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Double/Doppelganger in Frankenstein
Transcript of Double/Doppelganger in Frankenstein
By: Niam Kataria
What are similarities or parallels between the monster and Victor Frankenstein and how does this progress the book.
“But through the whole period during which I was a slave of my creature I allowed myself to be governed by the impulses of the moment; and my present sensations strongly intimated that the fiend would follow me and exempt my family from the danger of his machinations.” (Shelley, 186)
“‘Shall each man’, cried he, ‘find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn.’ “(Shelley, 205)“
"But Paradise Lost excited different and far deeper emotions. I read it, as I had read the other volumes which had fallen into my hands, as a true history. It moved every feeling of wonder and awe that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of exciting. " (Shelley, 154)
"You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been." (Shelley, 22)
It is clear through many examples in the novel that the characters mentioned as well as the author herself are all interconnected through personality traits, lifestyle choices, and upbringings.
Mary Shelley, through the use of a frame narrative, is able to provide her readers with a perspective on every main character’s story in the novel. With this use of a frame narrative we as readers are able to see great connections between the thoughts and personalities of the characters that tie them all together. It almost makes the whole story interconnected.
What is a doppelganger you notice between Victor and Walton?
Walton opens the story as sort of a gateway to Victor. They have such similar minds. They were both self-educated pioneers and both very attached to their sisters or in Victor’s case his cousin. They have pioneering ideologies, Walton wants to discover uncharted parts of the north pole and Victor wants to create life and be a god like being.
Walton Letter to his sister: “But it is still a greater evil to me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common and read nothing but our Uncle Thomas’ books of voyages.” (Shelley, 7)
“If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded and that a modern system of science had been introduced which possessed much greater powers than the ancient…”(Shelley, 34)
1. They are both slaves to their impulses. For the monster, he always reacts very violently to mistreatment. It is his instinct, it is his impulse or reaction to getting hurt. Victor is also controlled by his impulses in some way. This is shown when he has a desperate urge to create life and completely disregards the consequences. These ultimately lead to the corruption of them both.
2. Another strong similarity between them is the love for family. Victor begins to slowly deteriorate from the deaths of his family members. He feels that his life is pointless without them. The closest thing to family that the monster has if victor which is his father. His father’s abandonment is the true source for his bitterness. He begs for family through his pleading for a wife. Once both of their families are gone, they both lose the desire to live.
3. The monster and Victor have a certain refinement. While the monster appears horrid, even Frankenstein admits that the monster expresses himself eloquently. Victor’s friends and family believe he has this as well. Finally, they both share a great love for literature. Victor uses it to learn about natural science and the monster uses it to learn about people.