Frankenstein: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. Victor recounts his fervent love for science, explaining, "Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember."
  2. Victor implores Walton not to follow his example, warning, "Learn from me . . . how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." Here, Shelley seems to argue that ignorance is bliss.
  3. As soon as the monster comes to life, Victor is filled with intense revulsion. He explains, "the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."
  4. Frankenstein reveals, "I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe." This theme of self-loathing remains throughout the rest of the book.
  5. Frankenstein's sadness is mingled with a perpetual fear that a new tragedy will befall the family. He narrates, I had been the author of unalterable evils; and I live in daily fear, lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness.
  6. The being explains his need for a hovel, saying, "Here then I retreated, and lay down happy to have found a shelter, however miserable, from the inclemency of the season, and still more from the barbarity of man."
  7. Here, the monster shows a unique ability to analyze humanity because, though he's not a human himself, he has the intelligence of one. He explains, "I heard about the slothful Asiatics; of the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans-of their subsequent degenerating-of the decline of that mighty empire; of chivalry, Christianity, and kings." This synopsis of Western culture in a nutshell shows the monster's ability to put humanity in perspective. Indeed, there's almost a triviality to it. Yet this education only furthers the monster's realization that he is disconnected from the humans he admires.
  8. When the monster learns that the most respected men in society have wealth and influence, he laments, "I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property.." Indeed, we feel pity for Frankenstein's monster and understanding of his view of humanity-its good and bad points. In many ways, Shelley uses this quote to underscore the theme of man's cruelty and injustice.
  9. Frankenstein's creature explains his anger, saying, "There was non among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery."
  10. Victor laments, "William, Justine, and Henry-they all died by my hands." Frankenstein is very earnest in his belief that he is the cause of their deaths, and he is even more horrified by the thought that they won't be the last victims of his poor judgement.