The Pursuit Of Knowledge Can Be Dangerous

1083 words - 4 pages

Throughout Frankenstein it is evident that Victor and Robert express their thirst for knowledge, which often leads to destruction. Through analyzing Frankenstein it is possible to find many examples that illustrate the fact that wanting to have more knowledge can be extremely dangerous. Firstly, as Victor is creating life he is able to create a humanoid monster, unfortunately he is appalled by his creation and becomes very ill. Afterwards, when Victor is completing the female companion for his original creation, Victor realizes that this will only create more destruction. Finally, as Walton is on a journey to the North Pole he encounters difficulties that nearly kill him and his crew. This shows that Victor and Walton are repeatedly searching for more knowledge even though it is dangerous.
Victor finds his monster absolutely repulsive, and even nauseating. This seen in the following quotation, “A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch.” (Shelley 36) Dr. Frankenstein has never seen anything so horrible and soon falls ill both from the sight of it and the realization that his monster is now out in the world and it could be doing anything. This shows how his drive for knowledge to be able to create life is damaging his health both mentally and physically. Furthermore, when the monster escapes from Victor’s laboratory it stangles Victor’s brother, William Frankenstein, to death. Victor must now bear the guilt knowing that he is responsible for the death because he created the monster and allowed it to escape. He must also keep the beast a secret from everyone else for fear the he would be held responsible for his brother’s death or they will believe he has gone insane, both of which results in Victor in serious trouble. Moreover, he has to bear the guilt of a girl named Justine because she was accused, convicted, and executed for the murder of William Frankenstein. At this point Victor is responsible for two deaths and must keep this all to himself. By suffering through the guilt and the illness it is clear that his decisions that were made in order to deepen his knowledge of the scientific world are becoming dangerous to himself and the people close to him.
Victor, after being convinced to create a female companion for the monster, realizes that this will only create double the amount of destruction, he then makes the choice to discontinue his project to prevent more devastation. Instead of less damage resulting from this choice it only brings more harm to his life and everyone around him. First, his good friend Henry Clerval is murdered by the beast and Victor is accused of this murder, “The human frame could no longer support the agonies that I endured, and I was carried out of the room in strong convulsions.” (Shelley 129). This was Victor’s reaction upon seeing Henry’s corpse and demonstrates how deeply his pursuit for knowledge affects him. Even though he is later released on circumstantial evidence, he...

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