Theme Of Self-Education In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein addresses the issue of self-education and how it can negatively impact the lives of those who pursue it. In the novel, Frankenstein holds the agency in the formation of his worldview and social expectations. Through reading and accepting the assertions made by essentially random texts, he holds incomplete views of morality and act on ill-informed viewpoints. While the ambition behind seeking out an understanding of the world is admirable in its pursuit, its impacts prove to have far-reaching negative consequences for Frankenstein in his creation of the creature. Particularly due to the limited scope of the sources from which he derives his worldview, Frankenstein is subject to moral tensions which prove to be harmful to those around him due to the decisions which are based on these tensions. Despite the admirable nature innate to their self-education, Frankenstein is a victim of a flawed morality based on the limited sources of knowledge from which he attains his knowledge. This leads to flawed views of how the world ought to be from his perspective, leading necessarily to adverse impacts on those who he encounters. One of the first impressions of Frankenstein given in the …show more content…
One of the major ideas it seems Shelley attempts to assert through this novel is the danger of unchecked intellect. Since Frankenstein attains his problematic knowledge of natural philosophy on his own, he is not successfully checked in his actions by any other scholars or intellectual mentors who may have prevented him from taking his intellect too far. As a result, Frankenstein’s unfettered knowledge leads to a series of questionable choices ultimately leading to a destructive result. Most importantly, it reveals how one’s raw drive to achieve can overpower any moral codes that may have been instilled in a person, which is clearly evident in the case of

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