In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, how is Victor's emotional state?

In some respect, Victor is the most romantic character in Mary Shelley's novel because he is a man who attempts to bridge the rational with the emotional. He is also an individual whose goals are to become a "great person" (Frankenstein, 59) and, ultimately, he hopes to be loved by all that know him. In his attempts to achieve these goals Victor becomes emotionally involved with Elizabeth, Clerval and even his creation. As a result of this emotional involvement Frankenstein suffers great loss when each of these characters die. His creation's death causes him such pain that he no longer wishes to live and it is only the pleas of Elizabeth that keep him from taking his own life.

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Victor Frankenstein's very much a bundle of contradictions. On the one hand, he's man of science, a man of reason. On the other, he's a deeply emotional character, prone to sudden outbursts of rage, anxiety, and despair. In some respects, Frankenstein represents the contradictions of Romanticism. This was a movement that, in its early stages, at any rate, sought to build on the intellectual gains of the Enlightenment, while at the same time re-emphasizing those factors that Enlightenment thinkers had overlooked or ignored such as mystery, spirituality, and man's emotional life.

In his own way Victor tries to reconcile the emotional and rational sides of his personality. This generates enormous inner conflict throughout the book, causing Frankenstein frequently to plunge into the depths of despair as the full, horrific consequences of his life's work become all too apparent.

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On chapter 5 of Frankenstein, we witness the birth of the monster as well as the realization of Victor of the thing he has just done.

When he realizes the depth and importance of his project he is also encountered with its crude reality: The creature's yellow eye meets his eyes for the first time, bringing about its hideousness, its nastiness, and how wrong the whole thing is he began to develop nightmarish thoughts involving birth, the creation of life, and an overall of morbid feelings.

He could no longer function but under intense anxiety, always looking around for the monster, always exasperated and consumed by the obsessive thoughts of what he did. In all, he was suffering of guilt, fear, anxiety, and disgust of himself.

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In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, Victor has worked for years with the goal of reanimating flesh. In Chapter Five, when he comes to the moment of truth, seeing if the experiment will work, Victor is filled:

...with an anxiety that almost amounted to agony.

Whereas Victor had carefully tried to create an "attractive" creature, with flowing dark hair and brilliant white teeth, the reality of the monster that lies before him horrifies Victor. When he sees the breathing being he has created:

...breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room...unable to compose my mind to sleep.

Victor tries to sleep in order to escape the horror of what he has done, but his dreams are strange and frightening nightmares. When he awakes, Victor sees the creature at the side of his bed, attempting to reach out to him, but Victor escapes.

Victor paces in the courtyard all night. When the city awakes, Victor walks about, coincidentally meeting a carriage bringing his dear old friend, Henry Clerval, to Ingolstadt. Clerval notes Victor's unhealthy pallor. They return to Victor's home, and finding the creature gone, Victor nearly goes insane with relief:

...but I was unable to contain myself. It was not joy only that possessed me; I felt my flesh tingle with excess of sensitiveness, and my pulse beat rapidly. I was unable to remain for a single instant in the same place; I jumped over the chairs, clapped my hands, and laughed aloud...when [Clerval] observed me more attentively, he saw a wildness in my eyes for which he could not account.

It is, at this point, that Victor collapses with a nervous fever, and Clerval nurses him through this difficult time. Only later does Victor begin to recover, becoming much the same man he had been before attending the university.

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