Themes space the an essential and often universal concepts explored in a literary work.

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Dangerous Knowledge

The search of expertise is at the heart of Frankenstein, as Victor attempts come surge beyond accepted human boundaries and accessibility the mystery of life. Likewise, Robert Walton attempts to surpass previous human being explorations through endeavoring to with the north Pole. This ruthless quest of knowledge, of the irradiate (see “Light and also Fire”), proves dangerous, as Victor’s act of creation eventually results in the devastation of anyone dear to him, and Walton finds self perilously trapped in between sheets the ice. Whereas Victor’s obsessive hatred of the monster cd driver him to his death, Walton at some point pulls earlier from his treacherous mission, having actually learned from Victor’s instance how disastrous the thirst because that knowledge can be.

Sublime Nature

The sublime herbal world, adopted by Romanticism (late eighteenth century to mid-nineteenth century) together a source of unrestrained emotional experience for the individual, initially offers personalities the possibility of spirituality renewal. Mired in depression and remorse after the deaths that William and Justine, because that which he feels responsible, Victor heads to the hills to lift his spirits. Likewise, after a hellish winter the cold and abandonment, the monster feel his heart lighten together spring arrives. The influence of nature on the atmosphere is evident throughout the novel, yet for Victor, the natural world’s power to console that wanes as soon as he realizes that the monster will certainly haunt the no matter where he goes. Through the end, as Victor chases the monster obsessively, nature, in the type of the Arctic desert, features simply together the symbolic backdrop because that his primal struggle against the monster.


Obviously, this layout pervades the whole novel, together the monster lies in ~ the facility of the action. Eight feet tall and also hideously ugly, the monster is rubbish by society. However, his monstrosity results not only from his grotesque illustration but likewise from the unnatural manner of his creation, which requires the secretive animation of a mix that stolen body parts and strange chemicals. That is a product not of collaborative clinical effort yet of dark, mythological workings. The monster is only the most literal of a variety of monstrous entities in the novel, including the understanding that Victor provided to develop the monster (see “Dangerous Knowledge”). One deserve to argue that Victor self is a type of monster, as his ambition, secrecy, and also selfishness alienate him from human society. Simple on the outside, he might be the true “monster” inside, together he is ultimately consumed by one obsessive hate of his creation. Finally, numerous critics have described the novel itself together monstrous, a stitched-together combination of different voices, texts, and tenses (see Texts).


Victor conceives of science as a an enig to be probed; its secrets, as soon as discovered, need to be jealously guarded. The considers M. Krempe, the herbal philosopher he meets at Ingolstadt, a design scientist: “an uncouth man, but deeply imbued in the keys of his science.” Victor’s entire obsession with producing life is shrouded in secrecy, and his obsession with damaging the monster stays equally an enig until Walton hears his tale. Vice versa, Victor proceeds in his secrecy out of shame and also guilt, the monster is compelled into seclusion by his grotesque appearance. Walton serves together the last confessor for both, and their tragic relationship becomes immortalized in Walton’s letters. In confessing all just before he dies, Victor escapes the stifling secrecy that has destroyed his life; likewise, the monster takes advantage of Walton’s visibility to build a human being connection, hope desperately that at last someone will certainly understand, and also empathize with, his miserable existence.


Frankenstein is overflowing with texts: letters, notes, journals, inscriptions, and also books fill the novel, sometimes nestled within each other, various other times merely alluded to or quoted. Walton’s letter envelop the entire tale; Victor’s story fits within Walton’s letters; the monster’s story fits within Victor’s; and also the love story of Felix and also Safie and also references come Paradise Lost fit inside the monster’s story. This profusion of messages is vital aspect of the rigid structure, together the miscellaneous writings serve as concrete manifestations of characters’ attitudes and also emotions. Language dram an enormous function in the monster’s development. By hearing and watching the peasants, the monster learns to speak and also read, which allows him to understand the path of his creation, as explained in Victor’s journal. He later leaves notes because that Victor follow me the chase into the northern ice, inscribing words in trees and on rocks, turning nature itself right into a composing surface.


