Ever since the earliest scientists, including the likes of Aristotle and Plato, the question of the morality of man's meddling in nature has been a prevalent issue. While science can provide boundless amounts of invaluable contributions to mankind, ultimately some scientific endeavors should never have been pursued. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelly explores the ethics involved in this query through the creation of a wonder of science, and its inevitable consequences.
Much of the analysis of the consequences that the scientific perversion of nature harbors is manifested by the inner struggle within both Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. The tortured mind of the creator expresses the notion that one who plays god will be burdened by the excruciating pain of loneliness and uttermost guilt weighing down upon his mind and his creation. Throughout Dr. Frankenstein's struggle, he is overwhelmed by fear, hatred, regret and his culpability in interfering with nature: "a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart, which nothing could remove. Sleep fled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible" (Shelly 59). Since such sentiments are all expressed in the first person, it allows the reader to more closely sympathize with his pain and moreover makes the message all the more accessible. These themes are not solely portrayed by the doctor, for the sorrow harbored by his creation outweigh even those of his grief-stricken creator.
While Dr. Frankenstein my be lonely in the sense that he is so utterly bound by worry that he cannot interact with those whom he loves, the monster is forced to endure absolute isolation and censure from all people. Throughout history, humans have often feared and detested any living thing that is not consistent with the ideal view of nature. Because of the monster's extreme deviance from the standard, he finds himself unable to receive even the slightest affection or pity from anyone, even his own creator. It is this rejection which infuriates and saddens the daemon the most and is ultimately the cause of his violence toward man; "I am malicious because I am miserable; am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that and tell my why I should pity man more than he pities me?" (Shelly 98). It is not enough, however, to analyze the perversions that man creates, as the question of why he would do so plays an important role.
Mary Shelly explores various causes of man's scientific fervor, the two most prevalent being...