What is a character sketch of Victor?What does he value, what motivates him, what are his moral standards? Concentrate on values and psychological makeup. Mention his mental, physical,...

What is a character sketch of Victor?

What does he value, what motivates him, what are his moral standards? Concentrate on values and psychological makeup. Mention his mental, physical, psychological, social, and moral attributes

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shaunae eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Frankenstein is, from the beginning of the text, ambitious and obsessed with pursuing his quest. He says, at one point, "Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember." He admits to being like this as small child and his father encourages these scientific obsessions.

He is, however, fascinated with those things that are dark and unknown: "It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn." There are clues in the novel that show it is his own glory and power he wants to achieve though, rather then to help mankind. He gives this away when he says, ''A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me." This conveys a sense that he wants to play God, creating a new race and being owed their ultimate gratitude. I have always believed that Shelley intended to portray Victor in a very negative light when she writes these things because he comes across as selfish and self-obsessed.

He does convey guilt at times, although it is guilt for the deaths of his family, not at creating the Monster and abandoning him. He says at one point, "I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe." He is always very quick to show his own tortures but never thinks of the suffering of the Monster who is left with no one. He is very dramatic in his use of language when expressing his suffering, yet refuses to listen to the Monster when he tries to explain what life is like for him.

He seems to have learned something from his obsessive endeavours by the end of the novel when he tells Walton, "Learn from me . . . how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." However it seems again that he feels worse about his own sufferings than those of anyone else.

This is a very brief characterization: a detailed one will take pages of analysis!

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