Knowledge - Nick Miller

Frankenstein Final Assessment

Personal thoughts on knowledge

The pursuit of knowledge is certainly a good thing, although its attainment can cause negative effects. I believe that some things are not meant to be any more than mysteries, because their discovery can bring unforeseen consequences. I don't fully agree with Victor's view of knowledge toward the end of the book, as he seems to discourage ambition because of his bad experience. I do agree with the creature on some things, such as how the world can really be a horrible place. Although, a curse on all of humanity for what they did is not totally agreeable. Knowledge is valuable, and it further advances/improves life, but its abuse can prove to be dangerous. A past example of this would be the creation of nuclear weaponry. While it was created to end World War II, it sparked a global nuclear arms race that is still an issue today.

The Creature's thoughts on knowledge

  • "Everything is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin" - The creature says this when he reads Victor's journal about the experiment, and he learns all about his creation. His constant pursuit of knowledge throughout the story is not always good, as many of his discoveries infuriate him towards humanity.
  • "This was the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone" - It was rare to see the creature finding things that created a more positive light for humanity, and he learned from this and multiple other experiences just how horrible humanity can be. These occurrences only made him more hateful and less caring of people.

Victor's thoughts on knowledge

  • "Still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world". - Victor describing the knowledge as "secret" indicate that he knows it is forbidden, yet he doesn't know the consequences of what he seeks yet.
  • "I have always described myself as always having been imbued with a fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature". - This is again a naive approach to discovering some of the deepest mysteries of life.
  • "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". - Here Victor explains his true passion and drive for knowledge, inspired by his professor. A lack of knowledge is also the reason why he doesn't believe that some things should remain mysteries.
  • Victor later states that he "set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation" because of what he has learned by seeing the negative effects of his pursuits.
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Modern Connections

Today, we learn more and more because knowledge is the pathway to better living if used correctly. As we become more advanced, so does our technology, which many see as a necessity in the last few years. However, this technology can bring with it negative effects that were not necessarily seen when it was created, similar to Victor and his scientific pursuit. One modern day issue is the invention and improvement of artificial intelligence to do jobs more efficiently. The advantages to this technology are lower costs, no emotional connection, and zero breaks needed. Although, the cons to this technology may outweigh the advantages in the eyes of some. These cons being, job loss, loss of personal connection, and potential glitches that may lose precious information.

Another modern day issue is the rising popularity and control that cell phones have over people. Some say it's creating an anti-social generation that only seeks to communicate over social media and devices. It is very uncommon now to see someone who does not own a smartphone or doesn't have it on them at all times. These devices were designed to make life easier, and whilst they do that, they harm the social aspect of life.

Article on artificial intelligence with video

Works cited

"6 Bad Habits to Blame on Technology." InsideTech. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

"Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence - HRFnd." HRFnd. N.p., 01 Mar. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.