In Chapters 1-5 of Frankenstein, what was Victor's attitude towards study and learning?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It becomes clear from the early chapters of this novel that study and education is to Victor something that he is completely obsessed with, especially any kind of study of literature that discusses his favourite topic, which is Natural Philosophy. Any text that has any bearing on his self-given goal of conquering the power of disease, aging and death from the human frame Victor shows an obsessive fascination for. Consider how the birth of this interest is described to us in Chapter Two after Victor reads his first book about Natural Philosophy:

When I returned home, my first care was to procure the whole works of this author, and afterwards of Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus. I read and studied the wild fancies of these writers with delight; they appeared to me treasures known to few beside myself. I have described myself as always having been embued with a fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature.

Victor studies in a way that shows he is dangerously obsessed with the pursuit of hidden knowledge and the penetration of mysteries that are rightfully beyond our capacity to understand. The way in which he is depicted as studying and learning in all of his frantic intensity of course foreshadows the terrible events that occur when he does finally manage to penetrate those secrets and plays god by creating life.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question