36 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2018
    1. he saw a wildness in my eyes for which he could not account, and my loud, unrestrained, heartless laughter frightened and astonished him.

      Viktor's manic laughter has frightened Henry.

    2. It was not joy only that possessed me; I felt my flesh tingle with excess of sensitiveness, and my pulse beat rapidly. I was unable to remain for a single instant in the same place; I jumped over the chairs, clapped my hands, and laughed aloud.

      Viktor's laugh is not of joy, but of mad relief that the monster is gone.

  2. May 2018
    1. one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me,

      There is so much misunderstanding! It is far more likely the monster was reaching for his father creator. In a way, he was just born. Victor is all he knows.

    2. while a grin wrinkled his cheeks.

      The monster seems happy to see his creator. It's what Victor wanted. The creature is grateful for life. Yet, Victor isn't by any means pleased by this.

    3. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.

      Victor IMMEDIATELY hates his creation. He didn't even give himself time to process!

    4. slaughter-house

      Slaughter-house? I thought his creation was made up of all human? Does the creation have animal parts too?

    5. lifeless clay

      Biblical allusion to Adam and Eve?

    6. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.

      There it is, Victor wants to be a creator of new life. He wants to be a god. He does not seem to realize however everything that role would entail.

    7. at least by my example, 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.

      This almost seems like an allusion to Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

    8. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm.

      Victor thinks very logically about everything and tries to take a common-sense approach to anything he seems to come across. Most people are irked by graveyards and dead bodies, but to Victor- it isn't anything more than that. What I find interesting though is his disbelief in the supernatural. He wants to reanimate the dead and create new life, how then, does he not believe in ANYTHING supernatural?

    9. n a thousand ways he smoothed for me the path of knowledge and made the most abstruse inquiries clear and facile to my apprehension.

      Does Victor blame M. Krempe for what happens to him?

    10. Thus ended a day memorable to me; it decided my future destiny

      And this is where it all seems to go downhill for him. Does he look back at the day with remorse? Does he look back at it with a reminiscent air? It's hard to tell, but I think it might be both.

    11. creation.

      Creation is the very basis of religion. If you find a way to mimic creation, you become closer to a god.

    12. Such were the professor’s words—rather let me say such the words of the fate—enounced to destroy me.

      The professor seems to mimic Victor's intense obsession with the idea of altering nature and playing god. He may not want to actually do it, unlike Victor, but he may still be interested in how it would work.

    13. Chance—or rather the evil influence, the Angel of Destruction, which asserted omnipotent sway over me from the moment I turned my reluctant steps from my father’s door—

      The salt in this comment from Victor, geez. From this sentence alone, I could already get a good idea of what's to come.

    14. I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfully to death and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world.”

      Even in death, his mother remained loving and optimistic. She doesn't seem to regret a single action she has done nor any turn of events life has put her way.

    15. She joined the hands of Elizabeth and myself. “My children,”

      Wait where is the third child?

    16. It was a strong effort of the spirit of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.

      Destiny and Nature fight within Victor's mind over what's "right". Destiny is encouraging Victor to continue on to his pursuits of reanimating the dead as she wants to destroy Victor. Nature wants Victor to leave her alone, let her preside over things the way they are supposed to be. Though Nature is correct and following this path will ultimately lead Victor to safety- Destiny is far more alluring and attractive, fooling Victor into the terrible trap she has laid.

    17. In this mood of mind I betook myself to the mathematics and the branches of study appertaining to that science as being built upon secure foundations, and so worthy of my consideration.

      Victor is so obsessed with the idea of stability at this point that he would rather throw away passion and wants just to fit in and have a more favorable study.

    18. Wealth was an inferior object, but what glory would attend the discovery if I could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!

      He claims to be in awe of those who "know" Nature and all of her secrets and implies that he wants to be like them. Yet, here he seems to want to twist and defile nature rather than know her for what she really is. He wants to change the most universal truth about nature (death), as if trying to fix it rather than trusting Nature to do her job.

    19. tyros

      Tyros: Beginner or novice

    20. Cornelius Agrippa

      The study of alchemy is a blend of magic and science. Looking into what Victor wants to do, it's not wonder he is so interested in the works of Cornelius Agrippa.

