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Technology And Morality In Shelley's Frankenstein Is Knowledge Always Evil?

973 words - 4 pages

Frankenstein: Is Knowledge Always Evil?


As of this writing, I have decided to regard the local TV channel's "The more you know..." commercials as being evil. I do not understand how anyone could regard "knowledge" as anything but evil. "The more you know..." the more your mind feels the need to explorer for more knowledge and the more evil it will encounter. The more you search, the more ignorant you realize you are and the more open to pain you become. Who needs to have the knowledge possessed by God or the knowledge of creation from nothing? Frankenstein "...ardently desired the acquisition of knowledge" and later came to realize " dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge."


In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein we learn very quickly how Frankenstein's search for knowledge turned him from an "intelligent being" to a fearful and hateful madman. At the same time, Frankenstein created a being who was able to develop an intelligence far greater than many "naturally created" beings. The process that Frankenstein used to create the daemon / monster, as he was referred to, involved his removal from his family and society to the point where he "...seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit." He was even neglecting his own health just to pursue "...nature to her hiding-places." Most of his reasoning for his experiments was based on his belief that he could create a being like himself, a man, but of a "species" that would bless him "as its creator and source" sort of like the Judaic-Christian God. We see that Frankenstein was able to accumulate the knowledge necessary to accomplish his goal of creation. However, we then see how the completion only brought him misery and sealed his fate of an uneasy life.


The destruction of Frankenstein's life from his pursuit of knowledge comes in many ways from the death of family and friends to the endless torment from his creation through the remainder of his life. It is not explicitly provable but we can attribute his destruction more to the fact that Frankenstein's search led him to level of knowledge that he was just not prepared to handle. That level being that of God. He tried to take on a role that was not for him as we see when he runs from his creation and again when the "monster" is relaying his story of abandonment from his creator.


The "monster" through his inherent or programmed inquisitive nature also possessed a need to learn. In a matter of a few years after his creation, the "monster" learned the notions of God and a divine creator. This knowledge in addition to observing the actions and reactions of humans, began to create questions of purpose, who/what is God, personal history, and future/fate. His knowledge of a basic societal structure made him aware that he was an outcast, a...

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