Based on what occurs in Chapters 1–5 of Frankenstein, it would make sense to analyze Victor's character development from childhood to the time surrounding his creation of his living being. Victor describes an idyllic childhood with an affectionate family circle and self-guided educational philosophy. He loves his parents and appreciates the freedom he and his siblings are allowed. His observes and tries to mirror the compassionate natures of those around him. However, he becomes interested in outdated sciences, and his ambitions become excessive. He decides he wants to discover the secrets of life, or immortality. When he goes to college, he is influenced by a professor who helps him see the potential in modern sciences, and he uses that knowledge along with his earlier grand schemes to eventually learn "the cause and generation of life" and to become "capable of bestowing animation on lifeless matter" (ch. 3, p. 40). As a result of his obsession with building this creature, Victor ignores his health and becomes extremely thin and sickly. He has completely isolated himself to his own detriment, and once he brings his creature to life, he completely rejects it, horrified by his product. Victor abandons the creature, falls into a serious illness, and is nursed to health by Henry Clerval before determining to return home to Geneva.
An analytical essay on these chapters could focus on how Victor's character evolves from his happy childhood to his lonely, obsessive young student life. Some of the major themes of the novel are also present in these chapters, such as the line between life and death and the potential dangers of education and/or ambition. A strong analytical essay will cite multiple quotes from the novel and comment on their content in a way that supports and develops the writer's central point.