- Published in 1818
- Belongs to the Gothic genre
- Has Romantic elements
- Written after Shelley, her husband and her writer friends (inluding Lord Byron) challenged each other to write a ghost story. Shelley's was the only one to be completed.
Isolation Key Quotes
- 'even the enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.'
Frankenstein's monster feels isolated. He has no friends or family and is completely rejected by society, even by the man who created him. This isolation leads to his decision to revenge Frankestein, and transforms him from a lonely and misunderstood character to one that conforms to the conventional notion of a monster - evil and unforgiving.
- 'But where were my friends and relations? No father had watched my infant days, no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses'
The monster feels separated from the rest of society due to his lack of family and company in general. Here, he shows a longing for family as he draws on the scenes of family life he has witnessed whilst in hiding. He feels alone and left out, and this subsequently results in his growing hatred for human nature.
Nature Key Quotes
- 'They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.'
Waldman claims that modern scientists are more humble in their goals than their predecessors, yet Frankenstein is amazed by the staggering feats that they have accomplished and wishes to follow their lead. What he ignores is the fact that the secrets of the natural world are secrets for a reason - nature is all powerful (a Romantic idea) and should not be meddled with; something he later learns.
- 'What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?'
Walton sees himself as the next great explorer; he believes that he can conquer nature and discover the secrets of the world. He is so determined that he sees himself as unstoppable, and does not realise the obstacles that lie in his path - namely Frankenstein's story, which illustrated the brutal power of nature. This is foreshaowing of the events about to happen.
Revenge Key Quotes
- 'Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy--to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.'
The monster understands the value of family due to his lack of it, and realises that the best way to revenge Frankenstein is to kill his family, not simply to kill Frankenstein himself. He sees William as belonging to Frankenstein, as if family is a material possession that he has been deprived of - without family, the monster posesses nothing.
- 'The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart.'
Frankenstein's monster feels a strong need for revenge, sparked by his creator's rejection. This feeling lurks in his heart and consumes him.
Education Key Quotes
- 'It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.'
Victor is determined to unearth the secrets of the natural world, and becomes obsessed with education to the extent of isolating himself. Shelley conveys this unhealthy desire to learn through Victor's eagerness, using language that emphasises the preciousness of natural wonders and conveying Victor's determination to exploit them as naive.
Childhood Key Quotes
- 'I ran wild on a common and read nothing but out Uncle Thomas' books of voyages'
Walton spent the most part of his childhood doing as he pleased and readind sailing books, which left him with the desire to explore and disocver. In many ways he is similar to Victor, who also spent time as a child studying and reading about the natural world. Walton did not enjoy the nature (the common) around him as he was always reading and learning - the idea that a child needed nature to grow up healthily was a popular Romantic concept - and so Walton's desire for exploration consumed him.