Explain how the protagonist of Frankenstein progresses throughout the novel?Apply this to "Frankenstein" (original question) "Consider the protagonist in the novel that you read this semester. In a...

Explain how the protagonist of Frankenstein progresses throughout the novel?

Apply this to "Frankenstein"

(original question)

"Consider the protagonist in the novel that you read this semester. In a response of no fewer than three paragraphs, explain how this character changes over the course of the novel. Include examples of these changes in your response."

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

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There is of course a massive difference between the Frankenstein who we see at the beginning and end of the novel--the exhausted and near death Frankenstein that Walton encounters on the ice of the Arctic--and the young Frankenstein whose defining characteristic seems to be an uncontrollable urge to discover hidden secrets and learn more about the science behind the gift of life itself. Note how this insatiable yearning is depicted in the following quote in the third chapter:

So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

This quote comes as Victor tells Walton how his chemistry teacher kindled an uncontrollable desire to find out about the secret of life in him. It is very interesting how Victor--now at the end of his life and looking back--puts himself into the third person, indicating a sense of fatalism which highlights how his passion is actually mastering him and dominating his reason. In addition, the focus on the determination and glory that is to be won, looking at "unknown powers," shows that this desire will be acted on regardless of any consequences. It is with some irony then that Frankenstein talks about his youthful endeavours. His experience of actually having discovered the hallowed holy grail of scientific knowledge has greatly humbled him and taught him that he must not seek to penetrate beyond the limits laid down by God and the world. The biggest change in the character of Frankenstein is therefore one from arrogance and obsession to humility and an awareness of man's rightful lack of knowledge.

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