Most literary pieces have unique quotations expressing universal themes. These quotes are often quoted by all and sundry in ordinary conversation and specific writings, speeches and addresses. Quotes or quotations do not lose their universality whatever the circumstances or times may be. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, comprises quotations which can be applied to everyday situations people face. Some of the memorable quotes have been analyzed below.
Quotes in Frankenstein
“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.”
This appears in the first letter of the book. Robert Walton, the narrator of the novel, announces that he is happy that he has reached his destination safely. He also assures his sister that her predictions of an unfortunate situation did not occur. This line is crucial as it shows Robert Walton doesn’t believe in superstitions and is an honest person.
“I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
Robert Walton expresses excitement for achieving his dream. He also means that when a person fixes his/her attention on that steady purpose, it becomes a point of exhilaration — the line further display’s Robert Walton’s stable and resolute character.
“I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavor to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling.”
These sentences appear in Robert Walton’s second letter to his sister. He expresses his loneliness and need of a friend because only a friend can share the joys and happiness. Although he is sharing his ideas with his sister through letters, he is aware that a letter writing is not a complete medium of communication. These lines shed light on his isolation and the need for a friend.
“What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?”
Robert Walton shares the news of his success during the expedition. This interrogative sentence shows his resolution. As he challenges a common thought of doubt. This question also means that no power can stop a person when he is determined to do something.
“He is so gentle, yet so wise; his mind is so cultivated, and when he speaks, although his words are culled with the choicest art, yet they ﬂow with rapidity and unparalleled eloquence.”
In the fourth letter, Robert Walton is introducing Victor Frankenstein. He is describing Victor as a kind, cultured and highly educated scientist. He praises Victor’s eloquent communication. This sentence is important as it shows that Robert Walton wants to narrate the story of Victor Frankenstein and justify his character. However, as the story progresses, we learn that Victor is not a kind person.
“I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy; one by one the various keys were touched which formed the mechanism of my being; chord after chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein – more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.”
Victor Frankenstein speaks these lines as he sheds light on his education. He says that Professor Waldman’s lecture on chemistry has raised his spirits. Victor feels that he has been at war with his enemy that is ignorance. The professor’s speech had given him a purpose. Frankenstein further states that he has become obsessed with the idea of reaching the mystery of creation in a new way. These lines establish Victor Frankenstein as a protagonist of the novel.
“It is decided as you may have expected; all judges had rather that ten innocent should suffer than that one guilty should escape. But she has confessed.”
Victor Frankenstein speaks to Elizabeth to tell her that in most cases the decisions of the courts only intend to punish innocents. He is referring to the murder of his brother, William, and how the Creature has framed Justine Moritz. Though Justine was innocent, she confessed to the court that she had killed William as she didn’t have any proof to defend herself. These lines show how the courts work on evidence and punish the innocents.
“The more I saw of them, the greater became my desire to claim their protection and kindness; my heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures; to see their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition. I dared not think that they would turn them from me with disdain and horror.”
The Creature speaks these words when narrating his ordeal of finding refuge. He is living away from the world near the hut of a couple, Felix and Agatha. As he sees their love and kindness towards each other, he becomes depressed because nobody has shown love or compassion to him. He desires to win the affection of that family. However, they hate him like other people. These lines explain the isolation the Creature feels and his desire for love.
“I am an unfortunate and deserted creature, I look around, and I have no relation or friend upon earth. These amiable people to whom I go have never seen me and know little of me. I am full of fears, for if I fail there, I am an outcast in the world forever.”
A blind man talks to the Creature. The Creature tells him that he doesn’t have friends because his creator Victor didn’t give him a partner and there is no other creature like him. Therefore, he is an “outcast” with no people to love or relate. These lines show isolation and the sense of estrangement of the Creature.
“Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.”
This line is spoken at the end of the story. The Creature meets Robert Walton and states that even Satan, who is the enemy of God, and man, who has transgressed the divine limits, have friends and companions in this world. However, Victor has created the Creature to be alone and without any companion. This line points to the injustice done to the Creature and its significance in the story.