Presentation on theme: "Erin Leach Dasha Tatarnikova Sean Thompson. Robert Walton isolated himself from the world by going on his quest to “tred a land never before imprinted."— Presentation transcript:
Erin Leach Dasha Tatarnikova Sean Thompson
Robert Walton isolated himself from the world by going on his quest to “tred a land never before imprinted by the foot of man,” (1). During his quest for knowledge of this unknown land, he endures much suffering; both physical and emotional.
Being trapped by the ice forced him and his crew to endure extreme weather for a long period of time.
Lack of companionship Multiple times he mentions how he longs for a companion because he’s used to having someone there to share his experiences alongside him. “Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer the affirmative! (3)” “I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection (4).” Walton finds this companion in Victor when he rescues Victor and brings him aboard his ship. While Walton is nursing Victor back to health and Victor is warning him about the dangers of the pursuit of knowledge, closeness between the two men grows and a friendship blooms out of this closeness.
This friendship serves two purposes: Gives Victor a friend before he dies after all of his loved ones’ lives have been taken by the Creature. Gives Walton the friend he desires The compassion he feels for Victor and the Creature The compassion from his companionship with Victor both heals the pain he was feeling from the lack of compassion present form the nonexistence of a companion. But, it also hurts him when he loses that companion due to Victor’s death. “Must I then lose this admirable being? I have longed for a friend; I have sought one who would sympathise with and love me. Behold, on these desert seas I have found such a one; but, I fear, I have gained him only to know his value, and lose him (157).”
As far as the Creature is concerned, Walton is torn on whether or not to feel compassion for the Creature because he wants to be true to his promise to Victor and keep that loyalty, but at the same time, his automatic reaction is to feel compassion towards the Creature. This internal conflict causes Walton much pain. “[M]y first impulse, which had suggested to me the duty of obeying the dying request of my friend, in destroying his enemy, were now suspended by a mixture of curiosity and compassion (163).”
Walton, after hearing Victor’s warning, is still disappointed when he has to abort his journey and go back to England. You would think that after Victor’s warning about the effect of the obsessive pursuit of knowledge, Walton would see the benefits of not being able to go through with his journey. But, it’s human nature to feel disappointment and that your pride’s been hurt, even if what you desired wasn’t what was best for you. “Thus my hopes blasted by cowardice and indecision: I come back ignorant and disappointed (160).”
Frankenstein’s feeling of solitude results from his obsession over his studies, and paranoia over the destruction caused by the creature However, the only points in the novel that Victor is actually alone is as he studies and creates the creature, and when he is in jail facing his murder trial (until his father comes). This creates the question of why Victor feels so alone, when he is almost constantly surrounded by people in the novel?
“We were brought up together; there was not quite a year difference in our ages. I need not say that we were strangers to any species of disunion or dispute. Harmony was the soul of our companionship, and the diversity and contrast that subsisted in our characters drew us nearer together,” (33). Victor describes his past relationship with Elizabeth, revealing their strong companionship. He shows that he is completely unfamiliar to the idea of being alone, only exaggerating his solitude even more as he journeys more into the plot of the novel.
“But my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety, and I appeared rather like a one doomed by slavery to toil in the mines…the fall of a leaf startled me, and I shunned my fellow-creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime. Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived that I become…” (54). Victor explains that he has grown completely isolated and dehumanized (seen by the monstrous diction “I shunned my fellow-creatures” and “the wreck I perceived that I become”) from his infatuation with the creature. Shelley use a simile and hyperbole to describe Victor’s paranoid and touchy state of mind, exaggerating the distance between society and Victor.
More emotional than physical suffering. Most of the suffering is caused by Victor’s guilt of the aftermath caused by the creature, and his various encounters with death throughout the novel.
“Thus the poor sufferer tried to comfort others and herself. She indeed gained the resignation she desired. But I, the true murderer, felt the never dying worm inside my bosom, which allowed for no hope or consolation,” (86). When contemplating the future of Justine, Victor can’t help feeling the guilt inside of him eating away at his conscience. The metaphor of the dying worm shows that he thinks that he is the true murderer and she has no hope solely because of him.
