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In Frankenstein, what does Victor gain and lose from his knowledge?

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eserrato | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM via web

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In Frankenstein, what does Victor gain and lose from his knowledge?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 23, 2012 at 7:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Victor Frankenstein, in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, both gains and loses by coming to understand how, and completing the experiment, to "bestow animation upon lifeless matter."

Victor, upon the death of his mother, threw himself into the studies necessary to reanimate life. His studies at Ingolstadt proved to be very satisfying, Victor was able to bring life to the dead for "it was on a dreary night in November that [he] beheld the accomplishment of [his] toils."

Based upon his success, Victor gained the knowledge to reanimate life (his obsession upon reaching Ingolstadt). This gained knowledge proved that Victor had mastered the human body, the actions of the human body, and how to give life back to the dead.

In contrast to this gained knowledge, Victor also faced loss. Victor lost many things based upon his gained knowledge of reanimating life. Victor lost:

1. William

2. Justine

3. His father

4. Elizabeth

5. His mental stability

6. His physical strength

7. His own life

In the end, it seems that Victor's gain of knowledge was far more costly than he ever would have imagined.


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