In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the main character, Victor Frankenstein, is talking about his childhood ambitions when he says in chapter two, “Time and money meant little to me.” He has had a fortunate childhood, with loving parents who care for him well. He has also had access to a good education. He hasn’t had to worry about money and survival. With this freedom, his primary interests develop in the sciences.
Just before telling us that he has no interest in time and money, he says that he wants to create life. This is an astonishing admission—he is practically saying that he wants to become God-like. Soon thereafter he relates a story from his youth that excited his interest in electricity—he saw a lightning bolt strike a tree and destroy it. Impressed with the power of the bolt, he begins to learn about electricity. As it turns out, this will become a key piece of his plan to animate (bring to life) the monster that he later creates out of dead human body parts.