Frankenstein presents family members relationships as central to human being life. Many of the households that appear in the novel—the Frankensteins and the DeLaceys—are perfect come the point of idealization. Meanwhile, most of the book’s horror and also suffering is resulted in by personalities losing their connection to their families, or not having a family members in the an initial place. Frankenstein blames his isolation native his family members for his devastating decision to produce the Monster: “If the examine to i m sorry you use yourself has actually a propensity to undermine your affections<…>then that examine is absolutely unlawful.” The Monster, too, blames his suffering on the truth that he has actually no family: “I to be dependent ~ above none and related come none.” when the Monster is do the efforts to persuade Frankenstein to create a companion for him, he argues that his lack of family relationships is what has caused the to come to be a murderer. ~ above the various other hand, the Monster does have a family, in that Frankenstein is his father. Prior to creating the Monster, Frankenstein imagines that “No father could claim the gratitude the his boy so totally as I must deserve” the Monster’s. Instead, the Monster and Frankenstein invest the novel make the efforts to ruin each other.


Frankenstein suggests that social alienation is both the primary cause of evil and also the punishment because that it. The Monster explicitly says that his alienation indigenous mankind has actually caused him to end up being a murderer: “My protectors had departed, and had damaged the only link that organized me come the world. For the very first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled mine bosom.” His murders, however, only rise his alienation.

For Frankenstein, too, alienation causes him come make negative decisions and also is also the punishment for those poor decisions. When Frankenstein create the Monster the is functioning alone, in a “solitary chamber, or quite cell.” gift “solitary” has caused his ambitious to grow dangerously, however this isolation is currently its own punishment: his activities feels choose a “cell.” once he has created the Monster, Frankenstein i do not care even much more alienated from the people approximately him due to the fact that he can’t phone call anyone around his creation.

Both Frankenstein and the Monster compare themselves to the personality of Satan in sky Lost: alienation indigenous God is both Satan’s crime and also his punishment. The novel gift the idea the alienation indigenous other human being is caused, in ~ root, by alienation from oneself. Frankenstein’s dad points out the link between self-hatred and also alienation: “I know that while you are pleased through yourself, you will think that us through affection, and we candlestick hear frequently from you.” As long as a human feels they have self-worth, they’ll maintain contact with others. The Monster feels that he is alienated native human society because he looks monstrous. He an initial recognizes that he is ugly not through someone else’s judgement however through his own: “when I viewed myself in a transparent pool<…>I was filled v the bitterest sensations.”

At the end of the novel, through Frankenstein dead, the Monster is alone in the world. His alienation is complete, and also so is his self-hatred: “You hate me; however your abhorrence cannot equal that through which i regard myself.” The ultimate repercussion of alienation is self-destruction. Frankenstein drives self to death chasing the Monster, when the Monster declares his on purpose to kill himself.

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Frankenstein suggests that ambition is dangerous because it has the potential to end up being evil. Frankenstein’s ambition encourages him to create the Monster, and also he compares his own ambition come a list of other damaging ambitions: “If no man allowed any search whatsoever come interfere v the quiet of his residential affections, Greece had actually not to be enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have actually been discovered an ext gradually; and also the realms of Mexico and also Peru had actually not to be destroyed.” The fact that Frankenstein to compare his own job-related to the devastation of entire people underscores just how substantial his ambition is. His pointer that his ambition provides him prefer Satan, “the archangel who aspired come omnipotence,” also points come the grandiosity that Frankenstein’s ideas. Frankenstein imagines himself as nothing much less than the devil incarnate. However, the novel also suggests the ambition alone is not enough to reason evil and suffering. Walton is introduced as a personality every bit as ambitious together Frankenstein, yet Walton choose to give up his ambition out of duty come his crew. Frankenstein’s actual mistake (and crime) is the he areas his ambition over his responsibilities to various other people.