Catherine Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, ambition plays a

Catherine SabasaMs.YoungENG3U15 January 2018Frankenstein’s Aspiration and Fallibility People with ambition, attempt to achieve success based on their inner desire and belief. In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, ambition plays a big role through the character Victor Frankenstein. He is an ambitious man who has high expectation and desire. Even as a child, he is very intelligent, as he studies multiple contents of science and the great philosophers. Frankenstein’s ambition of creating a life has a huge chain effect throughout his life. If he acknowledges his responsibilities and faces his ambitious mistakes, he could have prevented himself from devastation. He makes huge mistakes out of arrogance and aspiration that brings unhappiness and destruction towards himself and to his loved ones. This essay aims to study the different aspects of ambitions that Victor Frankenstein has. Victor, as an ambitious character, impacts his own life by wanting to become a natural philosopher, thinking of himself as God-like, failing his responsibility for his creation, and his ambition that becomes unhealthy which destroys his whole life. His fallibility for creating a human creature leads to a monster and this causes his downfall and destruction.Victor’s ambition to become known as one of the famous natural philosophers of all time drives him into his extravagant arrogance. Victor grows up in a household where he lives in a wealthy, and healthy environment for him to learn many things. His father is very compassionate towards his son and he persuades him to further his knowledge. However, his father, Alphonse, does not encourage Victor to learn the natural philosophy because he thinks that natural philosophy is pointless. As he says, “…do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.” (Shelley 30) This shows how Victor’s father is against him by telling him to not waste his time on such matter. This advice of his father does not fear him which drives Victor to stimulate curiosity and to study further into it. For instance, when Victor puts work into the search of the philosopher’s stone, “My dreams were therefore undisturbed by reality; I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life.” (Shelley 31) This demonstrates Victor’s strong ambition of becoming a natural philosopher. Victor goes further in depth of studying science when he enters university. During his time at school, he continuously studies in further detail about how to create a living creature that makes his curiosity stronger. In Brackett’s article, Frankenstein, she states that Victor will live normally if he does not let his pride control him. “Had he not held himself in such higher esteem while a young man, he would not have reviewed the creation of the monster as necessary.” (Brackett 2) Brackett believes that Victor does not have the characteristics to be a good and responsible creator as he does not value things as a young man. He ignores his father’s teaching and does not give his full attention towards his father’s concern. It is clear that Victor is not a mature man because he does not take things into consideration that all lead to many troubles. Therefore, due to his pride and high self-esteem, he ends up alone making him fallible. Victor’s ego makes him a fallible character as he never listens to his father even after his father tries stopping him from learning natural philosophy. Clearly, Victor’s aspiration of becoming a great natural philosopher leads to his arrogance making him imperfect.    Victor Frankenstein’s ambition to become superior leads to his obsession with the idea of playing God. His ambition is to be known as God-like and to obtain praise from everyone, especially from his creation, drives him to his self-destruction. His creation of the monster makes him feel superior which blinds him from his ambition. This is shown in chapter four when he says, “I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (Shelley 40) This demonstrates how Victor acts as he is a creator of life. He believes that he will lead the world and create a new species using the power of his own. He looks upon himself as superior when he also says in chapter four: “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.” (Sheley 46) This quote shows Victor’s determination and his desire to act as a God of a new piece of nature. He considers himself as superior above all mankind by naming himself as a creator who gives life from the dead. Victor believes that humans should praise him for giving a life to a creature since nobody has ever done it successfully in the past. In Brackett’s article, Frankenstein, she mentions that “Victor’s ignorance supporting his belief that he is destined to play the part of God.” (Brackett 2) Brackett believes that his own stupidity makes him think that he is meant to play the role of God from the start. His lack of knowledge makes him fallible because he is not aware of the things that he is doing, as he only sees things one-sided, which is to create a living creature. It it clear that Victor thinks that he is able to pursue his dreams without thinking of the effects and circumstances. His greediness for power and playing the idea of God leads him to his self-destruction.Victor’s ambition of being a God fails his responsibility for his creature. Victor’s consequence for abandoning his creature causes the monster to the acts of murder and destruction. The monster begins its life innocent and open-hearted. However, after it is abandoned and mistreated by Victor, the monster turns to revenge. In Brackett’s article, Frankenstein, she mentions that the monster makes Victor to be hateful. “His mistakes transform him, just as they do the monster, into a mass of wretched hate, regret, and range. He seeks revenge as doggedly as he first sought the