In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, why does Victor Frankenstein create the monster?
The main "protagonist" in Mary Shelley's classic of gothic literature, Frankenstein, is a man driven to learn and to experiment. That is all well and good, but, unfortunately for Victor Frankenstein, the particular subject of his obsession is the reanimation of dead tissue. In short, Victor is determined to prove that the dead can be brought back to life. Shelley's novel is more than just a horror story. It is a philosophical contemplation of the nature of life and of the ethics of playing God.
Victor Frankenstein's motivation in creating the monster, or, as he will put it, "the wretch," had its roots in his childhood fascination with science. Early in her novel, Shelley's protagonist describes his discovery of an ancient text that spurs his interest in both science and literature. It is his father's condemnation of that ancient text, referring to it as "sad trash," however, that leads Victor down the path of scientific investigation--a journey that will climax with the destruction of all he...
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