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Quotations
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Here are some of the most important quotations from the text:

Walton’s Narrative

  • ‘I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man’.
  • ‘…ascertaining the secret of the magnet…’.
  • ‘…my father’s dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark on a seafaring life’.
  • ‘…I preferred gory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path’.
  • ‘…but I bitterly feel the want of a friend’.
  • ‘What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?’
  • ‘I never saw a man in so wretched condition’.
  • ‘He must have been a noble creature in his better days, being even now in wreck so attractive and amiable’.
  • ‘One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race’
  • ‘Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me- let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!’
  • ‘Will you smile with the enthusiasm I express concerning this divine wanderer?’
  • ‘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 have been.’

Victor’s Narrative

  • ‘And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine – mine to protect, love, and cherish.’
  • ‘The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine.’
  • ‘No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence.’
  • ‘It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.'
  • ‘Natural philosophy is the genius that regulated my fate.’
  • ‘Wealth was an inferior object.’
  • ‘…electricity and galvanism … was at once new and astonishing to me.’
  • ‘Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.’
  • ‘M Krempe was a little squat man, with a gruff voice and a repulsive countenance; the teacher, therefore, did not prepossess me in favour of his pursuits.’
  • ‘In a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder.’
  • ‘Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed?’
  • ‘Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, 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.’
  • ‘A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.’
  • ‘Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?’
  • ‘The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials’.
  • ‘Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived that I had become…’
  • ‘It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils’.
  • ‘…I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.’
  • ‘…I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms…’
  • ‘His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken but he did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs.’
  • ‘A flash of lightning illuminated the object, and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic structure, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon to whom I had given life.’
  • ‘During this whole wretched mockery of justice I suffered living torture.’
  • ‘Ever since I was condemned, my confessor has besieged me; he threatened and menaced, until I began to think that I was the monster that he said I was. He threatened excommunication and hell fire in my last moments if I continued to obdurate.’
  • ‘She was no longer that happy creature who in earlier youth wandered with me on the banks of the lake, and talked with ecstasy of our future prospects.’
  • ‘…men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other’s blood.’
  • ‘These sublime and magnificent scenes afforded me the greatest consolation that I was capable of receiving.’
  • ‘…its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes.’

The Creature’s Narrative

  • ‘All men hate the wretched.’
  • ‘How dare you sport thus with life?’
  • ‘Do your duty towards me.’
  • ‘Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery?’
  • ‘I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy and I shall again be virtuous.’
  • ‘Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserably alone?’
  • ‘The guilty are allowed, by human laws, bloody as they are, to speak in their own defence before they are condemned.’
  • ‘The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country…’
  • ‘..the barbarity of man.’
  • ‘He raised her, and smiled with such kindness and affection that I felt sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature…’
  • ‘What chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people; and I longed to join them, but dared not.’
  • ‘I saw no cause for their unhappiness; but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched.’
  • ‘A considerable period elapsed before I discovered one of the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family: it was poverty, and they suffered that evil in a very distressing degree.’
  • ‘I often took his tools, the use of which I quickly discovered, and brought home firing sufficient for the consumption of several days.’
  • ‘I viewed myself in the transparent pool! At first I started back, unable to believe that it was indeed I who was reflected in the mirror; and when I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am…’

The table below describes the relevance of the key quotatations:

Quotation

Relevance

eternal light

Walton’s mythical country

I shall satiate my ardent curiosity

Walton’s reason for journey

glory

Walton’s reason for journey

I have no friend

Walton’s needs

I shall kill no albatross

Allusion to Coleridge’s ‘Ancient Mariner’

interesting creature

‘wildness and even madness

gentle, yet so wise

Walton’s descriptions of Victor

Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught

Victor’s description of his ambition

I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale

Victor’s reason for telling story

He strove to shelter her

Victor’s father re. his mother

I was their plaything and their idol

Victor’s idyllic childhood

heaven-sent

celestial stamp

cherub

shed radiance

‘till death she was to be mine only

Victor about Elizabeth

appearances of things

investigating their causes

Differences between Elizabeth’s and Victor’s attitudes to nature

the secrets of heaven and hell

Victor’s motivation

saintly soul

celestial eyes

Descriptions of Elizabeth

fatal impulse

Victor’s description of his ambition

one thought, one conception, and one purpose

Victor’s ambition.

how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world

Victor’s realisation that home is best

A new species would bless me as its creator

Victor’s hopes for creature

 

corpse of my dead mother’ ‘grave worms

grin wrinkled his cheeks

Gothic style of creature’s birth.

blue laked and snow clad mountains

Romantic Description of home

A flash of lightning illuminated the object

wretch

hideous

filthy daemon

Victor’s reaction to creature/style

 

I am resigned

submit in patience

Justine’s stoicism

 

scene so beautiful and heavenly

Geneva

magnificence

mighty

wonderful and sublime

magnificent Mont Blanc

tremendous dome

elevated me

Descriptions of scenery

sombre

severity

wreaths

melancholy

Power of nature

barbarity of man

Creature’s reason for murder

‘Was man… so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base’

Creature listened to history and formulated conclusion

Who was I?

Creature asks basic philosophical questions

I am an outcast in the world forever

Creature’s despair

I am malicious because I am miserable

Creature’s reason for murder/cruelty

Had I a right … to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations

Victor takes responsibility for his creation

 

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