Victor Frankenstein is a man of excesses. Discuss this statement in relation to the novel and its themes. Frankenstein’s narcissistic and egotistic personality has led him to react in an excessive manner. The over-adoration received as a child by his parents has resulted in Frankenstein’s adoration of oneself and obsessive desire to obtain extreme power through knowledge. The protagonist of the novel ‘Frankenstein’ Victor Frankenstein begins by telling the story of his childhood through which we understand the extent of Victor’s family’s admiration towards him.
Frankenstein is described as a sacred gift to the family who was worshipped and regarded with a great deal of devotion and adoration. “I was their plaything and their idol, and something better- their child, the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by Heaven”. This overindulgence as a child has led Frankenstein to have obsessive self-interest and to preoccupy himself with a will to be powerful. Frankenstein seeks supremacy by trying to uncover the secrets that science has to offer and by pursuing to obtain dangerous knowledge.
Victor Frankenstein’s drive and self-belief is so strong that he forces to exploit himself by studying long ridiculous hours, blinding himself to his own personal health and to the ramification of his desire. “For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. 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”. This drive becomes so compulsive that Frankenstein isolates himself from the rest of society and his family. Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make. ” His exuberant perseverance to acquire knowledge and egotism results in Frankenstein’s aspiration to defy the order of nature and play God, displaying Frankenstein’s excessive nature.
For man to desire to play God and create life indicates that Frankenstein was almost addicted to power. While power can be attained in many ways, Frankenstein chooses to cross the line and attempt to acquire power in its most extreme form. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn. ” Frankenstein learns that his extreme arrogance had blinded his perception of capabilities as a human, allowing him to think that he was as powerful as God thus mocking the almighty. “Fright must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world”. To have the belief that one can possibly obtain as much power as God, shows the excessive nature of Frankenstein. Frankenstein’s is a man of excesses as a result of his narcissism and egotism as depicted in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.