Frankenstein Questions and Answers
by Mary Shelley

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In Frankenstein, why does Victor Frankenstein choose to create the monster?

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As a child, Victor dreams of the

glory [that] would attend the discovery if [he] could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!

He starts to consider how wonderful it would be if he could manage to make human beings resistant to illness. As a young man, just about to leave for college, Victor is deeply affected by the illness of Elizabeth Lavenza, a close family friend, and the death of his beloved mother. He tells Captain Walton, of her passing,

It is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she whom we saw every day [...] can have departed forever—that the [...] sound of a voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed, never more to be heard.

After his mother's death, the dream of rendering humanity invulnerable to disease takes on a new urgency, and Victor's desire to eradicate the effects of illnesses like scarlet fever (the sickness that took his mother and nearly took his friend) grows. It's unclear what the link is...

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ebettencourt | Student

Victor also surely has a strong ambition to play God, in a sense. He wants to push himself to see exactly what he is scientifically capable of, aiming to be the first to ever bring a creature to life (Shelley may well have been writing in reaction to concerns in her time that science may be going too far with experiments on re-animating living beings through electrocution via lightning).  He is so blinded by this ambition that he does not even notice how hideous his creature is until it comes to life. Since Shelley describes the creature as being quite, quite gruesome, it is clear that Victor's ambition was immensely strong so as to blind him from this fact.

swedman | Student

Victor Frankenstein decided to create a monster as a result of loosing his mother. When his mother died, he wanted to prevent anyone from ever having to lose a loved one. At her grave he said, "No one need ever die. I'll make sure of that".

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