Shelley 's Views Of The Dangers Of Knowledge

1679 Words7 Pages
An examination of Shelley’s views of the dangers of knowledge contained in her novel Frankenstein

“You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes not be a serpent to sting you, as mine had been,” this fragment of Victor Frankenstein’s conversations with Robert Walton exemplifies Mary Shelley’s views of the dangers of knowledge, in her novel, “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” where main characters Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein ruthlessly peruse knowledge. The theme of knowledge is at the heart of Frankenstein as Frankenstein attempts to go beyond human limits while Walton travels through the Artic to venture past previous human explorations. Shelley in using these characters creates a novel where ultimately the characters live as a warning to readers about the dangers of knowledge. Walton is presented with many parallels between him and Frankenstein, as Shelley plays with binary opposition. Both characters have the same goal and Walton is compared through Frankenstein’s warnings against knowledge. Frankenstein in the novel acts the ultimate embodiment the pursuit of knowledge is bad, Shelly in using Meta language such negative connation easily depicts this to the readers. However while she presents clear opinions on the harmfulness of knowledge and its pursuit she also creates the possibility of other interpretations about the use of knowledge and the way in which society impacts it.
Get Access