.. reate another human being brought only misfortune and misery into his life, as if he was being punished for his attempt on divinity, thus displaying the message of the inauspicious consequences of striving to rival the heavens. The second theme imbedded into the novel is concerned with the acceptance of responsibility. This message proclaims that one must abide by the effects of his or her actions. One who flees or denies the results of his or her behavior will surely be plagued with guilt and despair that will never surrender until accountability is accepted. Victor, by creating the monster, owed the monster an honest effort to provide for his well-being and assure his safety.
By disowning these obligations and treating the monster with disgust, Victor violates his responsibility to the monster and begins the journey down the road of sorrow and ruin that his evasions have set him upon. This theme promotes the “honesty is the best policy” that can be found in so many other works, such as The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe. Rising Action: The action of the novel begins rising at the creation of the monster. However, the biggest degree of ascension occurs when Victor meets the monster for the first time since its creation. The monsters narration and request for a companion defines the battle between the creator and the monster.
From that point on, tension mounts with every action that Victor commits. Victors destruction of his work on a new creation pits the two men as utter rivals, with Victor fighting the impending doom of time and anxiety. This action rises all the way until Victors life comes to its symbolic end when he loses the only two people left that he cares about, his father and his wife Elizabeth. Climax: The climax of the novel occurs on Victors wedding night. The monsters words of warning about being with Victor on his wedding night provide a degree of suspense.
The reader is pushed to the point of excitement to discover something that can already be assumed, that the monster will strike again. The pinnacle of the story occurs as Elizabeth screams, and Victor realizes that he has lost, that everyone he knows is gone on account of his actions, and that the monster has won. Denounment, or Falling Action: The falling action occurs after both Elizabeth and Victors father have died. At this point, Victors life has all but been completely ruined. The remainder of the novel is concerned with the describing how Victor dedicated the rest of his life to pursuing his monster throughout the continent and the north.
The novel wraps up when Walton retakes to his letter writing to his sister, telling about the perils the ship is undergoing. The conclusion occurs when Victor dies, and the monster returns for his departing monologue, and Walton is left by himself. Flashback: Flashbacks are not used in the novel Frankenstein, at least not in the context by where the author takes the reader back to a certain time period in the past to relate events in the third-person viewpoint. However, it must be noted, that the vast majority of the novel is set as a sort of flashback because it consists of a character, Victor, relating the past incidents of his life in the first-person viewpoint. While this may not be considered a genuine flashback, it still deviates from the chronological order in which the novel is presented in the beginning, and thus contains some of the characteristics of a flashback. Setting: In Victors narration, most of the novel takes place in Switzerland, specifically Geneva, while some takes place in the British Isles.
In actuality, the story is based on Waltons ship, which resided in the northern ice fields of the Arctic. Shelley does not pay much attention to the setting in her novel, except to describe the beauty of the surroundings that Victor encounters. Except for the ice in the Arctic, this novel could have occurred almost anywhere in Europe, and thus does not play a significant role in the proceedings of the novel. The pursuit of seizing control over the possibilities that lay beyond human reality constitutes the fundamental foundation of the novel Frankenstein. There is a desire in the novel to achieve greatness through means that are not plausible, such that the attempt can only bring ruin upon those that strive to attain these goals. Two men in the novel, Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton, pursue greatness through methods that prove both immoral and illogical, leading to the near death of one, and the untimely death of the other.
Victor Frankenstein pursued a greatness that should never be attempted, and which cannot be endured. He strove to control what no human being has the understanding or the responsibility to comprehend: the ability to create another life. This role in humanity belongs solely to the Creator, whose authority is supreme over mankind. Victor believed that his ambition could place him among the heavens, parallel to life itself. His thirst was merely for greatness, assuming an authority that was not rightfully his to command.
In the novel, the consequences of his decision became apparent, as he spent the majority of his life afterward plagued by anxiety and grief resulting from the course of his actions. He refuses to confide in anyone the knowledge that he holds for fear that he will not be accepted among those whom he loves, for he believes that they shall certainly believe that he is the cause of all the misfortune upon the household. In a way, the Creator has punished Victor for his arrogance, reprimanding him for trying to take a throne among beings he does not belong with, and cannot possibly understand. His quest for prominence clouded his ability to reason, and allowed him to ignore the real responsibility of his deeds, of which he had never given thought, to the point that he was radically unprepared to accept the presence to which he was obligated. These thoughts never occurred to Victor until the end of his life, when he lay on his deathbed.
At this point, although he does not fully accept the evil he has created, he implores Walton to avoid the ambition that can possess a mans soul, and to accept the happiness and tranquillity that can be attained without yearning for greatness. Victor, for his offense of disregarding the authority that he did not deserve to utilize, suffered the severe consequences of his irresponsibility, lost all that had once been of comfort to him, and died alone, dejected, and broken. Robert Walton pursued a greatness that was similar to Victors. He strove to master the unknowns of the physical world, so that his desire for adventure could be quelled as his notoriety increased. He decided to voyage through the arctic, taking the lives of his crew into his hands, merely to satisfy a virulent craving for knowledge.
He violated the authority of the natural world, endeavoring to unlock secrets that were never meant to be understood through the wisdom of mankind. In his obsession, he placed the lives of other human beings in danger, disregarding health and reason in his operation. His ignorance is essentially different from that of Victor, for Walton contained no knowledge of how to accomplish his task, and did not even exercise the determination to accomplish this task. This contrast between the two men is elucidated in Waltons September Fifth Letter to his sister Margaret, where he agrees with his men to turn South and relinquish his quest while Victor is outraged and maintains the desire to continue his search. Walton has come to take heed of the obvious limits to his endeavors, while Victor has not. By the end of the novel, Walton had come to respect the authority of nature before it could to his unnecessary demise.
Experimenting with the limitations of authority constitutes a major role in the novel Frankenstein. Both Victor and Walton resolve to accomplish a degree of godliness, with the former mastering the mystery of creation and the latter pursuing the secrets of the physical world. Both men violate the principles this world has been founded upon, where there are boundaries for which no man can cross, and knowledge which no man was intended retain. Both men, however, took separate routes in displaying their aspirations: Walton understood there were limits to human endeavor and stopped himself just short of ruin, while Victor pushed himself through the breaking point. In either case, both men found that authority needed to be respected, and transgression upon that authority only brought sorrow and misfortune, and death.