Describe what causes Victor's actions and appearance as he works on his experiment.Frankenstein by Victor Frankenstein

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 4 of Frankenstein as Victor recounts his personal history, he tells Walton how his confidence in himself kept him from doubting that he would not succeed in his aspirations to become "greater than his nature [would] allow." Hoping, then, that his efforts would lay a foundation for future success, Victor discounts any idea of impracticability in his undertaking.  Clearly, there is hubris in Victor Frankenstein that is apparent as he sets upon his experiment.

Further, Victor describes his feelings as a maelstrom of emotion with life and death appearing to him "as ideal bounds."  And, in his overbearing pride, Victor assumes that

A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.  No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.

In an extension of these grandiose thoughts, Victor feels that one day he may be able to even renew life after death has claimed it. Then, as he begins his work, it with a "pale cheek" and "emaciated body" from all his long hours of study and confinement and disassociation from friends.  The thoughts of his father's disapproval have been dismissed from his mind because, Victor reasons, his is an undertaking is on the grand scale.

Nevertheless, Victor states that he is disturbed by anxiety, nervousness and a "slow fever." In his exhaustion, Victor is sustained by the "energy of [my]purpose." promising himself rest when he is finished.  However, Victor is shocked, horrified, and appalled at the results of his experiment:  The creature is grotesque. Unable to bear the sight of such a hideous creature--"the demoniacal corpse" to which he has given life--Victor flees from the room, rushing to his bedchamber where he paces long and hard, passing the night in a wretched state of mind.

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