Victors Decline in Frankenstein Essay
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” These quotations outline the fact Frankenstein has become so “wretched” and “fiendish” he doesn’t want to live any longer, but he is so mentally troubled that “spiritual forces” are driving him on to take “revenge that kept him alive”. Overall Mary Shelley tells of Victor’s health problems with great detail discussing his mental and physical illnesses, the reader can interpret this as a fight between good and evil in Frankenstein’s mind and also the fight between the devil and god in the bible.
And the gruel contrast developed from start to finish makes it stand out to the reader, discovering the many changes that have occurred to Frankenstein from this episode of his life. Another factor which Shelley is keen to highlight is Victor’s decline in his relationships between his friends and family. One of the main factors noticed is how isolated he becomes with less and less contact with other human beings. At first he has very close relationships with all the Frankenstein family members especially Elizabeth and has a brother like connection to Clerval who has been his friend for many years.
These relationships start to fall apart in Chapter 4 since Victor goes to the University of Ingolstadt where he becomes so involved in his experiment he forgets about family and friends, receiving letters but not responding. Shelley focuses on his isolation from others, talking of how the summer months passes with great harvests and how Victor “eyes were insensible to the charms of nature. The same feeling which made him neglect the scenes around him caused him also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent.
” This quotation portrays how studying books has taken over his mind no longer enjoying the beauty of nature or the relaxation to be in the company of friends and family. In this quote she emphasizes how far away they are from him “many miles” trying to get the readers sympathy on how isolated he has been. Also in the chapter Victor describes how he began “to shun his fellow creatures” this portrays how he even believes he has turned into an animal referring to himself as a “creature”.
In the following chapters isolation becomes a more prominent theme in the book. Chapter 5 brings Victor out of isolation as he bumps into Clerval after fleeing from his monster. This meeting seems to have brought Frankenstein back to his senses, as Victor tells of his “delight on seeing Clerval; his presence brought back Victor to his thoughts about his father… ” He later enquires on his family’s health, with Clerval responding “very well and very happy only a little uneasy that they hear from you so seldom.
” After this remark a burden seems to have been lifted from Victor as if he had been thinking about them a lot. In this chapter many problems are solved, for example the fact he has now come out of his shell and is building on the relationship he once had. Chapter 9 however sees Victor fall into a steep descent again as William and Justine are both killed he becomes extremely subdued and hides himself away seeking isolation in deserted areas. For this he decides to travel to places like the Chamonix valley to seek solace and “to forget himself and his ephemeral sorrows.
” This chapter sees Victor thrown back into his humble self for he sees the deaths of his brother and maid because of him as he built the monster. This is his reason for him seeking isolation in nature. Chapter 24 sees Frankenstein in total isolation Shelley tells of this “place where human beings were seldom seen” and Victor feels so isolated he “dreams that he saw his friends, wife etc. ” this portrays Frankenstein is so lonely he wishes others were with him.
In this chapter Victor seems so isolated on the ice for he is alone in so many ways, no close family left to look to, the ice breaks up, and even nature is against him. All these images conveyed are like those of what the monster went through when he was the outcast with people throwing rocks at him this shows the similarities between the monster and Victor. This also seems as though the monster is getting revenge on Victor. Overall Shelley portrays Victor’s change in relationship by the constant theme of isolationism in the novel caused by his ventures into the scientific aquarium.
The final focal point of Frankenstein’s deterioration which the author accentuates is the ambitions of his life led to such declines in his character. His ambitions are first set by the destruction of the tree by lightening, “the oak had disappeared” this theme is typical of a gothic novel showing imagery of nature’s sublime. From when he was young he read the many philosophical works of Agrippa, Magnus and Paracelsus. His many meetings with the professors of the University of Ingolstadt also encourage him to strive towards knowledge.
After chapter four Shelley strives to portray how sorrowful he is for the deaths of people close to him, this drives him insane and crazy for revenge. By chapter twenty four he has become so desperate in achieving his goal to rid the Earth of the monster and avenge the so many deaths he has caused. Shelley describes his travels to have passed over many months and Victor has “traversed a vast part of the world” when he realises he is a mile behind the monster his “heart bounds” this shows his desperation and fervour to accomplish his promise.
Shelley pays particular focus in this part of the story to convey her views on technological advancements. From these quotes the reader gets the feeling she believes that the whole idea of creating a monster is morally wrong and technology and knowledge will lead to man’s fall. In conclusion Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein is written at first as an idyllic fantasy where everything seems to be perfect, but this theme dissipates after a few chapter and the gothic style of writing comes into play, dull and mysterious a real attention seeker.
Shelley seems to outline the fact that Victor has a descent into hell, losing all his thrills in life, the major themes of his decline are his health, mind, changing relationships and the ambitions he takes upon that led him to change. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.