Many people would argue that knowledge is power, but can too much knowledge be dangerous? How much is too much? Throughout history, the human race has had struggles with “too much knowledge” or going to extreme lengths to gain such knowledge. Is the everlasting quest to know something really worth it? In today’s generation, there is constantly new inventions of technology and theories of science. But maybe knowledge is starting to ruin people’s life and it shouldn’t be sought after. Very similar in the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein deals with the deadly pursuit of knowledge. He is constantly intrigued into
The desire of extensive knowledge is first seen through Victor Frankenstein. At the beginning of the novel, a young boy named Victor grows up in Geneva “deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge” (20).
Every encounter the creature had with mankind resulted in violence towards him. His isolation and rejection from society created his violent persona, “[he] is violent, because [he] is miserable” (104). The creatures rejection from society left him - what he believed - one option, to become a plague to the society that exiled him. Rejection from the rest of society is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges a being can face. Interaction is an essential “human” need, as much as food, water, and shelter, and isolation can destroy a person’s psyche. Frankenstein’s creature is a prime example, he lived his whole life in the shadows, afraid of others. He had four conversations with other people! Because society rejected him, he became violent towards them, which only distanced him further from the ones he sought to
Knowledge, a characteristic all people seek and one that provides more power than any army could provide, can be rewarding and enlightening; however, it can be disastrous as well. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the main character Victor Frankenstein learns how knowledge can lead to dangerous inventions. Victor creates a creature assembled from scavenged human parts; however, upon seeing how hideous its appearance is, he flees which leaves the monster shunned by the rest of society. The creature, tortured by solitude, begins to kill Victor’s friends and family after Victor refuses to create a companion for him and the two end up dying lonely. Knowledge can be a powerful weapon; however, Victor notes when recanting his
It has been said that intelligence and/ or knowledge can be both a curse and a blessing. The book “Frankenstein” portrays this idea perfectly. Intelligence can be a wonderful gift that brings many great things, but at what cost? Would you seek all the knowledge in the world if you knew that it would bring you only pain and suffering? These two questions help qualify the validity of the statement that intelligence or knowledge can be both a curse and a blessing.
Another important figure in the Scientific Revolution was Galileo Galilei. He was an Italian born professor of mathematics who had a great interest in the workings of the universe. Galileo served as a professor at the University of Padua, and it was during this time that he began to question the accuracy of the Churches representation of the world. Galileo’s approach towards knowledge was much different then the afore mentioned Copernicus. Where as Copernicus presented his finding to the mercy of the church, Galileo wrote his conclusions and left the Roman Catholic Church interpret them as they chose. The very nature of his findings pitted him as an opponent of the church.
The pursuit of knowledge is not the only passion that can lead to a person to a life of suffering. Shelley’s example of Frankenstein’s uncontrollable urge to learn can be applied to any passion that is taken to an extreme. “A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility” (Shelley 64).
Knowledge isn't power. This relates in Flowers for Algernon because he who believed if he was “normal” or smart like everyone else he would have more friends or live a better life. This wasn't true at all. He ended up losing friends and being an outcast. In Adam and Eve they also believed knowledge was power. They believed that if they bit from the tree of knowledge they would gain knowledge and be like god. Another theme is think about it before you risk it all. Charlie risked his happiness to be “normal” or be “just like everyone else” ,Adam and Eve risked their freedom in hopes to find knowledge or
Knowledge can be the key to freedom or to one’s demise, depending on how one choses to act, but no matter what, gaining knowledge is rarely an easy task. Even for students who have information readily available to them, like Victor Frankenstein at the University of Ingolstadt, are constantly under the arduous task of learning. When learning has to be done by any means necessary or in secret, like Frankenstein’s monster or Fredrick Douglass, the acquisition of knowledge becomes even more daunting and makes the learner even more ardent in their pursuit. Once a person obtains knowledge, they see their surroundings for what they are and become discontent; they realize their potential and take action to change their life, which can be seen through the eyes of Victor Frankenstein, his monster, and Fredrick Douglass.
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives” ~ James Madison
Later on, the monster looks back on how he has changed and how much he has learned. “Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was. I cherished hope, it is true; but it vanished when I beheld my person reflected in water, or my shadow in the moonshine, even as that frail image and that inconstant shade” (133). In this quote, the monster explains that as he gained more knowledge, it made him feel even worst and feel more like an outcast. After his loss of innocence through the power of knowledge, he couldn’t look at himself the same way as before.
Victor again continues on the foreshadow of the danger of knowledge in chapter four when he says, “ how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man s who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.” In this statement I personally believe that it relates to another famous quote originally said by Thomas Gray in 1742 that reads, plain and simply, “ignorance is bliss.” Basically, I believe that Victor is saying blessed, lucky, are the people in the world who do not desire that he does to search for knowledge until there is no more to be learned. Saying this, however, also implies that intelligence would be misery. So if the statement, and the relation of the statement to Victor’s quote in the novel, are both correct, then why do so many men like Victor, both in the story and in the real world, grasp for every piece of knowledge possible to attain what they believe is an accomplishment. Like so many other questions that have driven people into overwhelming amounts of information, this question does not have an answer. Which brings around another argument in the case that to much knowledge is dangerous; what if the population dedicates a large percentage of lives to research and the quest for knowledge only to find that there will be no way to ever answer
What exactly is the pursuit of knowledge? One might say that the pursuit of knowledge is when one conducts irregular experiments and actions. One might say that the pursuit of knowledge is the process of the collecting information needed in completing that test. However, the universal truth says that one can never accumulate all the knowledge in the world. However, one might opinion that the pursuit of knowledge is a wonderful thing to have because knowledge is power. But what exactly is knowledge? Mary Shelley has her visions of the pursuit of knowledge all the way back in the 19th century. To tell her thoughts to the world, she creates the characters Victor
Humanity revolves around the basis of one concept: knowledge. The acquisition of knowledge has driven humanity’s progress and will continue to propel man into new heights. There comes a point where the want for knowledge becomes dangerous. The novelette, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, tells the tale of a man meddling in the affairs of another, who dwells in macabre, in order to gain insight. Man lives for knowledge, but sometimes it is that knowledge that quenches man’s ability to live.