After creating a monster who killed and destroyed many of his family and friends, Dr. Victor Frankenstein has chased the creature to the North Pole, where he encounters a ship, lead by Captain Walton, on an expedition. Near death, Victor recounts his story to Walton, to stop Walton from making Frankenstein’s mistake: searching for glory at all costs. The captain relays this story to his wife, in a series of letters.
Frankenstein Themes | Themes in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
After encountering a ship on an expedition to find a passage to Russia, a dying Victor Frankenstein recounts his life story to Captain Walton to stop Walton from making the same mistake he made - searching for glory at all costs.
Although he never reveals his knowledge, Frankenstein possesses the ability to create life. In his quest to attain this knowledge, he did not consider the outcomes.
FEAR AND REJECTION
The monster is rejected by Frankenstein because he is grotesque. Moreover, he is feared and rejected by everyone he encounters. He goes into hiding to avoid further rejection and, through a peephole, learns about the world, but is never a part of it.
The monster longs to make Frankenstein feel his pain. He kills Frankenstein's family, his best friend, and his wife, leaving Frankenstein alone in the world, much like the monster.
NATURE VS. NURTURE
The monster's nature is a direct result of his isolation, rejection, and fear. Being left to learn basic human tasks on his own caused his malice.
The monster's life could have been different. Had Frankenstein nurtured him as his creator instead of abandoning him, the monster would have been raised in a properly beneficial way.