Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – A Thesis

This thesis was written as part of a MOOC I took. More info here.

          Frankenstein is about the perils of unconstrained ambition and how it affects people to the detriment of themselves and their loved ones. In Frankenstein, the overly-ambitious people are represented by Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton.

Walton wants to leave his mark on the world with an ambitious expedition to the North Pole. On this journey he encounters a worn-out Frankenstein who tells his tale.

Victor loses his mother at an early age and this would influence his future obsession with Life and Death. He begins work on reanimating the dead, playing God with his deeds. Working feverishly, he sacrifices a social life, his health, and losing touch with family for long periods. He finally brings to life his creation but is horrified by it and flees.

Victor learns of Williams’ death, and on his way home he spots the Monster and at once realizes it is the cause of Williams’ death. Yet, he stays quiet through all of Justine’s trials. Two people have died, but Victor is most concerned about avoiding being perceived a lunatic were he to tell all.

Victor finally meets the Monster who tells his tale of woe. Victor only acquiesces to the Monster’s request for a bride because it threatens to harm his loved ones, but goes back on his promise by destroying the half-finished bride, sending the Monster into frenzy. It kills Clerval and Elizabeth in revenge. Victor’s father dies of grief soon after. Victor desires revenge on the Monster even on his deathbed. The Monster visits Victor and mourns him, witnessed by Walton. Walton decides to turn around and return to England, not wanting to put his crew in further danger.

          Victor’s ambition led to horror, suffering the death of his beloved, a thirst for revenge, and his death. Walton is sobered by Victor’s tale and sacrifices his ambition to his and his crew’s safety.

You can view the previously published thesis Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow here.


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