A Romantic Hero or Irresponsible father

PosterĄG >Eric Kao at 0:15:37 10/28/97 from ts1-ppp-09.fju.edu.tw

Thoroughout the chapter one to five, how Victor Frankenstein gets influenced by childhood and juvenile experiences is shed
light upon through outlooks of his family and of his friend-making. Victor is born in a distinguished family and the attitude of his
father towards his studies plays a remarkable role related to his shocking invention afterward--an experiment-made human
being. The following will be my shallow analysis of how he gets influenced.
Vicior's aptness of scientific invention as well as of exploring mysteries of human structure can be tracked back to Clerval's,
Elixabeth's, as well as some other firgures' direct or indirect influence, Clerval is described as a person who "likes enterprise,
hardship, and even dangerm and fancy." He is a person who "composed heroic songs, and began to write many a tale of
enchantment and knightly adventure." (P.37) In my opinion, his influence on Victor is that he unconciously becomes a helper
who enables Victor to romanticize his quest of scientific invention. In Victor's process of making the monster, in order to
achieve his goal, he seems to be fully occupied by vehement desire of make the monster true. He is never aware of any
responsibility or morality. "I most eagerly sought and if my incantations were always unsuccessful. I attributed the failure rather
to my own inexperience and mistake, than to a want of skill or fidelity in my instructors." (P.40) He is like romantic poets who
are hardly wary of failures but just keep trying until fulfilling wants.

Elizabeth in this novel is portrayed as an incarnation of adorable goddess. "Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our
peaceful home. Her sympathy was ours; her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to
bless and animate us." (P.38) Though I haven't read to chapters after Chapter Five, the charm and influence of Elizabeth, based
upon my impression, will dominate Victor's ideas of his second invention--a female monster.

Regarding whether Victor is a romantic hero or an irresponsible father. If we view his scientific quest in a way of romanticism,
indeed his quest is full if romantic elements which also appear in romantic poets' poetry. One character is that he objectifies
human as items, though romantics poets perfer to beautify women but Victor disgrace humans. "I saw how the fine form of man
was degarded and wasted; I behols the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw hpw the worm
inherited the wonders of the eyes and brain I paused,......" (P.52) In Victor's view, only through his personal understandings
and observations can things be perfectly unified. Thus, he works so hard to make the invention of monster successful. At this
time, he is endowed with both qualities of romantic heros and irresponsible fathers, since he has been concentrated on his
QUEST without having any religious or moral awareness.

Of course the above analysis is shallow and just based upon my personal understanding of Chapter one to Chapter five. Why
Victor, or to say, Mary Shelley, wants to create such a monster should be associated with more evidence in the chapters
afterward. In a word, no matter who is the inventor of the monster, the given influence can be tracked back to not only the
inventor's family or life experiences but the whole society having certain ideologies


  • Re: A Romantic Hero or Irresponsible father -- Kate Liu 10:4:54 11/3/97

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