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Self-Education in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

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The Importance of Self-Education in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells a story about the creation and the destruction of a man considered by society to be a “monster”. In the novel, there is profound meaning to be found in the monster’s self-education. Patterned after the evolution of human learning, the monster’s spontaneous learning proceeds through major stages. First, is the accidental discovery of fire, this is followed by a realization by the monster that knowledge yields power.

Similar with human history, the finding of fire is the first step of the creature’s learning. In the beginning of Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein, the scientist who applies what he has studied, conjoins different
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It echoes development of pre-historical civilization or Prometheus in Greek mythology. Hereof the using of fire symbolizes the domination over the world more than the method of survival. Aftermath, the monster is ready to march to the next period of self-education, studying language.

The monster’s most convincingly human characteristic is of course his power of speech1and his ability to comprehend human language. This is also a notable part of Frankenstein. He is stimulated by the power of language and wants to learn it.

I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experience and feelings to one another by articulate sounds. I perceived that the words they spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles or sadness, in the minds and countenance of the hearers. This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to become acquainted with it¡K. Their pronunciation was quick; and the words they uttered, not having any apparent [connexion] with visible objects, I was unable to discover any clue by which I could unravel the mystery of their reference.

(Volume 2, Chapter 4, Page 967)

Later, the creature learns how to read, and he even can read Paradise Lost by John Milton. Once again, the readers of the fiction witness the ineradicable intelligence of the monster. It is a
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