The Importance Of Greed For Power In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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The greed for power is a wicked part of human nature that has the potentials to consume humanity. In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein, it begins with Robert Walton’s letter to his sister, revealing his plan to obtain glory by reaching the North Pole. During his journey, he comes across a man named Victor Frankenstein, who tells Walton the story about his creation. Although the monster is innocent at first, Victor explains to Walton that he must end the monster’s corrupted life to obtain vengeance for his friends’ deaths. Pursuits for power present in these three characters result in one of the major themes of this novel: power corrupts people. Ultimately, Shelley uses Walton’s, Victor’s, and the monster’s motivations for power to support …show more content…
After his mother’s death, Victor travels to Ingolstadt University, where he describes his feeling when he uncovers the mystery of life: “I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands” (Shelley 53). Here, Victor defies the authority of God because God is the only one who gives life to the dead. These “hands” indicate the transitions of power to create life from God’s hands onto Victor’s hands. In the Bible, the hands represent divine power and ownership - this connects to Victor’s situation when he thinks his power to create life is a God-given right. Also, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” describes God’s punishment toward anyone who tries to challenge Him. When Victor realizes his consequences for his immoral actions, it is too late. After Victor refuses to construct a female companion for the monster, the creature kills Victor’s loved ones, and Victor then portrays his monster as a “miserable demon whom I had sent abroad into the world for my destruction” (Shelley 215). Because he refuses to take on the responsibility for the monster’s miserable life, Victor fails to be a great creator, and therefore, he faces the monster’s wrath. Again, this is similar to “Paradise Lost” because Satan attempts to revenge on God for his wretched life. Playing the role of Satan, the monster sets out to penalize his creator for giving him a life full of rejections and loneliness. For playing God, the creator faces an eternal punishment, which Victor commits to obtaining revenge on the monster. Consequently, Victor converts from a young, passionate scientist into a hateful, mad scientist in this novel. His desire to uncover the secret to life motivates Victor to this scientist exploration; however, it ultimately leads to his own

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