and his...

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1 A Monstrous Transformation Victor and his creation are both monsters in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Since Victor himself created the monster, some would say that “it takes one to know one.” Victor looks human on the outside, but he possesses monster-like qualities in his personality. This is the exact opposite from what his creation is like. The monster that Victor created was initially human-like in nature, but made looking like a monster. Victor’s ambition, secrecy, and selfishness estrange him from human society, and show how he is in fact a monster. Victor would rather stay home and perform experiments, instead of going out with friends and/or family. “The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine” (18). His ambition and thirst for knowledge are the main priorities in his life. While Victor is in college, he begins to write less and less to his family. They become worried about him because he does not contact them as often as expected. “Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make” (29). He lived away from his home in Geneva for long periods of time. Victor was more interested in his experiments than he was in visiting his family. At times, during his experiments, he had little human contact. “Winter, spring, and summer passed away during my labors; but I did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves–sights which before always yielded me supreme delight–so deeply engrossed in my occupation” (34). Since he was inside all the time Victor felt that he barely noticed the seasons change. He chose instead to shut himself up inside his laboratory. In these ways, Victor alienates himself from society and becomes increasingly inhuman. Throughout the novel, Victor keeps his experiments to himself and does not employ anyone else to help him with them. He even makes excuses, and lies to his own family and friends in order to keep his experiments secret. “I dreaded to behold this monster; but I feared still more that Henry should see him” (38). Shortly after he has created the monster, Victor panics when he realizes that he must make sure that Henry does not see him when he comes to visit. He panics because he does not want to have to explain the creature to Henry. He also does not share any of his acquired knowledge with the outside world–but would rather keep it secret. He even refers to the human skeleton as holding secrets. “I collected bones from charnel-houses and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame” (33). He is truly fascinated with the natural sciences. However, it is definitely not normal for a person to be taking bones from places where dead bodies are stored. Victor’s
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course CSCL 1101 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at University of Minnesota Morris.

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monster - A Monstrous Transformation Victor and his...

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