At the age of 18, Mary Shelley started writing the classical novel, Frankenstein. This novel was about a man named Robert Frankenstein that was infatuated with the thought of bringing the dead back to life. He studied *pseudoscience and soon started to construct a creature that was diverse than any other human. Frankenstein promptly started to regret this new creation and abandoned the creation to fend for himself. The creation was distraught by this and went to seek revenge against Frankenstein which. During the separation between Victor and his creation, the creation learned that he was an outsider of humanity and that he was not welcomed by anyone.
This resulted in him requesting a bride, or just someone who could give him affection which was greatly lacked in his life. Victor pondered the pros and cons of creation the creation a soulmate and decided on not finishing through with the plan and from this, it made the creation act out in anger and plan to ruin Victor’s life and everyone that held a place within his heart.* Knowledge was expressed as a negative characteristic and created conflict between the characters throughout the novel. Though knowledge was needed greatly in this novel, it brought out the ignorance and misuse of intelligence. The misuses of knowledge created the largest amounts of problems within the story and did not help any character, but potentially hurt them in the long run.
The meaning of knowledge vs. ignorance is when the power of knowledge and wisdom leads to poor choices. Many characters within the novel, Frankenstein were very intelligent and used that capability to their advantage. Knowledge allows you to comprehend your day to day tasks and allows you to inquire about life and the world around you.
Though this is a very important characteristic to have, it can also lead to many conflicts. It can lead to a desire of want and need which can lead to anger if something is not given when asked. It can also allow someone to adventure out into the world and discover things that could potentially become something dangerous and harmful. Knowledge is needed in daily life actions but digging too deep with your very own knowledge can lead to great devastation. Robert, Victor and the creation will learn throughout the book that knowledge can be a deadly characteristic when misused.
Robert Walton is a great example of knowledge vs. Ignorance because he did something that humanity had never done before during his time. He wanted to exceed humanity’s assumptions and do something that would have been thought of as unobtainable and insane. He was very strong on his views and would do anything to accomplish his need. Knowledge was need in his life and would go on crazy excursions to receive it. During his trip he does not know if he is going to make it and explains this in his letters he wrote to his sister. The die is cast; I have consented to return if we are not destroyed.
Thus, are my hopes blasted by cowardice and indecision; I come back ignorant and disappointed. It requires more philosophy than I possess to bear this injustice with patience (181). Robert on his journey realized that his life is worth more than increasing his knowledge though exploring. He didn’t know if he and his men could make it and wanted to give up on learning new info if it knew he could save his life and others. The urge to receive knowledge almost put Robert and his men’s lives at risk and could have ended in a terrible situation.
One of the most primary characters, Victor Frankenstein loved learning about natural sciences and about death and life. He was interested in topics that many others would turn down and say were useless and were not needed to be learned, but this only peaked his interest into the natural sciences. From this knowledge, he learned how to bring the dead back to life. He collected dead human remains and soon made a creature that has never been made before. He woke up one morning to see that he had made life, ad looked into the creations eyes and saw no soul to this creation.
He regretted creating this so-called monster which resulted in him abandoning the creation. From, this the monster was miserable and lived in a world where humanity would not accept him. The creation soon wanted revenge against Victor and killed many of his friends and family, but most importantly, his wife Elizabeth. I rushed towards her and embraced her with ardour; but the deadly languor and coldness of the limbs told me that what now I held in my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I have loved and cherished (166). Victor lost his little brother, a friend, his father and now his wife. From having the power of collecting the understanding of a topic that was seen as obscure, maybe Victor would not have to live his life in regret and worry.
Natural philosophy if the genius that has regulated my fate (31). If the knowledge of life and death did not peak his interest of creating something not known to mankind, the important people would still be in his life. If Victor would not have created the creation, he wouldn’t have a creature seeking revenge against him because society didn’t accept him. Victor could have avoided the death of his loved ones, if he would have just listened to his father and professors and not get involved the infatuation of creating something more powerful than him.
Though many would think only humans hold the power of knowledge, Mary Shelley showed that this is not true in Frankenstein. The creation that was brought into the world by Victor Frankenstein, held emotion and resentment towards Victor for the way he mistreated him. As the creation grew to learn of the world around him, he found that the people around him were disgusted by him. He learned that he was not accepted by society and soon the harsh judgement from humanity and sought out revenge towards Victor.
The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart (120). If Victor would not have abandoned the creation, he would not have had to learn himself of the cruel judgement that society has. During the time the creation was alone and wondering the streets, he would find books and articles about religious topics like Adam and Eve. After reading these, the creation wanted to find someone like him; someone to start a family with and would accept him for his appearance and who he is; he wanted an Eve.
Soon the creation went on a mission to find Victor and asked him for someone that could make him happy in a world that was filled with hate. The creation wanted someone to love, and to relate to since no one could ever love a monster like himself. The creation knew he was different when compared to the rest of humanity, and all he wanted was for a partner to let him know he is not the only one. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone (112).
From this, Victor created the Eve for the creation, but on debating the positives and negatives of creating the companion for the creation, Victor killed her right in front of him. He resulted in rage from the creation and soon went ballistic and killed everyone close to Victor. The creation was so hurt from what Victor had done that he wanted Victor to know what the feeling was to have his only source of love and companionship to be killed and ripped out of arm’s reach. If the creation was not out on the streets learning about modern things like religion and love, he would not have wanted a soul mate and would have not resulted in the murder of Victor’s family.
Overall, if Victor wouldn’t have learned about the creation of bringing the dead to life, maybe everyone he loved would still be with him in his life.
Mary Shelley used the theme knowledge vs ignorance in her novel Frankenstein, to show that the power of wisdom can lead to a dangerous outcome. She used the knowledge between the characters to create a domino effect of destruction throughout the book. If she would not have written about Robert Walton and his knowledge to explore the north pole, then we would have never read about Frankenstein and his creation.
Also, if Frankenstein did not have the knowledge of natural sciences and the urge to learn about life and death, maybe he would not have constructed the creation which resulted in a lot of mayhem within his life.
Consequently, if the creation was not produced, he would not have been left on the street to fend for himself and learn about society and his world. The creation would not have learned about Adam and Eve and demanded a wife from Victor and when the deal wasn’t met, possibly Victor’s family would still be alive, because the monster would be happy and would not have to seek revenge.
Knowledge vs. Ignorance was used to create tension within the novel and to create conflict between the characters, and was represented as a negative characteristic and that when used in a way to only benefit oneself. Though very important to possess, it can become destructive to those around and to your future self. Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge. (38). The misuse of the greatest power the human kind can have, can create the most devastating outcomes, and this is what Victor had to realize when it was too late to fix the mistakes he had created.
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