Frankenstein (novel)

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We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so forlornly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love.
Sigmund Freud
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Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is an 1818 novel by Mary Shelley. It is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the "over-reaching" of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. Many distinguished authors, such as Brian Aldiss, consider this the very first science fiction novel.

Victor Frankenstein

  • "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." (Letter IV, August 19th 17-)
  • "With the confusion of ideas only to be accounted for by my extreme youth and my want of a guide on such matters, I had retrod the steps of knowledge along the paths of time and exchanged the discoveries of recent inquirers for the dreams of frogotton alchemists." (Ch. 3)
  • "Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world." (Ch. 4 pg.40)
  • "The moon gazed on my midnight Eggan, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places." (Ch. 4)
  • "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.” (Ch. 4)
  • "It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open..." (Ch. 5)
  • "For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." (Ch. 5)
  • "I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow beings." (Ch. 9)
  • "A sense of security, a feeling that a truce was established between the present hour and the irresistible, disastrous future imparted to me a kind of calm forgetfulness, of which the human mind is by its structure peculiarly susceptible." (Ch. 21)
  • "Great God! If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth than have consented to this miserable marriage. But, as if possessed of magic powers, the monster had blinded me to his real intentions; and when I thought that I had prepared only my own death, I hastened that of a far dearer victim." (Ch. 22)

Frankenstein's Monster

  • "I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other." (on the glacier)
  • "All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us." (Ch. 10)
  • "My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy." (Ch. 12)
  • "I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create." (Ch. 16)
  • "Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?" (Ch. 16)
  • "I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred." (Ch. 17)
  • "You are my creator, but I am your master—obey!" (Ch. 20)
  • "I may die; but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful." (Ch. 20)
  • "The fallen angel becomes the malignant devil. Yet even the enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone." (Ch. 24)
  • "Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me?" (Ch. 24)
  • "My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell." (Ch. 24)


  • "My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed." (Letter I)
  • "One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge which I sought." (Letter IV, August 13th, 17-)

1931 Movie

Main article: Frankenstein (1931 film)

  • "It's alive! It's alive! Now I know what it's like to be God!"

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