?The Consequences of Being Smart
The good and bad sides of intellect and knowledge have baffled people for centuries. From the beginning of time, man has struggled to draw the line between knowledge and science, and religion, and have fought countless battles over it. However, this is no one-sided matter. The benefits and consequences of intelligence and knowledge are determined only by how it is being used.
In the novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, this conflict of interests tore and shook Dr. Frankenstein’s life to its very foundations. Dr. Frankenstein creates the creature in the hopes of helping mankind, but because of his intelligence he becomes overconfident, ending in his creating the very being that was to destroy him. Dr. Frankenstein does not think of the consequences when he creates the creature, instead obsessing over the fact that he would become rich and famous when he succeeded. Because of his reckless actions and greedy intentions, his creation turns against him, ruining his life. To parallel Dr. Frankenstein’s own pursuit of knowledge, the creature, to its utter delight, learns the French language by observing a family of French outcasts, rejected from society because they tried to help an arrested merchant. The creature learns to communicate, speak, and understand the world of human society. However, he realizes that he is a wretched and hideous being, and this insight haunts him for the rest of his life, potentially influencing the creature to end its own life. The creature’s intelligence allows it to adapt and survive in extremely harsh conditions, a blessing, but its knowledge about men and society led the creature to despair, certainly a curse. Additionally, its knowledge of creating mischief and murder led the creature to bring destruction to Dr. Frankenstein’s life by killing off all his loved ones. After these actions and Frankenstein’s death, the creature’s own understanding of wretchedness and guilt because of his actions...
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