Frankenstein- Acquirement of Knowledge

Topics: Frankenstein, Gothic fiction, Romanticism Pages: 4 (1491 words) Published: March 16, 2011
“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 concepts of knowledge and science and the dangers involved with the pursuit and investigation of these ideas. The novel conveys Shelley’s attitudes towards science by portraying it as having the capability to exceed the bounds of human restraint. Through the development of her protagonist Victor Frankenstein, the romantic and gothic aspects of her novel, the period of 1818 and the influences of the world she was living in that are evident in the novel and the exploration of the human need for love and relationships. The protagonist, Victor Frankenstein is used as the ultimate embodiment that the “acquirement of knowledge” is dangerous. Shelley uses his journey to demonstrate the disastrous results that can occur if one becomes completely immersed in a task. Shelley especially focuses on the fact that the pursuit of knowledge is not necessarily and evil thing, but it can cause destruction when it is pursued beyond natural limits. This is shown through Victor’s aim to be god-like and to create another human being-“I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation”. The character of Walton is used as a binary opposition to Victor and to create a sense of foreboding at the start of the novel. Walton possesses all the same goals of “discovery” and glory as Victor and after Victor has suffered he dire consequences of his creation he attempts to warn Walton of the negative repercussions-“You seek for, knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be serpent to sting you as mine has been”. Victor also then refers to the need to acquire knowledge as...
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