In Frankenstein, why was Victor's observation of a lightning destroying an oak tree important?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, there is a moment when Victor Frankenstein, a student of the sciences and a curious researcher, witnessed the effect of lightning during a storm. In this case it was an oak tree: A huge, strong, and majestic tree. It was amazing to Victor Frankenstein to picture something so powerful be destroyed by a force of nature that is otherwise invisible until it touches something- electricity.

Ever since then he began his obsession with electricity and intended to experiment with different things under the premise that electricity may be what brings something to life: That it is a very strong and powerful force not to be reckoned with, but that can be controlled and used. Hence, this was the accelerator to his posterior obsession with creating life.