From an early age, VictorFrankenstein is attracted by the allure not of science but of alchemy, with its forbidden fruits and promises or dreams of omnipotence. For instance, when he arrives at his university, he is disappointed that his researches into alchemy are pooh-poohed, stating:
I had a contempt...
From an early age, Victor Frankenstein is attracted by the allure not of science but of alchemy, with its forbidden fruits and promises or dreams of omnipotence. For instance, when he arrives at his university, he is disappointed that his researches into alchemy are pooh-poohed, stating:
I had a contempt for the uses of modern natural philosophy. It was very different when the masters of the science sought immortality and power; such views, although futile, were grand ...
He wants not science but grandeur and glory, by whatever means it takes.
Earlier, when Victor is disgusted by a natural scientist explaining the workings lightening that felled an oak tree, he is briefly snatched from the addictive and obsessive grasp of his desire to use the forbidden knowledge of alchemy to achieve power, positing his desire as nothing less than a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. He describes his turn from science as the work of a guardian angel:
... the last effort made by the spirit of preservation to avert the storm that was even then hanging in the stars and ready to envelop me. Her victory was announced by an unusual tranquillity and gladness of soul which followed the relinquishing of my ancient and latterly tormenting studies. It was thus that I was to be taught to associate evil with their prosecution, happiness with their disregard.
It was a strong effort of the spirit of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.
We can see in the above quote Victor's recognition of the evil allure of his "tormenting" quest for knowledge, as well as his attempts to rationalize his fall into temptation as "destiny," when, of course, it was his own decision.
Though he has long been repelled by modern science, both the university and M. Krempe again lure him along the path of forbidden fruit. A science lecture converts him and fills him with unlimited ambitions and longings to achieve heights never before reached through "natural" science:
So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.
Victor is aware of the moral dangers of what he is stepping into but doesn't understand their full implications until he has created life from inanimate parts. Ambition and desire drive him. The unhealthiness of his pursuit is exemplified by his isolation and increasing ill health as his life loses all sense of balance and proportion in pursuit of a dark goal.