Frankenstein Quotations

"My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately. I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world."

  Victor makes this statement in chapter 2, very early in the novel. Even from the beginning, he shows that he is not like other people. He is driven to discover "the secrets of heaven and earth," not content to simply study government or language or even science. He has greater ambition which, ultimately, does not serve him well. His desire to learn more about the "inner spirit of nature" leads to his downfall.

"So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein-more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."

  Frankenstein makes this statement in Chapter 3 when telling Henry Walton about one of his professors. Here, he expresses his desire for knowledge and, especially, his desire to understand how life is created. This is the exact passion, of course, that leads to his creation of the monster.

"Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived."

  Victor Frankenstein makes this statement shortly after he brings his creation to life. He describes the monster as hideous enough when it is simply a lifeless lump, but when it finally becomes animated, the monster is more hideous than Victor thought possible. This is the moment at which Victor realizes the weight of exactly what he has done.

"I was dependent on none and related to none. The path of my departure was free, and there was none to lament my annihilation. My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them."

  Here the monster reflects on his existence, asking questions that recur throughout the novel. He realizes his "otherness," or his difference from others because he is hideous and huge. He also does not understand his purpose in life, something that causes him great pain. Ironically, however, though he feels different from other people, this idea of "otherness" is a distinctly human struggle.

"Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant, but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded theirs. When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?"

  Much like the previous quotation, here the monster continues to reflect on his differences from men. He also notices several other physical differences, including his agility, his adaptability to heat, and his flexibility in terms of diet. Overall, this quote furthers the monster's sense of otherness and, also, his loneliness.

"Sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him."

  The monster reflects on his lonely state, imagining some paradise where he is accepted and loved. He realizes, however, this this is all a dream and that he is, in fact, very alone. The monster goes on to blame Victor, saying how his creator had abandoned him despite his need for acceptance and guidance. Throughout the novel, the monster continues to blame Victor in this same manner.

"When I slept or was absent, the forms of the venerable blind father, the gentle Agatha, and the excellent Felix flitted before me. I looked upon them as superior beings who would be the arbiters of my future destiny. I formed in my imagination a thousand pictures of presenting myself to them, and their reception of me. I imagined that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanour and conciliating words, I should first win their favour and afterwards their love."

  In this quotation, the monster is thinking about the possibility of revealing himself to the De Lacey family. He clearly has a great deal of respect for them, describing them as "venerable," "gentle," and "excellent." This quotation helps to establish just how devastated he is when he is rejected by the kind family he fully expected to welcome him with open arms.

"You must create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do, and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede."

  This is the moment at which the monster confronts Victor Frankenstein and demands a female companion. In fact, he refers to this request as his "right," since Victor brought him into the world and has bestowed him with such suffering. This quotation also alludes to the necessity of human companionship, since the monster says the sympathy and companionship is "necessary for [his] being." Again, it shows that he monster isn't all that different from people since he has the basic human need for companionship.

"All was again silent, but his words rang in my ears. I burned with rage to pursue the murderer of my peace and precipitate him into the ocean. I walked up and down my room hastily and perturbed, while my imagination conjured up a thousand images to torment and sting me. Why had I not followed him and closed with him in mortal strife? But I had suffered him to depart, and he had directed his course towards the mainland. I shuddered to think who might be the next victim sacrificed to his insatiate revenge. And then I thought again of his words -- "I WILL BE WITH YOU ON YOUR WEDDING-NIGHT." That, then, was the period fixed for the fulfillment of my destiny. In that hour I should die and at once satisfy and extinguish his malice. The prospect did not move me to fear; yet when I thought of my beloved Elizabeth, of her tears and endless sorrow, when she should find her lover so barbarously snatched from her, tears, the first I had shed for many months, streamed from my eyes, and I resolved not to fall before my enemy without a bitter struggle."

  In this quotation, Victor Frankenstein reflects on the monster's words after he has destroyed the she-monster. The monster has warned "I will be with you on your wedding night," a statement that Victor becomes preoccupied with later. However, Victor-perhaps selfishly-thinks the monster intends to kill him on his wedding night. He does not consider that the monster intends to make Victor as miserable as himself by stealing away Elizabeth. This quotation shows how self-absorbed Victor really is and how he underestimates the monster. Though he considers Elizabeth's anguish once he is gone, he never thinks for a moment the monster might actually kill her.

"I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on."

  These are the final words that the monster speaks to Robert Walton over Victor's dead body. This quotation sums up the suffering of his life experience, reminding the reader that, even with all of his faults and his crime, the monster was shaped into who he was by the world that spurned him.

Related Links:

Literature
Literature Summaries
Frankenstein
Frankenstein Chapters 21-24 - Walton's Letters Summary



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