No Human Can Play God
In the Bible, the book of Genesis 1:27 states that "God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Creating both men and women in His image, God is the only person who can do this successfully, giving us unconditional love and never abandoning us throughout our journey in life. On the other hand, Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist creates a life form due to his love of natural sciences. His desire to create this life form only for an experimental purpose unknowingly leads to disastrous outcomes for both Victor Frankenstein and his creation, the monster. In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein uses his knowledge where he violates ethical principles by playing God and creating a life form that he is ultimately ashamed of. After his mother dies, Frankenstein attends a university in Ingolstadt, where Professor M. Krempe influences him to change his major from alchemy to the study of natural philosophy. Throughout Frankenstein's study of natural philosophy, he becomes "acquainted with the science of anatomy: but this was not sufficient, [he] must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body" (Shelley 30). Frankenstein's obsession with the study of anatomy causes him to isolate himself in his apartment from family, friends, and society and slowly develop the creation of a creature, imagining the creation of a new race of wonderful beings. The creation of the monster to Frankenstein is an "initial romantic animation slowly eroded by the materialism of his construction, alienating him from the rest of humanity and transforming him into nothing more than a metaphor of the rampant scientific hubris seen in himself" (Willis 6). Because Victor knows that he is capable of creating a life form, this experiment came from both his knowledge and arrogance. This experiment places him out of society and in isolation for months, showing his obsession with creating something that is his own. In addition, Frankenstein knows he has the ability to create the monster where he "[emphasizes] the necessary deference to nature that empirical science lacked, [Shelley] found her portrayal of Victor's artificial human complicated by the materialism of his genesis" (Willis 2). Victor's arrogance in knowledge led him to create the monster only because he knew he could. The monster is purely experimental and Victor creates the monster because his knowledge overcame his decision between morals and achievements. Victor uses his knowledge not for the benefit of society, but for his own purpose of experimentation which ends up turning out the opposite way that he imagines. Knowing his own vanity, Victor says "lean from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous 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" (Shelley 38). After creating the monster and all the hardships Victor had to go through, he realizes that a person should be happy with the world around him/her and not try to change it. He admits that trying to become a man greater than who he could be drove him mad and his knowledge went in tow with it. From experience, he says "the labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind" (Shelley 34). Victor admits that a creation by man is never to the benefit of mankind, but only to himself. Creation by man is seldom used for the right purposes, which is why it is mistakenly directed in the eyes of the people living in the society, as well as the eyes of God. God is the sole creator of humans because he will love, embrace, and accept anyone with open arms, whereas Frankenstein does not display these characteristics to his own creation. Frankenstein cannot be the...
Cited: Bloom, Harold. "Frankenstein: or, The New Prometheus." 4 Fall 1965: 611 – 618.
Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. Gale Group. Chaminade High School 15 September 2006
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein New York: Norton 1996
Small, Christopher. "The Monster Modeled on Milton 's Adam" Readings on
Frankenstein. Greenhaven Press, Inc. San Diego 2000
Willis, Martin, "Frankenstein and the Soul." Vol. XLV. EXPLORING Novels. Online
Edition. Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. Thomson Gale. 11 September
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