How does chapter 5 demonstrate Dr. Frankenstein's character ?Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Chapter 5 of the novel Frankenstein shows two sides of Victor's personality and presents a lot of the inner qualities that make him the person that he is. This chapter tells the story of when Victor was finally able to infuse life into the creature, and see it come to life for the first time.

First we see the ambitious and determined side of Victor. His two- year nonstop task of creating life left him exhausted, but he was not to be stopped. Up until this moment, we do not see any weakness or flaw in the character of Victor. What we see is a dedicated and passionate scientist about to unveil his creation.

However, when the creature opens one eye, stares straight at Victor, and begins to shake uncontrollably as it is coming to life, we see how all of Victor's good qualities (the strong, ambitious, determined man of the world) come crashing down with his reaction of anger and disgust towards the creature.

The Dr. Frankenstein that we find after the birth of the creature is a shallow man whose ambition seems to have really been an obsession; A man whose obsessive behavior disable him to think about the consequences of his actions.

Moreover, we see in Dr. Frankenstein a person who has no regard for life or, at least, a man who does not quite seem to understand what a living thing is. Instead of observing the creature and recognize what went wrong -despite of its many flaws- he chooses to insult it. He describes it as a catastrophic creation, and that he had intended for it to be beautiful. He had no inclination whatsoever to identify the feelings of the creature, even after he realized that it did have feelings after all.

It is also surprising to see that Frankenstein does not even acknowledge the fact that what he did was scientifically and morally unethical, especially after he had devoted his adult life to the study of science and life. This certainly puts Dr. Frankenstein under a much different light at this point in the story than at the beginning, where we see a strong willed but deeply caring man.

This being said, we can conclude that Chapter 5 of the novel Frankenstein helps us to get to know Victor at the zenith of his glory and, immediately after, at the bottom of his failure.

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