The initial posing of a highly problematic theme of the novel, the thirst
for knowledge as an end in itself. The same theme implicates "Alastor," Percy Bysshe Shelley's major poem
written in 1815, and published
in March of the next year, four months before Mary Shelley conceived the
idea for Frankenstein, as well as William Godwin's first great success in
fiction, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1792): whose fourth paragraph
begins, "The spring of action which, perhaps more than any other,
characterised the whole train of my life, was curiosity."