There is a number of spot-on quotes dealing with various important subjects of the book.
- Quotes about science and what price can be paid for it
“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.”
Related Characters: Robert Walton (speaker), Mrs. Margaret Walton Saville
Explanation and Analysis: Captain Walton explains his scientific ambitions and the price his is ready to pay for scientific discoveries in a letter to his sister.
“If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded and that a modern system of science had been introduced which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical, under such circumstances I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies.”
Related Characters: Victor Frankenstein (speaker)
Explanation and Analysis: Victor compares the ancient science (alchemy) which promised great but impossible things, to the modern science of his time, which is more practical and provides real results. For this reason he chooses to concentrate on modern scientific research rather than wasting any more time on useless ancient philosophy.
- Quotes about life and its meaning
“I was dependent on none and related to none. The path of my departure was free, and there was none to lament my annihilation. My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.”
Related Characters: the Monster (speaker)
Explanation and Analysis: The Monster is intelligent enough to ask himself questions about who is he, what is his origin and destiny and meaning of his life. This shows him as a smart creature equal to humans, because only humans are interested in such philosophic things.
- Quotes about Revenge
“When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. I would have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of the Andes, could I when there have precipitated him to their base.”
Related Characters: Victor (speaker)
Explanation and Analysis: Victor feels regret and guilt because of actions of the Monster he created, who has already killed two innocent people dear to Victor. Now Victor hates the Monster and wants to do anything to destroy him.
“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? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.
Related Characters: The Monster (speaker)
Explanation and Analysis: The Monster feels that people treat him with injustice, although initially he did not mean anything evil; so he wants to make them suffer to feel as miserable as he felt.