Mary Shelley

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Light Symbol Analysis

Light Symbol Icon
Light symbolizes enlightenment in Frankenstein. Walton expects to find the secrets of the universe unveiled in the North Pole, which he describes as "a country of eternal light." Light also accompanies nearly all of Victor's epiphanies. When he first discovers natural philosophy, he says, "A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind." When he discovers the secret to creating life, he describes his feelings as if "a sudden light broke in upon me." He envisions pouring a "torrent of light into our dark world" through the creation of a new species. Yet light that's too bright is also blinding, and both Victor and Walton fail to see or consider the dangerous consequences of their quests for enlightenment.

Light Quotes in Frankenstein

The Frankenstein quotes below all refer to the symbol of Light. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Chapter 4 Quotes
Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.
Related Characters: Victor Frankenstein (speaker)
Related Symbols: Light
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes
[A] flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom I had given life.
Related Characters: Victor Frankenstein (speaker), The Monster
Related Symbols: Light
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes
You can blast my other passions, but revenge remainsrevenge, henceforth dearer than light of food! I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery.
Related Characters: The Monster (speaker), Victor Frankenstein
Related Symbols: Light
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
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Light Symbol Timeline in Frankenstein

The timeline below shows where the symbol Light appears in Frankenstein. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter 1
Romanticism and Nature Theme Icon sea to reach the North Pole, which he considers a region of warmth, "eternal light," and unparalleled beauty. (full context)
Chapter 7
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Fallibility Theme Icon
Romanticism and Nature Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Lost Innocence Theme Icon
...they arrive. Victor visits the spot where his brother died. On the way he sees lightning playing over the peaks of the mountain Mont Blanc. (full context)