The Is Always Rape Of The Natural World

Best Essays

Horror in Romanticized Ambitions: Gothic Science Fiction and Moral Problems of the God Complex in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein

Monika Mahmutovic (301180032)
WL 306 Summer 2015
Instructor: Dr. John Whatley
July 23, 2015

“Discovery is always rape of the natural world. Always.” Michael Crichton’s worries about the implications of scientific discovery and technological advancements are perhaps dramatically overstated in this quote from his well known 1990 science fiction piece, Jurassic Park. Nonetheless, Crichton, in a few words, encapsulates much of science fictions worries about the devastating effects that human ingenuity and ambitious desire for knowledge can have on the natural order and integrity of things. It bespeaks of a human flaw—and indeed, a flaw that is in its nature romantic and often intendedly idealistic—that is characterized by a drive towards progress and ultimately human perfectibility through knowledge of the natural world. However, what are the implications here of scientific inquiries that “[pursue] nature to her hiding-places”? Such ambitions conjure up images of the mad scientist, burning the midnight oil in his study or laboratory, seeking, mastering, bending and harnessing (and in turn, being undone by) nature’s laws and secrets that he ought not have meddled with in the first place. Strikingly, this fear of humans pursuing, through science, abilities which were not intended for them, is in no way owed to our

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