The Importance Of Ambition In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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In the book Frankenstein, the main character Victor Frankenstein is a promising chemist attending the University of Ingolstadt. While he is there, using the knowledge he possesses and being ambitious in his ways, he sets out to create artificial life. The monster he creates is eight feet tall, and is a morbidly grotesque sight for the townspeople nearby. Victor’s Promethean ambition leads to his downfall and the death of people close to him. Throughout the story the consequences of Victor’s creation are meant to warn the reader against playing god. One of Mary Shelley’s principal themes in Frankenstein is that ambition, when it is not controlled and not subject to careful reflection, can result in catastrophe. Victor’s increasing ambition…show more content…
The creation of the monster, and the subsequent disasters that take place, all stem from Victors lack of sensibility. Blinded by his personal quest to create unnatural life, he does not consider that anything negative could arise from his experiments. After experiencing these negative effects he states: “Great God! If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth than have consented to this miserable marriage” (Shelley 174). Victor feels that if he would have thought about the consequences of his creation, he would have not participated in the creation of the creature. He should have foreseen that the monster would not fit in society, and that because there was no natural place in the world for such a being it should not be created at all. In hindsight Victor realizes that the creation of an unnatural being was wrong, and that playing the role of god cannot lead to good. Unfettered passion can lead to disaster if serious forethought and consideration are not given. The entire story of Frankenstein revolves around Victor as he faces difficulty that derives from acting as god and creating an unnatural being. The death of his cousin and fiancee are both caused directly by him, and he is forced to live with that for the rest of his chaotic and unhappy
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