3.11.14

Frankenstein: The Enlightened Lover and Martyr

Victor's demise is not a condemnation of rationalism.

His words had a strange effect upon me. I compassionated

him, and sometimes felt a wish to console

him; but when I looked upon him, when I saw

the filthy mass that moved and talked, my heart

sickened, and my feelings were altered to those of

horror and hatred. I tried to stifle these sensations;

I thought, that as I could not sympathize with him, I

had no right to withhold from him the small portion

of happiness which was yet in my power to bestow. (Frankenstein 260)

…she, who in all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning

animal… She also might turn with

disgust from him to the superior beauty of man;

(Frankenstein 299)

 “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have

proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember

that I have power; you believe yourself

miserable, but I can make you so wretched that

the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my

creator, but I am your master; — obey!”(Frankenstein 303)

Life, although it may only be an accumulation

of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend

it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful

than thyself; my height is superior to thine; my joints

more supple. But I will not be tempted to set myself

in opposition to thee. I am thy creature, and I will

be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king,

if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou

owest me. (Frankenstein 164)


 …but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became

livid with the hue of death; her features appeared

to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of

my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped

her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in

the folds of the flannel.(Frankenstein 80)
Victor saw the visions of divine punishment for his unnatural acts.

Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle

of life proceed? It was a bold question, and

one which has ever been considered as a mystery;

yet with how many things are we upon the

brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness

did not restrain our inquiries. (Frankenstein 66)

The monster is at first a Romantic, then he becomes a Rationalist.


Frankenstein has all the reason to lament the Romantics of a human society he can't be allowed in. The human mind is irrational and is only justifying for itself, or at least that is what the creature sees. His negative view on the tenets of human rationality turned him to the monster, the animal, the logicless creature that he showed himself to be at times.
You accuse me of murder;
and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience,
destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal
justice of man! (Frankenstein 166)
 
“ ‘Do not despair. To be friendless is indeed
to be unfortunate; but the hearts of men, when
unprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of
brotherly love and charity. Rely, therefore, on your
hopes; and if these friends are good and amiable,
do not despair.’ (Frankenstein 234)
 
The creature had tried to be reasonable, even creating a plan on how to obtain a companion. He figured that this would allow him to be part of the humanity which he desperately wanted to fit into. What he found was that he could not control his anger, his impulse, the bit of humanity he had within.
“ ‘Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy—
to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge;
you shall be my first victim.’ (Frankenstein 252)
 
 

Frankenstein's mother served as a warning sign against Rationalism. It can be assumed that a wise and strong woman in her deathbed would speak of significant matters in her last moments. She had the older generation's ideas on love. Society is facing trials of Rationalism and Romanticism till today. It is a particularly heavy struggle for the human psyche and the attainment of mass media, knowledge, and social hubs has made those involved in popular culture delve deeper within themselves and their thought process.

I knew that I was preparing for 
myself a deadly torture; but I was the slave, not the
master of an impulse, which I detested, yet could
not disobey. (Frankenstein 408)

Mary Shelley favoured wrote Frankenstein to display the characteristics of Modern Rationalism and Romanticism. She did not lean towards one belief.

Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological

writers of Germany… It was recommended by the novelty

of the situations which it developes; and, however

impossible as a physical fact, affords a point of view

to the imagination for the delineating of human passions

more comprehensive and commanding than

any which the ordinary relations of existing events

can yield.

I have thus endeavoured to preserve the truth

of the elementary principles of human nature,…

 (Frankenstein Preface)
  The modern comparison of the two schools of thought made people reconsider themselves and what humanity was. They also reconsidered the laws of attraction and attractiveness in functioning in society.

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