In Frankenstein, what does victor want to accomplish in life, and what prevents him from continiuning his study?Also why does he turn to the study of mathematics?

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Victor is interested in conquering death ...  in bringing eternal life to mankind.  It's a pretty noble aspiration, even if he doesn't go about it all that well.  The science of mathematics presents him with an "eternal" framework that can support his work, although I'm not sure it's all that important in/for his work.  This was part of the new knowledge that replaced some of the superstitution of the pre-scientific world.  Science presents us today with much the same question(s) that it did in Shelly's day:  should we do all things just because we can?  Science may tell us how, but it never brings moral content--the same science that brings us nuclear power brings nuclear destruction.  Should we clone people just because we can?

There's a similar theme in Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" where science is used in pursuit of the perfect, the unattainable ... and the pursuit kills the good; as the formula says, the enemy of the good is the perfect.

Victor seems to realize this when he sees the creature and realizes his mistake--creating a being that he refused to love and care for: Maybe we shouldn't just do things because we can ....

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