The Principles of Knowledge and Joy in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of understanding, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become higher than his nature will permit” (Shelley 60). In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she expresses her beliefs regarding the risk of pursuing joy through the attainment of understanding, because true happiness is discovered in the psychological connections established between individuals. The pursuit of understanding is not necessarily an evil thing, however it can trigger damage when it is pursued beyond natural limits. Victor Frankenstein becomes a servant to his enthusiasm for finding out in more than one way; initially his life is managed by his fixation to create life, and later on he ends up being a servant to the monster he has developed.
Frankenstein describes the beginning of his life as a delighted time with his household. Throughout his youth, Frankenstein was enthusiastic about discovering, however his psychological connection with Elizabeth kept him from entirely absorbing himself in his research studies (Shelley 38). When Frankenstein left house to study at the university of Ingolstadt, he became intent on his mission to reveal the secret of life. He tells of working in the lab till sunrise and being indifferent to the appeal of the world around him (Shelley 56-63). These modifications in Frankenstein’s way of life represent Shelley’s belief that one’s enthusiasms need to be controlled or the passions will eventually control the individual.
Frankenstein starts his research study with the good intention of assisting individuals, but his ideas quickly rely on the quest for power over life and to be acknowledged as the creator of a types (Shelley 60-61). He became so captured up in his effort to create life that he never ever thought about the effects. The look of his development changes in his mind from a work of appeal while he is still producing it to a hideous beast when it comes to life (Shelley 66).
This belief that completion of knowledge can be various from one’s intents connects to the concept that the works of God are beyond a human’s capacity to understand, and it is wrong for humans to attempt to understand Him. Shelley is telling her readers that God and His ability to develop life are not suggested to be understood by human beings. One might think it would be great to comprehend God, however in the end one can see that this human attainment of this knowledge of life is truly unsightly and destructive.
Frankenstein’s enthusiasm for discovering genuinely manages him when he reaches his objective of developing life. The outcome of his passion, the monster, is ever present in Frankenstein’s thoughts and it controls his actions. The monster ultimately ruins whatever that is necessary to Frankenstein, since everybody he enjoyed is dead. Frankenstein lives the rest of his miserable life in hope of avenging the deaths of his liked ones. Shelley expresses that relationships between people are the secret to happiness, because Frankenstein is not able to find any delight after his liked ones are murdered. Throughout the story, Frankenstein is a servant to his desire for understanding and the ability to produce life.
The pursuit of understanding is not the only enthusiasm that can cause an individual to a life of suffering. Shelley’s example of Frankenstein’s uncontrollable urge to discover can be applied to any enthusiasm that is taken to an extreme. “A human remaining in excellence ought constantly to protect a calm and peaceful mind, and never ever allow passion or a transitory desire to disrupt his serenity” (Shelley 64).
Shelley also uses the beast to depict the concept that happiness is discovered through individual relationships. From the moment he is produced, individuals react to the monster with worry and hate, however all he wants is to be enjoyed. While viewing the family in the cottage, the monster desires just to expose himself to them and acquire their love and acceptance. He rapidly finds out how to speak and read in order to reach the family. His acquisition of knowledge does not bring him fulfillment or happiness, and he still longs to have good friends (Shelley 144-150).
After Frankenstein destroys the female he developed, the monster’s rage and yearning to have a buddy is so strong that it leads him to murder, although he hates harming innocent people. Shelley’s example stresses a person’s fundamental requirement to establish relationships and feel love, and an absence of these cause damage. I believe the beast kills in order to receive attention from his father, Frankenstein. The beast desires Frankenstein to chase after him, since he never ever gets too far ahead and frequently leaves clues to make sure that Frankenstein will continue to follow (Shelley 278). He acts in ways to get the attention that has actually been absent in his life. His actions provide support to the argument that happiness is found in relationships with others.
In conclusion, Mary Shelley utilizes the story of Frankenstein to explain the function of intimate relationships in one’s search for happiness. The two primary characters, Frankenstein and the beast, look for the love of others to complete their lives, and sadly both are left lonesome. The monster never ever discovers the love he is searching for due to the fact that of his look. On the other hand, Frankenstein has a household, however he loses his loved ones as a result of his self-centered look for knowledge and utilizing it to produce life.
Shelley defines her concept of joy by revealing that Frankenstein’s desire to have understanding does not bring him joy, and his look for the knowledge, beyond the nature of a human’s capacity, only leads him to pain and suffering. This idea that the pursuit of knowledge leads to destruction can be expanded to include any passion that is pursued beyond nature’s limit. An uncontrollable enthusiasm interrupts an individual’s happiness and can bring total despondency.