Frankenstein – Two Questions – The Nature of Discovery

What are Victor’s true motivations?

Something that’s very commonly brought up when discussing Frankenstien: what was Victor’s true motivation for creating The Monster? While he explains it to the audience that he wants to prove that this scientific achievement is something that can be done, it’s important to analyze what kind of person Victor is. The entire novel is written from the point of view of a sailor who find Victor, recounting Victor’s stories to his sister by letter, at the want of Victor. Victor’s first desire when being saved from the arctic is to tell his own story, about the fantastical thing that he accomplished just by how smart he was. Was his reasoning for creating the monster? To prove a scientific feat was accomplishable, or to prove he himself was able to accomplish such a feat?

When does proving capabilities collide with “showing off”?

Let’s assume the answer to my first question was that Victor somehow had the truest intentions when creating the monster – everything he did was for the good of the people and nothing else, just fueled by the desire to accomplish more and better humanity without a single thought of himself. Why would we be led to believe otherwise? What makes something be for the betterment of humanity, while something else be just for showing off? Is it important to make this distinction, or should we take all technological advances for the answers they made, not the people (In this case, the literal sense) who are created from it. Human capabilities are continuously evolving day by day, especially in the age of the internet. With instant connections, computations, networks of people easily accessible and, most importantly, Google, the things any layman is able to accomplish with just a few clicks of a keyboard, or taps on a screen, is remarkable. Should we be held back by what may be thought of us, or should we break legal and moral laws that allow for us to retain our humanity, all in the name of what might be able to be accomplished?

3 thoughts on “Frankenstein – Two Questions – The Nature of Discovery

  1. You pose a lot of good questions here! At what point has gone too far? How will we know? I think it’s like, just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. Sometimes we have to prove to ourselves that we can do something, just for ourselves. I like to think that Victor was in the midst of some journey of self discovery gone wrong.

  2. Victor was a very headstrong man, who was also very full of himself. His need to prove that he was worthy was his driving force. He wanted people to know his name, no matter what for and I think that was one of his main reasons. He had an idea, knew that he could follow through with it, and decided that it was his chance to be known. I think part of Victor wanted to prove to anyone and everyone that he wasn’t just some crazy scientist, but that he could truly make a discovery that could change the world, and when it went wrong, I think he realized that maybe people won’t see him the way he hoped.

  3. I think Victor wanted to prove that he himself was able to accomplish such an experiment. I don’t think he had pure intentions besides his own selfishness. I guess some could say otherwise, but I just don’t think that is the case. Great post!

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