In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, what ideals stir in Victor's mind from his early readings?

1 Answer

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Chapter two, of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, offers readers insight into Victor's initial interest (and dissatisfaction) with science. Victor felt "neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states possessed attractions for me." Essentially, Victor failed to be moved by those things which were rigid.

During a family vacation, Victor happened to pick up a volume of the work of Cornelius Agrippa. Even after having the author's work demeaned by his father, Victor continued to study ancient scientists and theorists. He found that their work "appeared to me treasures known to few."

As he continued upon his individual studies, Victor found himself drawn, more and more, to the sciences. While he felt that the surface had been scratched, especially by Newton ("He had partially unveiled the face of Nature, but her immortal lineaments were still a wonder and a mystery"), not enough has been done. 

During his youth, Victor became a "disciple" of those he read. Self-taught, Victor craved more and more, and, even with his fervor, he "was left to struggle with a child's blindness, added to a student's thirst for knowledge."