Frankenstein: the Dangerous Pursuit of Knowledge

1552 WordsDec 6, 20127 Pages
Danielle Bouquio ENG 210 10/16/12 Frankenstein: The Dangerous Pursuit of Knowledge Over the past few centuries, the intellectuals of society have made countless advances in science and the development of technology, which, to different degrees, have all benefitted mankind. These scientific discoveries are a result of man’s thirst for and dedication to acquiring knowledge, information, and power. The innate curiosity and desire for understanding in an individual can grow so immense that his or her moral and ethical boundaries erode, which results in disastrous consequences for all who are involved. The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is both a warning and a plea about the dangers of misusing academic prowess and the…show more content…
The word choice of impulse is interesting here, because it is used to describe a long existing condition rather than a split second decision. It brings to light how entangled in his world of discovery Victory must have been to have followed it for so long and still been unable to see the errors of his way. His study of the outdated Agrippa despite his father’s disapproval is a metaphor for his actions in the case of creating the monster. Rather than share his ideas and value the opinions of people who might be wiser, Victor preferred his own impulses. He conducts his experiments in great secrecy whist at Igosdolt, becoming so obsessed with the creation that he has no time for interactions with natural humans. The symbol of light is introduced as flash of brilliance that accompanies his discovery of creation. Light is also used by Walton because the word has a strong positive connotation. Both of them regard light as an illumination where before there had been only darkness. However, light can also blind if it is given off in excess. Victor can realize this mistake in retrospect, and is attempting to show Walton the negatives of a word and idea that clearly has a strong positive connotation. “Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (42). The realization of his own atrocities suggests a darker half of illumination. That quote specifically touches at the heart of his impulsive character
Open Document