How does Frankenstein's character change in Chapter 3?  

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 3, Victor Frankenstein has reached young adulthood and is ready to leave for the university. Before he leaves, however, his mother dies. This loss sets him on the path to questioning the meaning of life and death. Is there a way to prevent someone from dying? He studies the writings of the alchemists, who tried to find some substance that would transmute any substance to gold and in the process sought the philosopher’s stone, which would grant immortality. Though these writings were being held in disrepute at the time of the novel, they still led the way to modern chemistry, and Victor becomes interested in them despite his father’s dismissal of their teachings.

In his studies at the university, Victor is discouraged from reading any more of the alchemists. However, his grief at his mother’s death leads him back to this prospect, especially with the help of his chemistry professor. He becomes passionate about finding the secret of life to the point of obsession. This will lead him to his forming of the creature.

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