In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein decides to create human life instead of a simpler form in order to prevent future human deaths. What does this decision reveal about his...

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein decides to create human life instead of a simpler form in order to prevent future human deaths. What does this decision reveal about his personality?

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

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In chapter four of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein states that he has been successful in possessing the "capacity of bestowing animation." Throughout the same paragraph, paragraph seven, Victor details the questioning he went through in regards to defining what he would do with this new "power." By the end of the paragraph, regardless of the "arduous" undertaking, he has decided to reanimate life to a human being.

This decided, Victor, in the following paragraph, defines why he has dedicated himself to the project:

A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.

Victor does not wish to advance science; he does not wish to help cure illness or delay death. Instead, he desires the renown of being the one man who will be owed by nature. He desires a being who will owe gratitude to him alone.

This speaks largely to Victor's ambitious nature and his own lack of humility. He proves, through these statements, that he wants to be put on a level far higher than any other man has ever possessed. He proves himself to be far too arrogant, far too proud, and far too ambitious. Knowing that Victor's tragic flaw (or hamartia) is ambition, one realizes that through his own death, ambition has lead Victor down no other path but the one which leads to his own demise.

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