Dangerous Knowledge - Frankenstein Essay examples

1264 Words May 21st, 2013 6 Pages
Chakari Monsanto
12.6.12
AP Literature
Frankenstein
Dangerous Knowledge
From the beginning of time until now the limitless pursuit of knowledge reveals man’s weakness. Modern society provides humans with a wide variety of sources on how to gain knowledge, both good and evil. The thirst for forbidden knowledge beyond what man can essentially handle, causes a tragic life. The protagonist in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley exemplifies the behavior of the ideal man grasping for more knowledge than he can truly bare; in turn this knowledge becomes tarnished. Shelley eludes to the Greek myth of Prometheus allowing the reader to delve deeper into the general theme that those who pursue an insatiable desire for knowledge, if not tamed,
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When people received the fire they were amazed by its benefit – it made preparing food faster, brought warmth in a cold area, and illuminated the darkness. The attributes of fire made survival easier for the people until the usage of it became uncontrollable. They found out that fire, when left unkempt, spreads and destroys everything in its path. As time went on people recognized the great power of fire and harassed it to do evil instead of good. People used fire to start wars, demolish forests, and burn others alive. The fact that everyone knew how to start a fire but could not stop it, proves that it should have been left with the immortals. Prometheus’ theft of fire for man irritated Zeus not only because he disliked the people but also because it gave the people the same power and knowledge as the gods. Zeus punished Prometheus for giving fire to the people by tying him to a rock and allowed a vulture to eat out his liver everyday for the rest of his life.
Victor Frankenstein, also known as the modern Prometheus according to Shelley, holds a similar yet different story and fate as Prometheus. While Prometheus only wanted to correct his brother’s mistake in making a superior race of man, Victor wants to understand “the secrets of heaven and earth” in order to elevate himself to a godlike status (Shelley, 30). He decides that he will create “a new species” which “would owe their being to” him and give him the
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