3rd September 2018

Frankenstein Notes (theme)

The moral obligation of being human

  • Right and wrong, ethics we should follow or obey.
  • Moral – a set of personal and collective beliefs
  • Victor ignores his own morals to create the creature
  • The dead should be respected
  • Religion
  • Social exclusion, if you act in a way that is perceived to be immoral


“One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought…” – Victor ignores his morals as he constructs the creature. Even saying that a human life is not equal in value to the knowledge which he seeks.

“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, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.” –VF pg 33 – LucasVictor pursues desires to learn the physical secrets of the world, indicating that it’s secrets weren’t meant to be discovered and that he has crossed a boundary by discovering what should be left alone. He is curious as to how he a man’s soul is so intricately constructed to be held within a physical being.

“One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I had dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places” – VF pg 55 – Lucas Clarifies that Victor isn’t meant to reveal the hidden secrets of nature and has crossed the boundary which no human should cross.

“Had I a right … to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations.” – Victor takes responsibility for his creation.

The power of knowledge

  • Knowledge can be powerful
  • Knowledge can be addictive like a drug
  • Those who are seen to be educated often hold positions of power
  • Creation of creature – Creature learns about the world and himself > realises his place in it > uses it as his power
  • Walton’s desire to discover the undiscovered


‘…human frame could no longer support the agonies that I endured, and I was carried out of the room in strong convulsions.’

The danger of prejudice 

  • Social discrimination
  • Judgement before knowing someone/something
  • Eventually, if continued on this thought, people will live up to what people think of them as this is all they hear or see surrounding themselves.
  • Creature – as more people reacted to him he began to act as what they saw him to be
  • The cliche saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’


“I was capable of a more intense application and was more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge.” – V.F pg 31 From the start of the novel we know that V.F is consumed for this ‘need to know’ or this ‘power of knowledge’. It shows that he knows how powerful knowledge can be, and with this he applies it to his creation.

“One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought…”Shows that Frankenstein is willing to sacrifice a life in order to discover new things. He decides that he is capable of controlling another person for his own knowledge. His thirst for knowledge overpowered his human morals.

“ It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn..” Shows that Frankenstein wants to learn about things that only ‘God’ should know.

“Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature…”Shows that Frankenstein has an curiosity to the way the world works

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