“I did not participate in these feelings; for to me the walls of a dungeon or a palace were alike hateful. The cup of life was poisoned for ever; and although the sun shone upon me as upon the happy and gay of heart, I saw around me nothing but a dense and frightful darkness, penetrated by no light but the glimmer of two eyes that glared upon me,” (180). In response to his release from the murder trial, Victor claims that he was different than his father, who at the time was pleased with Victor’s new found freedom. He feels as if his own creation has ruined his and other innocent people’s lives forever, and he is to blame. This “eternal suffering” is evident by the metaphor of the “poisoned cup of life” and the use of contrasting light/dark diction (“sun shone” and “dense and frightful darkness”).
Victor doesn’t necessarily focus on his own compassion, all of which relate to his connections between his family and strangely, the creature. “My heart was full, and I did not answer him; but, as I proceeded, I weighed the various arguments that he had used, and determined to at least listen to his tale. I was partly urged by curiosity, and compassion confirmed my resolution,” (99). It is odd to see that Victor chooses to listen to the creature’s story, finally out of “compassion.” This shows that Victor actually does have a bond with the creature, although he has caused all of the destruction in Victor’s life. This is significant to the story as a whole because although Victor feels isolated, yet he enjoys the company of the creature who caused his solitude in the first place. It shows the ability to forgive, and the bond between “creator” and “created.”
Victor chooses to isolate himself as he obsesses over his studies and his creation of life and death. However, this action itself is not necessarily to blame for his state of solitude. It is the notion that he created a “monster” that is destroying lives that separates him from the rest of society. The his feeling of guilt for all of the misery caused by the creature in the novel naturally causes him to distance himself, creating his internal suffering. However, it isn’t until the creature destroys all of what Victor has, that he finally realizes he is truly alone, with all the compassion within him eternally broken.
“It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold also, and half-frightened, as it were instinctively, finding myself so desolate.” (page 101) The creature started its life in solitude, abandoned by its creator. This foreshadows the monster’s life alone, without a companion or an assistant.
“I exceedingly lamented the loss of fire which I had obtained by accident” (page ) The loss of fire was the creature’s first loss. The creature is beginning to learn and experience the emotions of human beings. However he is first subjected to the negative feelings, thus adding to the suffering in solitude.
“If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, and imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched.” (page 109) The creature justifies his own suffering by learning and admitting that humans suffer as well. Coming to such a conclusion both differentiates the creature from the people, and keeps the longing for compassion alive.
“I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me: I tried to dispel them, but sorrow only increased with knowledge. Oh, that I had for ever remained in my native wood, nor known nor felt beyond the sensations of hunger, thirst, and heat!” (page 119) Allegory of the Cave: The more the creature is exposed to light (knowledge) the more he is suffering. By learning about the beauty and compassion around him, he only further realizes that he is all alone, isolated from society.
“I ventured to continue my journey after the sun had risen; cheered even me by the loveliness of its sunshine and the balminess of the air. I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within me.” (page 139) The creature appears to be in constant suffering due to his loneliness and lack of compassion and companionship. However, he feels most at peace in nature. He of all the characters in the book is closest to nature, and the natural state of man. The monster is not part of society, and thus finds the most comfort in what he is a part of.
“I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself will not deny herself to me.” (page 143) The creature’s biggest desire is to acquire a companion, and thus be presented with happiness. He wants to be accepted, and after all the miserable and violent encounters with human beings, the creature’s only hope is to be accepted by someone as monstrous as him.
“’This is also my victim!’ he exclaimed: ‘in his murder my crimes are consummated; the miserable series of my being is wound to its close! Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! What does avail that I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me.” (page 216) In this quotation the monster is showing compassion towards Victor Frankenstein, his creator. The monster learned the feeling of regret, becoming more human than at any part of the novel.
The tone is changed due to the fact that the reasoning behind the creature’s actions is clearly exposed. The reader can no longer simply blame the monster for everything, and will probably feel at least a little sympathetic for the creature. The monster finally gets the compassion he always wanted (from Walton). However, now it’s too late for him to be happy, because his creator died due to the creature’s actions.