Views and Values in Frankenstein

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Throughout Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Shelley expresses her views of the time through Walton. A main consequence the acquirement of knowledge is seen to be detrimental to the lives of those whom seek it and those around it. This concern, is conveyed, on a surface level, through the way in which Walton’s desire for knowledge, more specifically, the “unexplored regions..of the mist and snow” leads him to physical danger of being caught in the dangerous conditions of the North Pole. This idea is also portrayed through the acquirement of knowledge that the two protagonists, Victor Frankenstein and The Creature, seek. Ultimately, leading them to the destruction of their lives and the lives around them.

Throughout the novel, Victor Frankenstein is seen to seek the acquirement of knowledge which ultimately leads to the deterioration of his state and his life. The danger that corresponds with the acquirement of knowledge is portrayed through Victor’s immediate deterioration when challenging nature. “Every night I was oppressed by a slow fever, and I became nervous to a most painful degree; the fall of a leave startled me, and I shunned my fellow creatures as though I was guilty of a crime.” This conveys the danger involved with gaining knowledge by the fact that although the Creature is not yet living, Frankenstein is already faced with the consequences that lead him to feel as though he was “guilty of a crime”. This foreshadows the events to come. This idea, that is Shelley’s views of the time, reflected through the novel, is further illustrated through the fact that when the creature is created he is affected inside by the outside grievances such as the death of Justine but his thoughts are forever altered from the inside. In other words, his mind is against him. This is illustrated when Victor states “while my imagination conjured up a thousand images to torment and sting me”, exemplifies the affect that this Creature has had on him and in turn emphasises that,...
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