Pursuit of Knowledge in Frankenstein
The pursuit of knowledge is a recurring style in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Throughout the story, the thirst for information is what motivates 3 of the main characters: Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and the animal. Indeed this “thirst for knowledge” is accountable for the centerpieces in the unique such as the miseries and deaths of a couple of other characters. Therefore, Frankenstein can be interpreted as a warning against the pursuit of knowledge and its dangers if it is misused.
When speaking to Captain Walton about the pursuit of understanding, Victor Frankenstein’s first reaction is profoundly unfavorable. Captain Walton, going over the trip of discovery to the North Pole, talks about how “one guy’s life or death were however a small cost to spend for the acquirements of the knowledge which I sought” (29 ). Upon hearing Walton’s declaration, a “dark gloom” falls over Frankenstein as he replies “Unhappy guy! Do you share my madness? Have you intoxicated also of the envigorating draught?”( 29 )Frankenstein’s displeasure of such “madness” clear, and even more enhanced whenever he compares himself to Walton by saying “you seek for knowledge and knowledge, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your dreams may not be a serpent to sting you, as my own has been”( 31 ). Frankenstein says this due to the fact that Walton’s interest towards science reminds him of his own when he was younger. He is exposing that his quest for knowledge unfortunate caused him damage. Prior to the bulk of the story has even begun, a message of caution is being established in regards to the dangers of knowledge.
Victor Frankenstein continues his warning by retelling his story about his creature to Walton. Frankenstein begins by stating “when I show that you are pursuing the very same course, exposing yourself to the exact same risks which have actually rendered me what I am, I imagine that you might deduce an apt moral from my tale” (31 )These lines are important to the analysis of Shelley’s work as a caution versus the pursuit of knowledge. The animal is another character that is seen yearning for knowledge that proves to be harmful. The animal goes to fantastic levels to find out to speak and engage with human beings, and attempts particularly hard to end up being a routine individual. His wish to become typical is to end others from avoiding, beating, and attacking him for being some kind of monster. When his efforts to suit fail, it backfires and the creature looks for vengeance in the most violent manner. His seek for typical human actions fail and result in the death of a couple of innocent humans. The pursuit of knowledge is encouraged, but with caution and a necessity to be accountable with discoveries. As shown in Frankenstein, knowledge itself is not harmful, but becomes so through its misuse and abuse. The main characters had all been on a specific quest for knowledge, and it caused the deaths of many individuals. This mission also led Frankenstein and his creature to a certain unfortunate death.