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by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein Life, Consciousness, and Existence Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (chapter.paragraph)

Quote #4

"It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being; all the events of that period appear confused and indistinct. A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt at the same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses. By degrees, I remember, a stronger light pressed upon my nerves, so that I was obliged to shut my eyes. (11.1)

This is Mary Shelley giving us her version of what it's like to be an infant: surrounded by sensations, overwhelmed by sights, sounds, and smells, and not too happy about any of it. Judging by how most babies react to being born, we'd say she might be on to something.

Quote #5

When night came again I found, with pleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that the discovery of this element was useful to me in my food, for I found some of the offals that the travellers had left had been roasted, and tasted much more savoury than the berries I gathered from the trees. I tried, therefore, to dress my food in the same manner, placing it on the live embers. I found that the berries were spoiled by this operation, and the nuts and roots much improved. (11.7)

The monster is a little (okay, big) scientist: like Frankenstein, he's trying to understand existence by trial and error. Luckily, his "errors" are more like, "oops, I burned my berries" than, "oops, I created a monster."

Quote #6

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. (15.5)

You and us both, monster.

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