How can I start an introduction for a Victor Frankenstein character analysis essay?

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When you write a character analysis, you want to capture not just the actions the character performs but also the motivations driving those actions. In this case, ask yourself, what is the essential quality that Victor displays throughout the entire novel? There are a few options you could select: hubris, curiosity, ambition, or imprudence, to name a few. Victor is something of a tragic figure, so try to identify what quality makes him both great and disastrous.

Once you decide on the core quality that drives him, find a singular episode that illustrates that quality. Analyze it well, connecting it to the larger character trait you have identified. For instance, one small detail that we learn about Victor's childhood is that he was overwhelmingly curious about natural philosophy from the start, whereas Henry read heroic stories from the humanities. Victor learns how to revive a human body but fails to attend to the human soul. From this, events such as his rejection of the monster when it comes to life and his failure to anticipate that the monster would need a companion lead to a series of sorrowful events.

This is just one small example of how to link an abstract concept (e.g., narrowness of learning) to a singular episode, to demonstrate its consequences.

Focusing on why a character is the way he is and why he does what he does will give you your analysis. As a starting point for your essay, you could begin by paraphrasing the singular episode and pointing out the quality you want to focus on, suggesting that the episode will serve as a template for Victor's later actions.

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Mary Shelley decided that she wanted to write a story about a man who wants to create human life. She created the character to fit the plot. Victor Frankenstein had to be a scientist, a genius, and slightly mad. He had to have independent resources because he would have to work in privacy and secrecy. He had to be imaginative, individualistic, and daring. He had to be a warped idealist, believing that what he was doing would benefit humanity.  Mary Shelley gave him an isolated castle in which to conduct his work. The entire character was created to fit the needs of the plot. Victor Frankenstein was probably the prototype of the many mad scientists who have come after him, including Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and H. G. Wells's Dr. Moreau, who was turning animals into humans on his private island. Mad scientists have become familiar stock chacacters in novels and movies, and most of them share the same character traits, although there are altruistic mad scientists and wicked mad scientists.

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Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant scientist who has mastered everything he has learned from his professors. When Mary Shelley wrote this book, scientific discovery was making great leaps, some of the discoveries regarding human anatomy came courtesy of corpses from dug up graves.

Victor was fascinated with the science of life as well as the nature of electricity.  In his quest to understand death, Victor creates life, using his brilliant mind to actually bring a mosaic of corpses to life.  He is certainly satisfied with his success, but is then repulsed by the creature, abandoning him like a newborn babe without a mother or father to show him the way of the world or to protect him.

Victor Frankenstein uses science to exercise his superior intelligence, and to satisfy his curiosity but he does go too far.  In going too far with scientific discovery, Victor Frankenstein unleashes an evil force into the world. 

So to analyze the character, it is necessary to consider not only his privileged background and education, but what he does with the tools that it provides.  One question that often posed when analyzing Frankenstein is whether the creature is actually a better person than the great Dr. Frankenstein.

Examine Frankenstein's motives for creating the hideous monster, but also include the very important fact of how he leaves the poor creature alone, and what that means for his character.

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First of all, you need to decide what the most important character traits are that Victor Frankenstein possesses.  A character analysis involves looking at a character's traits, motivations, beliefs, etc.  Ask yourself what motivates Victor Frankenstein...why he does the things he does, etc.  Once you've decided on the most important character traits, you'll want to make a clear thesis statement for your introductory paragraph that contains the character traits you'll be including in your essay.

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