The Importance Of Love In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

864 Words 4 Pages
Robert Frost once said, “Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” This quote encapsulates a common human longing: to feel loved, to be understood by someone else. Everyone has experienced this feeling at some point, and this stays true for Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. The desire for love is found in many of her characters. Characters either search for, have, or lose love, and they act and feel differently based on which experience they have. Shelley uses a motif of love and compassion to argue that love is the most important and motivating factor of human consciousness. Shelley illustrates how important love is to her characters in several ways, specifically through the cottagers and the …show more content…
Walton is introduced as a character seeking out knowledge and adventure to attain knowledge no man has ever found before, but really, all he wants is a friend. He claims that “[o]ne man’s life and death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which [he] sought” (23). He is motivated to seek this knowledge to the ends of the earth, hoping that somehow he will find a “more intimate sympathy with a fellow mind” (23), someone who can appreciate and understand him. He is motivated to search for this knowledge because the chance that might bring him such a man is worth dying for. Another example of how love can influence people’s actions is seen through the creature and his search for a mate. The creature has been treated horribly by humanity and has begun seeking revenge on Victor, yet when pleading with Victor for a mate, he says, “I will quit the neighborhood of man, and dwell…in the most savage of places. My evil passions will have fled, for I shall meet with sympathy!” (146). The creature is motivated to give up all violence, forgive everything done to him, and live in exile as long as he can have a singular creature that loves and understands him. To him, the idea of gaining this love is worth more than anything else in the world, including his quest for revenge. Both Walton and the creature, along with several other characters, are willing to do anything to achieve this idea …show more content…
However, Shelley also uses this motif in a negative way: to illustrate how to loss of this love can affect people. She creates a cycle of love and loss, of revenge and hatred leading to more loss to exemplify this idea. An example of this idea can be seen in the entire second half of the novel. The creature witnesses Victor “destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness” (165) and swears revenge on Victor. He fulfills this promise, killing all of Victor’s loved ones. This leads to Victor “awaken[ing] to revenge” (196), and he seeks out the creature. Victor eventually fails however, and dies. When this happens, Walton loses his chance of having a friend, and swears to kill the creature. When love is lost, it can only lead to negative emotions, which in turn causes negative actions, which breeds more loss, and the cycle continues. Shelley uses this cycle to show that while it is important to experience love, the emotions caused when love is lost or taken away are just as essential to the development of

Related Documents