KNOWLEDGE In FRANKENSTEIN
Text by Mary Shelly
Danger That Knowledge May Possess
Knowledge is one of the most important and prominent themes in the book "Frankenstein". In this text Mary Shelly warned readers about the consequences that humans can face if they use their knowledge inappropriately. In this book author showed us that Victor Frankenstein gained knowledge about the secrets of nature which are forbidden and he used them in an inappropriate way and faced severe consequences after interfering in the laws of nature, and how the Creature learned and gained all knowledge. Below are some quotes which show how dangerous is the overuse of knowledge is? and show events that explained how creature gained knowledge to speak and communicate.
"It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world"(Pg 23). In this quote Victor is admitting that the knowledge he seeks are ones who should not necessarily be looked for. He is also saying that he is looking for the knowledge which is forbidden for humans.
"So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."(Pg 33). This quote shows that at this point, when Victor went to the school found himself desiring of all knowledge especially the mysteries of earth and heaven. Right at that point Victor doesn't recognize that some secrets are meant to be stay forbidden and buried.
After Frankenstein figured out what gives life, he experimented with creating a human being. He constructed a giant man, 8 feet tall with superhuman strength from harvested body parts that he took from corpses. After giving life to a monster, he became afraid and said, "Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."(Pg 38).
"For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."(Pg 42). In this quote Victor is saying that he had worked very hard and sacrificed his health to create a creature after gaining knowledge about secrets of life but after making him, his heart filled with horror and left the creature unguided.
When creature fled away from the Frankenstein's apartment he faced difficulties with the villagers and hid himself in the forest. He found small hut and took refuge in the hovel where a small family was living. he learned from them how to communicate with each other which is also explained in this quote, "I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experience and feeling to one another by articulate sounds. I perceived that the words they spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles or sadness,in the minds and countenances of the hearers. This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to became acquainted with it."(Pg 92-93). This quote also motivates us to seek and learn new knowledge or things you don't know. Learning always improve your lifestyle if you use it in your limits.
"Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on the rock". ( Pg 101) In this quote Creature is learning, observing and increasing his knowledge from the family. He became curious and hungry to learn and gain knowledge.
In Letter 4 Victor gave gave Walton an advice about the Pursuit of Knowledge which shows that after facing the consequences of his work, he realized that it isn't necessary to fulfill your every wish or dream because sometime you can face very bitter effects of the result as shown in this quote, "You seek for knowledge and wisdom as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be serpent to sting you, as mine has been."(Pg 14).
Life Lessons In Frankenstein For Our Modern Life.
One purpose of this novel "Frankenstein" is to warn the readers about the dangers of the knowledge which can lead anyone to face extreme or dangerous consequences. This book has many lessons for us to keep us aware from the dangers of knowledge. From Victor Frankenstein, we can learn many lessons which can navigate us on a right path in our life. Some of the lessons are as follows:
- First and basic lesson we can get is "Knowledge must not be persuaded without limits. Limits are necessary to keep us on right path and away from the danger."
- Pursuit of knowledge without limits can lead us to the horrific consequences e.g Today Humans have created Nuclear bombs which can swipe a whole country. We can also see that some scientists also try to open secrets of nature and interfering in it by changing genes and sex of humans.
- This book also shows that Victor went too far in the field of science and faced life ruining consequences. It is actually a big lesson for us in this modern era when you have all the instruments and stuff you need to go further in every field of science that can be harmful.
- Going so far for the Pursuit of knowledge can leads us to the destruction and death because of damage of health. There are many examples around us in this modern life. There are some scientists who died in their own experiments like Richard Din & Malcolm Casadaban (Breyer).
- We can see in our Universities that the professors or board closely monitor and review the experiments and works to keep an eye on students, So, they can't do something wrong that leads them to their demolition.
- If you give too much time to seek knowledge than there is a possibility that you'll become addicted to it and want more to learn and discover, which leads you to the wrong path like described in the quote 6.
- This book also gives us the lesson to seek the knowledge which is beneficial for us and keep us on a right path, not like a knowledge gained by Victor.
Breyer, Mellisa. "7 Scientists Killed by Their Own Experiments." Web log post. MNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
izquotes. Google Images, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Walter Miller, and Harold Bloom. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. N.p.: Perma-Bound, 2000. Print.