Comment on the significance of the character of Waldman in Frankenstein.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Waldman is one of the lecturers at the university of Ingolstadt that Victor attends, and as such he is one of the influential people that help form and encourage Victor in his scientific ideals. In particular, if we look at Chapter 3, we can see that the significance of Waldman lies in his ability to rekindle Victor's fascination with the way in which science can be used to unveil the secrets of life and the mysteries of the universe. Note the lines of his lecture that Victor picks out as having had such a massive influence on him:

They penetrate into the recesses of nature, and show how she works in her hiding places. They ascend into the heavens: they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.

The "they" refers to the scientists and thinkers of the past. Victor says of these words that they were "the words of fate, enounced to destroy me." We can see how Victor would have been taken in by such words and the dream of using science to discover the secret of life. Waldman's significance therefore lies in the way that he helps Victor on in his path towards creating his lifeform.

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