03-24-2008 10:19 AM
03-24-2008 11:04 AM
"My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned, not towards childish pursuits, but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately. I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states, possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.
Meanwhile Clerval occupied himself, so to speak, with the moral relations of things. The busy stage of life, the virtues of heroes, and the actions of men, were his theme; and his hope and his dream was to become one among those whose names are recorded in story, as the gallant and adventurous benefactors of our species. The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine dedicated lamp in our peaceful home. Her sympathy was ours; her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us. She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract: I might have become sullen in my study, rough through the ardour of my nature, but that she was there to subdue me to a semblance of her own gentleness. And Clerval--could aught ill entrench on the noble spirit of Clerval?--yet he might not have been so perfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity--so full of kindness and tenderness amidst his passion for adventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him the real loveliness of beneficence, and made the doing good the end and aim of his soaring ambition.
I feel exquisite pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind, and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self. Besides, in drawing the picture of my early days, I also record those events which led, by insensible steps, to my after tale of misery: for when I would account to myself for the birth of that passion, which afterwards ruled my destiny, I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but, swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys. " Chp 2
03-26-2008 10:32 AM
03-27-2008 10:57 AM
03-31-2008 05:16 PM
She was his "plaything!" His very favorite toy...quite sick, I would agree. Also an interesting point about the Clerval/Victor/Elizabeth "ideal" friendship. Why do we have to grow up? Why can't we all just live like Peter Pan in Neverland? Isn't it funny that when we're children, we can't wait to grow up and when we're adults we look longingly back at the "good ole days"...? Good points, chad!
chad wrote:I think Victor's mother picks out Elizabeth specifically "for Victor", and Victor may have felt that he was the "owner" of Elizabeth, or someone he was supposed to marry-- Definately sick to me, and maybe sick to our modern society? But the friendship between Clerval, Victor and Elizabeth was still described as "ideal" I think... I also believe the "why" we have to grow up is the question Shelley had for everyone here.Chad
04-05-2008 10:49 AM
04-07-2008 10:12 AM - edited 04-07-2008 10:16 AM
Message Edited by chad on 04-07-2008 10:16 AM