    21. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me,

      Victor reminds me of the story of Icarus. He seems to be reaching for things he mustn't know, and in the end- he will be burned and he will fall. He's flying way too close to the metaphorical sun here.

    22. Yet he might not have been so perfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity, so full of kindness and tenderness

      Clerval and Elizabeth are complete opposites of Victor's nature. Victor is very logical, rational, and he seems to not be very kind. Clerval and Elizabeth seem to be far more romantic, spiritual, and emotion-driven.

    23. I was their plaything and their idol, and something better—their child, the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them

      His parents loved their "creation" with everything that they had. They saw this "innocent and helpless creature" and gave him everything he could need and more. Victor had nothing but remorse for his own "innocent and helpless creature". In a way, the creation is Victor's own child. Victors' expression of love, affection, and passion differ greatly from that of his parents.

    24. He strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener, from every rougher wind and to surround her with all that could tend to excite pleasurable emotion in her soft and benevolent mind.

      In contrast, Victor practically threw his creation out to face the harsh winds of the outside world (literally and metaphorically). His creation needed understanding and shelter, but instead, he tried to deny his very existence and throw him out.

    25. There was a considerable difference between the ages of my parents, but this circumstance seemed to unite them only closer in bonds of devoted affection.

      I wonder about the dynamic of their relationship that makes them so close. Could it be that he was her protector in a time that she needed one the most? The intense feelings they both had for Beaufort?

    26. I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale, one that may direct you if you succeed in your undertaking and console you in case of failure.

      He is being the mentor and the friend that he needed when he created his "monster", so that Walton has a support system that may keep him from failing as terribly as he did.

    27. he will be like a celestial spirit

      In this novel, Dr. Frankenstein tries to play God. Though he fails himself in his own expectations of what that role might be, he doesn't seem to disappoint Walton who sees something otherworldly in him.

    28. Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions seem still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth.

      This is a man who has seen the beauty of nature, yet twisted it and made it into his own perverse creation. He cares so deeply for nature, because he knows how easily it can all go wrong. However, I feel he may fear nature more than actually care for it.

    29. I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally an expression of wildness, and even madness, but there are moments when, if anyone performs an act of kindness towards him or does him any the most trifling service, his whole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beam of benevolence and sweetness that I never saw equalled. But he is generally melancholy and despairing, and sometimes he gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of the weight of woes that oppresses him.

      The way Walton describes him sounds more animal than man. Makes you wonder, who really is the monster?

    30. This appearance excited our unqualified wonder.

      Their reaction to seeing the "monster" contrasts to the masses reactions when they come across him. Could it be that they were so desperate for any hint of civilization? Or maybe they seemed to value different qualities than those that society seems to value.

    31. I am going to unexplored regions, to “the land of mist and snow,” but I shall kill no albatross;

      An allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner where one of the seamen killed an albatross and cursed his crew.

    32. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend.

      Could this be foreshadowing of the goal of Frankenstein's "monster" later in the novel? When the monster is created, Frankenstein immediately rejects him. Despite educating himself on how to communicate with others, the monster is ignored and alienated everywhere. Walton's experience seems to be a mirror of what is yet to come in the novel. I believe this also raises a large question in the novel: if we can sympathize and feel pity for Walton- why can't we do the same for the "monster"?

    33. And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury, but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path.

      Though wealth can sometimes serve as a great motivator to those who don't already have it, it doesn't seem to do much for those who already have it. They are already living comfortable. They are far past the line of survival. So what then do they have to achieve? The meaning of their lives. That is the ultimate goal anyone could reach. In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, he specifies the order in which humans can feel accepted accomplished. Those who have wealth have already attained the bottom levels of physiological and safety, often times they have love and belonging. That means the next things they need to attain in order to feel accomplished would be esteem and self-actualization. I believe that's whats happening here.

    34. Modern Prometheus

      Why would Shelley call Frankenstein the Modern Prometheus? After googling the myth, you can see the similarities. This analogy compares Dr. Frankenstein's ability to create new life from a corpse to Prometheus' ability to create man from clay.