Frankenstein Questions and Answers
by Mary Shelley

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In Frankenstein, what does Victor's strong interest in science say about his personality?

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The protagonist, Victor, in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, proves to be a man driven by his interest (which turns to obsession) in science. Victor's initial interest in science is sparked by a "most violent and terrible thunderstorm." A large oak tree, on the Frankenstein property, is "shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribands of wood." This storm ignited Victor's interest in science, given he "never beheld anything so utterly destroyed."

Two years after the storm, when he is seventeen, Victor leaves for Ingolstadt (university). At university, Victor's studies become his obsession. Although the authors he had been reading prior to attending university are quickly named as ""exploded systems and useless names," Victor comes to find the studies in the scientists promoted by the university as knowledgeable. Fortunately for Victor, the lapses in the discovered prove to be interesting to him. Victor's interest has finally found a focus.

As for Victor's personality, his obsessive nature begins to show as he dives into his studies. It seems that the more Victor learns, and uncovers, the more he wishes to learn and uncover. Therefore, Victor's strong interest in science proves to be very telling about Victor himself. His obsession with science preempts his obsession with reanimating life. For Victor, life will not be complete until he succeeds at reanimation. His personality is one which speaks to the necessity of completion--Victor will never be satisfied unless he conquers his desires. Victor, therefore, is not one to give up.

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