How does Victor compare Mathematics to Philosophy in Frankenstein?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor (the protagonist) became enthralled with the sciences at a very early age. At the age of fifteen, Victor witnessed a lightening strike which completely destroyed a tree in his yard. After witnessing this, Victor's curiosity regarding the sciences exploded.

Prior to the lightening strike, Victor had been heavily influenced by the books which his father kept in their home. His father had painstakingly explained the philosophies of Agrippa to Victor. Here is where Victor's true curiosity began.

When reading the works of the philosophers, Victor came away from the texts feeling unsatisfied.

In spite of the intense labour and wonderful
discoveries of modern philosophers, I always came from my studies discontented and unsatisfied.

After studying many great philosophers, Victor decided that "nothing would or could ever be known." Victor needed to find something that could offer him absolutes.

After the decision to give up his studies of natural history (philosophies), Victor decided to study something which would offer him concrete ideas.

In this mood of mind I betook myself to the mathematics, and the branches of study appertaining to that science, as being built upon secure
foundations, and so worthy of my consideration.

Based upon this, Victor seemed much more attuned with the world of mathematics given it is rooted upon "secure foundations". The importance of solid and verifiable information made far more sense to Victor than did the arguments of the philosophers.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question