knowledge that he believed would bring light into a dark world by conquering human disease, suffering, and death.” (Brackett 1) According to Brackett, the monster, as part of Victor’s consequence, brings massive chaos to his creator’s life as it destroys his health, social life, and his family. He allows his strong desire to blind him of his actions and take control of him. Therefore, he becomes regretful for abandoning his creature after creating it for a long time. This evidence is shown in chapter five when Victor illustrates how he fully abandoned his wretch. “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.” (Shelley 50) This shows the negative outcome of his creation for abandoning it that causes destruction. Victor is able to bring a creature to life; yet, he is unable to fulfill the duties to look after his creation. He escapes and denies his responsibility instead of dealing with the monsters problem successfully. Due to Victor’s pride and mistakes, he ends up as being the father of a devil. He completely fails to attend to his responsibilities as a creator, which illustrates his fallibility. “I felt as if I was about the commission of a dreadful crime and avoided with shuddering anxiety any encounter with my fellow creatures.” (Shelley 175) This quote demonstrates Victor’s guilt of creating the monster. He finally realizes his folly for wanting to be a God and abandoning its creature, although he does not genuinely admit his mistakes. Clearly, ‘the secret to life’ which Victor has used, that only God is worthy to have, drives him to suffer considerably for his crimes. Victor Frankenstein’s ambition of discovering the secret of life becomes his unhealthy obsession.  He attempts to access the secret of existence and the power of science. Victor’s attention to the difference between the living and the dead becomes his fixation. “The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine.” (Shelley 27) This quote reveals part of Victor’s strange characteristic towards his obsession with science. He worships science as much as how people would praise their God and his moral. Thus, his work takes its payment on, by affecting his health and lifestyle. This is shown in chapter five when Victor states, “I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health.” (Shelly 50) This shows Victor’s strong desire of pursuing his dream to be a creator, due to the fact that he would devote his time to give life to a dead creature than be with his family. The lack of sleep and lack of communication with his family seems to also be the cause of his odd actions. This is because turns his back from his family and the outcome of his action is that he does not feel love, and support anymore. He becomes addicted on creating a life out of death which leads him to lose his health, due to his lack of nutrition and his connection with his family. “My departure was therefore fixed at an early date, but before the day resolved upon could arrive, the first misfortune of my life occurred.” (Shelley 35) Victor comes back after her mother died without his presence. Due to his obsession with natural philosophy, he had lost one of his loved once. He prioritizes his creature first than his family, in other words, Victor abandoned his family for the sake of the monster. This makes him fallible because he realizes that he cannot turn to anyone for help or support, neither from his family. He starts to feel as if he does not exist in the world anymore. Overall, Victor’s obsession and curiosity of the nature of life destroy him physically, mentally, and emotionally.In conclusion, Victor’s aspirations drives him to his own failure, as he was blinded of the negative cause he has created. All of his choices have a negative chain effect through his life. As a young man, he becomes obsessed with discovering the nature of life. He dedicates himself to collect various pieces of body and making it his own creation for over two years. He has high expectation of himself because he believes that he could create a life using his own intelligence. Yet, he fails the responsibility of a creator for abandoning it. As the monster seeks for love, which Victor could not give, it eventually turned evil and destroyed his life. Victor’s ambition to play God also results in devastation of himself, his friends, and family. As a result, he has forgotten his family and lost his connection with them. He prioritizes the creature first and abandoned his family for the sake of the monster. On the other hand, Victor’s intentions are not evil, as he does not intend to create a monster to be used as a weapon. He created the monster, for him to prove to everyone, especially to his father, that he can receive the same praise as the famous philosophers. As a matter of fact, he attempts to prevent the creature from taking any more human lives is in vain. This makes Victor fallible as his ambition was not meant to create a monster and kill individuals. However, his aspiration leads to his downfall. He lets his ambition control him which results in the loss of multiple lives, and damages towards the town. “When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation.” (Shelly 87) This quote emphasizes how Victor wants to revenge on his creation, who is responsible for all of the devastating deaths. This shows that he is letting his anger control him. He plots to take down the monster for the murders it has committed and intends to commit in the future. Victor makes decisions for his own benefit and does not think of the circumstances of his acts. It is clear that Victor’s aspiration blinded him which destroys himself and his loved once. He lets his own desire take over him and lead him to his self-destruction. Overall, Victor Frankenstein is just a fallible person as he is driven by his strong aspiration and not being able to control it. 

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