Why does Victor not want to study the contemporary scientists suggested by Mr. Krempe in Frankenstein?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A large part of the reason why Victor does not want to study the contemporary scientists suggested by Mr. Krempe is because he simply does not like the man.  Although Victor admits that the professor is "deeply imbued in the secrets of his science", he calls him "an uncouth man...a little squat man with a gruff voice and a repulsive countenance".  The first time they meet, Krempe cannot hide his amazement that Victor has been focusing his studies on ancient masters such as Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus, and rebukes him bluntly,  saying,

"Every minute...that you have wasted on those books is utterly and entirely lost.  You have burdened your memory with exploded systems and useless names.  Good God!  In what desert land have you lived, where no one was kind enough to inform you that these fancies which you have so greedily imbibed are a thousand years old and as musty as they are ancient?"

On a visceral level, Victor is not inclined to follow the advice of a man who treats him so rudely and insultingly.  He is a romantic, and apt to follow his emotions, even when doing so flies in the face of logic.

Victor admits that he had long ago come to the conclusion himself that the authors he had been studying were pretty much "useless", but he has "a contempt for the uses of modern natural philosophy" as well.  He realizes that the goals of ancient alchemists had been to achieve a certain immortality and power, and that those objectives were "futile"; still, to Victor, they had a sense of grandness about them of which he is not yet ready to let go.  Victor sees modern scientific philosophy, in contrast, as being focused solely on destroying "those visions on which (his) interest in science was chiefly founded".  Victor is not ready to embrace the teachings of more recent masters in science, because to him, it would require and exchange of "chimeras of boundless grandeur for realities of little worth" (Volume 1, Chapter 2).

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