There’s always a motive or an ambition in life, but it just depends how far that person is willing to go to accomplish it. If those people are willing to risk their lives to get what they wanted, it can end up worse than letting it go. In the book Frankenstein, the characters all see how ambition can get the better of them, to cause them to regret what they wanted. In the end, it was no use regretting what they had done because it was all too late to take it back. They realized how their own ambition had blinded them from being able to see the truth and reality. In the book Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the theme portrayed is that ambition can be the death of someone if they don’t know when to stop and let go.
Having an ambition helps motivate the actions that the person wants to take, such as Victor Frankenstein. According to research done by Jessica Hale, she states that ‘ “Victor creates an exaggerated double, a mirror image of himself capable of refusing to submit to the patriarchal forces pressing him to become “the husband and the father of a family” (Shelley 17)’ (Hale, 2019, p.14). Jessica is saying how Victor was being told to become this person by other people except himself. The ambition of wanting to be independent was powerful enough to make him create his creature stronger than himself so it won’t be told what to do. This sounds like a good idea except, that Victor didn’t factor in all the consequences this can bring. According to Victor Frankenstein, he says that “Yet, when I am dead if he should appear… swear that he shall not live… “You may give up your purpose, but mine is assigned to me by heaven",” ‘(Shelley, 2017, p. 155 & 160). When Victor was lying in his deathbed it shows that his new ambition is to stop what he created no matter what it takes. Victor is so motivated by this, that he doesn’t realize the effect that it’s truly causing on him and his body. He should realize that instead of wanting to continue his ambitious methods he should just let them go so he can rest in peace. Victor Frankenstein is an example of what not to do, which Robert Walton takes notice of.
Along with Victor's ambitions, Robert Walton experiences some of his own as well. Robert will face challenges, but will eventually learn how to overcome them. Robert Walton states that “I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited and may tread a land never before imprinted by man",”(Shelley, 2017, p.1). Walton is explaining how he will travel to see things for himself and accomplish things that haven’t before been done. This ambition of his gets tested when things don’t end up going the way he was planning them to go. A research paper was done by Allison Lemley stating “Walton expresses his frustration at having to turn back. The cost to his men does not justify the potential gain... Frankenstein’s single-minded search for power and glory was removed from any consideration of the ethical ramifications of his actions",” (Lemley, 2018, p.12). Allison is justifying that Robert knew what he was going to risk to get what he wanted but decided against it. He had learned from Victor, that not knowing when to put a stop to your ambition it would put a stop to him. The realization that Robert had may have ruined his chance for the glory he wanted, but in doing so he saved all the crew members lives. Although, this wasn’t the same occasion that happened when the monster had his own ambitions.
The monsters ambitions had to do a lot with being abandoned by his own creator. Without a figure to look up to he had no way of knowing what was right or wrong. The creature states that ‘ “I looked upon them as superior beings, who would be the arbiters of my destiny… I should first win their favor, and afterward their love",” ‘(Shelley, 2017, p.81). When the monster was left alone he found a family that he looked up to so that he will learn the way of life. The family taught him how to feel love and wants them to feel the same way towards him. The ambition he received was that he wanted the family to accept him since he has no one else. Society has no interest in him and his only way to feel human is by having the family as friends. This ambition was later destroyed when the family didn’t accept him since his appearance was greatly terrible. It then progressed to hatred toward Frankenstein since it was his fault for creating him. The monster states that ‘ “Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravish from you your happiness… I will watch with the willingness of a snake, that I may sting with venom.” ‘(Shelley, 2017, p.122-23). The creature has now lost hope of being accepted by humans and into society. Therefore, it caused the new ambition of wanting to cause unhappiness to Victor, so that he will know what it is like to be left alone. He eventually ends up regretting what he has done, but it was too late since Victor has already died. If the creature would’ve just seen how blinded he was by the ambition of wanting to ruin Victor there would be no regret in neither him or Victor.
To accomplish an ambition desired can cause the person to become someone they never intended. Victor and the creature both wanted to hurt each other not realizing it was easier to forgive one another. Robert Walton decided to listen and stop his ambition of wanting to explore since he learned the consequences of what could've happened like Victor. Robert used Victor as an example of how ambition can be the cause of ones ruin. One can only get so far until they're stopped by the consequences of their ambitious acts.