Frankenstein Paper - The Deification and Destruction of a...

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The Deification and Destruction of a Doctor Frankenstein: The name itself provokes thoughts of terror and monstrosity, of a lumbering creature made of stitched sinew and flesh, of nighttime and thunder. Who was Frankenstein, and why these negative connotations when his name is spoken? Mary Shelley, in her famous Frankenstein, gives insight into the mind of man, for what he attains, and how he reacts when the very thing for which he is so longing is suddenly dropped in front of him. “It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. …it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs” (Shelley 56). The quoted paragraph is none other than the terrible scene in which the creature over which Dr. Victor Frankenstein has toiled for years to invigorate comes miraculously to life. The doctor’s reaction, however, is not one of pride and love of his creature, but one of horror and disdain for every part of his creation. His reaction seems ill-placed. Although Frankenstein’s horror comes as a bit of a surprise, it cannot be fully understood until his prior desires are laid out and examined, and to do that, the doctor’s past must be recollected. Doctor Victor Frankenstein was born into a wealthy and loving family. Victor recalls that “No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself” (37). He had a “sister,” Elizabeth, with whom he shared countless moments of laughter, fun, and love. All is well until Victor’s eyes catch sight of the old natural science of Cornelius Agrippa. He devours this and books of like study with the eagerness of a starved prisoner. He wavers, however, several years after his first encounter, with his decision to pursue his studies. But, alas, “Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction” (41). Time shows the further tread of Frankenstein down his path to scientific achievement and glory. His greatest desire, outweighing his needs for both bodily and spiritual care, is to instill life in a creation where before was death. He disregards his own needs in his pursuits, as his quest overtakes his reason and rides at the forefront of his mind. “Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived that I had
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Mz during the Fall '08 term at Saint Joseph's University.

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Frankenstein Paper - The Deification and Destruction of a...

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