The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly (1818), has become such an important reference in the modern world, as many of the themes explored still resonate with audiences today. The pursuit of knowledge drives those obsessed with this thirst and passion to push boundaries in order to potentially unveil the mysteries of nature. As the composer suggests, does this not in turn, leave us with a responsibility of science to humanity?
The pursuit of knowledge acts as a catalyst for the obsession with uncovering the unknown and mysteries of nature, as passion takes over and conquers all. During the 18th century, the Age of Enlightment aimed to reform society using reason, promoting advances in knowledge through science. This is reflected through the characterisation of Frankenstein, as he recalls his obsession and inquisitive nature, expressing, “I have described myself as always having been imbued with a fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature,” conveying his “thirst” for knowledge at all costs. This idea is also demonstrated through the analogy of the ocean, as Frankenstein describes his pursuit as, “the great and unexplored ocean of truth.” This reveals enormity of possibilities of which scientists are only scratching the surface, suggesting Frankenstein’s obsessive nature is driving him to not only investigate the secrets of nature, but also push all boundaries in order to uncover and conquer the unknown. This theme is consistent will today’s society and resonates with modern day audiences, as scientists continue to test the power of nature.
As this pursuit of knowledge has the potential to unveil mysteries of nature, do we not have a responsibility of this to humanity? This idea is reflected through the abandonment of the monster, and the consequent impact on society, as a result of the actions of Frankenstein. At first it is apparent that the monster suffers from a deep longing to join human society, striving to fulfil this need however he is...
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