Frame Narrative: There are three stories in the novel. 1) Walton's, the sea captain, about his journey to the arctic, told through letters to his sister. 2) Victor's, the main character, about his life and 3) the Monster's story. Instead of simply telling the story through the eyes of Victor, Shelley, tells it through the eyes of many. This gives the story greater depth, as we see not only Victor's thoughts and emotions, but his creation's as well. Shelley is asking her readers to decide for themselves who is really the protagonist, and who the antagonist. Doing it this way also allows Shelley to juxtapose two explorers in their pursuit of dangerous knowledge; Walton-exploring the arctic-and Victor-exploring life. One ultimately survives the experience.
A major theme of the novel is the pursuit of knowledge. Light is often used to symbolize discovery and knowledge. Both Walton and Victor use the light in their narratives. But as light can be dangerous--too much can blind, fire can burn--so too is knowledge, as Victor surely learned. There are also many allusions to Prometheus (a Greek titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it--the knowledge of it--to mankind) that tie into this theme.
Mar 30th, 2015
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