The Importance Of Knowledge In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1425 Words 6 Pages
From old influencers to young, and from media influences to real life ones, it was unanimously taught to me of the importance knowledge held over life and how I should strive to achieve it. This remains an infallible belief to this day, and while I still hold it to be true, various arguments could arise against the importance of the acquisition of knowledge. In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein documents experiences on his obsession to attain further knowledge and the misfortune it brought, exemplified through his creation of the monster. From Frankenstein 's trials, he warns Robert Walton to learn from his mistakes and avoid a pursuit for knowledge. Though Frankenstein’s experiences serve as reminders of the possible …show more content…
His claim is supported solely by the beliefs the novel holds, yet is not supported by or applicable to real life situations where it is most important. The cause of Frankenstein 's avoidance of knowledge is told to be the creation of his monster which later leads to the deaths of many of Victor’s friends and family. His feelings during his monster’s creation was that “no one [could] conceive the variety of feelings which bore [him] onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to [him] ideal bounds, which [he] should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world” (54). Frankenstein views the birth progress as a revolutionary breakthrough in which he controls what could not be controlled before, and places himself as the savior or lord of this new species he has created. He abides by the themes of gothic romanticism by him being a fallen hero and ultimately placing nature over mankind. He learns from his mistake of attempting to overthrow nature from his experience as he states, “How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (56). Frankenstein suggests to limit the human …show more content…
While the probability of nature portraying direct preeminence over man is near impossible, events have occurred where scientific advancements were detrimental to man. Dr. Akil Awan, a professor of history at the University of London, regards the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a “crime against humanity”, which remained “the only nuclear attacks in the history of human warfare” even 70 years later (Awan. 1). The desire for technological advancements of the opposing sides of the war led to what Frankenstein described as “destruction and misery.” The ultimate consequence of human desire for preeminence and the advancement of knowledge was the loss of invaluable human life. While scientific advancements are capable of bringing misery, it is determined by the bearer of the knowledge how it will affect humanity. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, of the Wall Street Journal, claims that “technology helps bridge the world’s knowledge divide”, citing “governments... improving access to public and social services including education and health care; and mobile money accounts and digital payments... increasing financial inclusion” as benefits technology brings in our modem age, particularly towards the poor (Berger. 1) A notion so diverse as knowledge cannot be used solely for one purpose. Like a double-edged sword, its negative consequences are followed closely by its

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