In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the pursuit of knowledge was weighed against the negative affects such knowledge would have on humanity. Mankind, in all of its glory, was shown to be both virtuous and powerful, as well as condescending and base. The desire to create a superior race of humans led to death and destruction on the behalf of both the monster, and Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Life, and it's worth, were measured against the mental states of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster, as they transitioned from believing to, and looking down upon humanity. The morals and ideas of the monster were reflections of those of his creator, as both evolved to place varying states of importance on the value of natural life.
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein Knowledge is given to those that understand the power it holds, this power could either destroy or help one in their path to success. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, we see this idea being practiced by individuals in the novel. However, they are incapable of seeing the dangerous potential outcomes of misunderstanding knowledge and the power it offers, leading to their ruin. We see the suffering as a cause of knowledge through Victor Frankenstein’s creation of life, The Monster’s dream of fitting the norm, and Robert Walton’s dangerous journey to the North. The characters in Frankenstein pursuit of knowledge leads to certain destruction, showing us the potential negative outcomes of misusing knowledge.
In Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’, the theme of Knowledge is cultivated for multiple purposes. These include the effects of scientific advances, the de-mystification of nature, nature’s revenge and social relations in the romantic era. By examining knowledge in relation to the characters of Victor, Walton and the Creature it can be seen that the theme of knowledge is used a warning against the Enlightenment and a personification of the social injustices of the time.
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (Shelley 60). In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she expresses her beliefs regarding the danger of pursuing happiness through the attainment of knowledge, because true happiness is found in the emotional connections established between people. The pursuit of knowledge is not necessarily an evil thing, but it can cause destruction when it is pursued beyond natural limits. Victor Frankenstein becomes a slave to his passion for learning in more than one way; first his life is controlled by
The Dangers of Science in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein cannot merely be read as a literary work of the early 19th century. It represents the workings of young Shelley's mind. Further, it represents the vast scientific discoveries of the time, combined with Mary Shelley's intuitive perception of science. She views science as a powerful entity, but also recognizes the dangers if uncontrolled. Shelley demonstrates this fear in the book as science drives Victor Frankenstein to create his monster. In the end, it is also his use of science that inevitably becomes his demise.
Frankenstein at first may seem to be promoting the ideas of Enlightenment with Walton exploring the North Pole and Frankenstein studying natural philosophy and trying to find the secret of life through the deductive reasoning of science. However, with Walton failing to explore the North Pole and Frankenstein¡¯s scientific creation spinning out of his control, Frankenstein emphasizes the theme of the danger of discovering knowledge with reason and science. Frankenstein devotes almost his entire life to the study of natural philosophy and the creation of the monster in eagerness to understand the secret of life, yet this act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone close to him and his ultimate isolation. Likewise, Walton attempts to surpass previous human explorations by navigating to reach the North Pole but eventually finds himself trapped between sheets of ice unable to reach his goal. Mary Shelley is conveying a message as a Romantic, with the characters of Walton and Frankenstein, that the thirst for knowledge and the attempt to explain life through science, both of which are valued during the Enlightenment movement, can be destructive.
“The author of Frankenstein made it clear that it was not natural science and technology as such that led Victor and the poor monster to their doom, but only their uncritical and fanatical pursuit,” (Jagger 274) so much so that even Frankenstein when he later reflects on the time spent creating the creature comes to this conclusion saying he himself “appeared rather one doomed by slavery to toil in the mines, or any other unwholesome trade than an artist occupied by his favorite employment.” (Shelley 35) Frankenstein comes to regret his unnatural quest for the secret to creation saying “If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind” so much so that if we observed control over our pursuits “Greece [would] not [have] been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; [..] and the empires of Mexico and Peru [would] not [have] been destroyed.” (Shelley 34). The single-minded strive for knowledge, science, is so destructive and unnaturally that it “dabble[s] in dirt” and “penetrates into the recesses of nature, and [show] how she works in her hiding places.” (Shelley
The critically acclaimed novel written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, delves into a multitude of universal themes throughout the text. One value that drives the plot forward, and leads to character development is the theme, human fulfillment of the pursuit of knowledge. It is Dr. Frankenstein 's unquenchable thirst for knowledge that leads to the future predicaments that ensue after the Creature is conceived and future moral dilemma. An example of Dr. Frankenstein 's disposition that lends itself to the validity of the stated theme, is as follows; “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world” (Shelley 30). The doctor 's preoccupation with his studies, that results in controversy over the suitable nature of such an unobtainable desire, is clearly exemplified in the quote, “If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind” (45).
Frankenstein: Science and the Industrial Revolution Frankenstein, written by author Mary Shelley, was a romantic based story written in Europe during the eighteen hundreds. During this time period, Europe was experiencing many social and economic changes. Many of these changes were a product of the industrial revolution of Europe. This time period can be defined and era of exploration, discovery and industrialization in which ideas were pushed to the limits. Victor’s creation of Frankenstein is a reflection of the industrial revolution and a scientific era in which the borders of the possible are pushed and society is forced to face a monster of their own.
In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and Frankenstein’s Creation reach similar conclusions humanity by seafaring to the North Pole, delving into the dark depths of science, and observing the rejecting nature of humans. The three tragic heroes Walton, Frankenstein and the Creation are all character doubles in their initial enthusiasm for knowledge, inner dualist personalities, religiously glorified personal goals, possessive relationships and negative effects of gaining knowledge. The three character’s views of humanity are a microcosm of the culturally accepted importance of beauty, and how the culmination of knowledge can be blinding and lead to utter ruination.
Victor Frankenstein’s childhood influenced his ultimate destruction. From a young age, Victor had “an eager desire to learn” (Shelley 33). His parent’s supplied him with several resources to better his education path such as easy access to books and eventually a chance to attend a university. He enjoyed learning and was able to increase his knowledge due to the assistance of his parents, but his focus was too narrow. He chose “not to learn all things indiscriminately” (Shelley 33). Rather he focused on “the physical secrets
“How the dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” To what extent does Shelley’s Frankenstein support Victor Frankenstein’s view? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores the
In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is trying to convey the message that science and technology can be dangerous in the wrong hands. She affirms this idea through the character of Victor, a cautionary tale, but dispels the idea that all pursuit of knowledge is bad through more traditionally romantic
Frankenstein In the novel ‘Frankenstein’ Mary Shelley Portrays a Monster. The view of the monster is hideous. In the beginning he was childlike, kind and helpful but with the time he gains knowledge he becomes miserable. Mary Shelley writes about the monster to express her views about knowledge and the changes it can bring. In the 19th century with the industrial revolution there were negative effects. At the time there was a lot of development in Science and technology causing people unsettled. The people died because diseases spread. When people felt unsettled they wanted to know why are these changes happening so, they turned towards religion or the supernatural. That’s why stories about supernatural became popular. When he was cold, when he felt lonely and when he was hungry there was no one to guide
Frankenstein critical analysis evaluation essay Frankenstein was a story written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley while she was on her vacation in Switzerland with her husband. The story got published in 1818 without letting the public about the author. It was in 1831 when the novel revised edition was out and Mary Shelley name mentioned as an author. The novel focused on social, cultural and political facet of the societies during Mary’s lifetime. The fictional character in the novel clearly shows the battle against the pre-established people’s attitude during that time. Religion and science always create a controversy in the society with religion always differencing from any scientific principles and experiments. Shelley’s tried to addresses the above controversy and showed how science and modern technology is sometimes wrong. She tried to show how scientists and inventors are sometimes selfish only care for achieving their plan without evaluating the end result.