Frankenstein, Knowledge

Nick Papinchak


Knowledge is a key part of the Frankenstein novel. The way that the creature learns to survive is all because of knowledge. His experiences and materials that he has used to learn has made his existence have purpose.

The application of knowledge today represented in the book.

Knowledge in this book is a blessing and a curse. The knowledge that victor gains through his studies helps him to accomplish his dreams, but because of his blind ambition he is unable to predict that his knowledge would take revenge upon him for his fear. I feel that this fear is something that everyone must face to accomplish their dreams, and that knowledge helps you concur these fears. Victor doesn't apply his knowledge to his fears to concur them but to almost fuel them. He cannot get over the death of his mother and this leads to an obsession of something almost unattainable and that goes against nature.

The Creature uses knowledge in a different way though. He uses it as a way to figure out who he is and where he fits in this world. Even though the answer to the creature's question is bleak he still uses his knowledge to concur his fear and try to find a solution. He approaches Victor and asks for him to make someone he can fit in with and share his life with. He learns so much from his experiences and encounters with others that he accepts his fate. When Victor denies him of this simple fate he takes his revenge.

Frankenstein - Knowledge

"One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race." (Letter 4.21 Shelley)

This quote shows how that knowledge can drive us to great lengths to achieve our goals, but can also make us not consider the consequences of this per suite.

"The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera but these philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding-places. They ascend into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows." (3.14 shelley)

This quote shows how knowledge inspires and creates a great imagination inside all of us.

When night came again I found, with pleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that the discovery of this element was useful to me in my food, for I found some of the offals that the travellers had left had been roasted, and tasted much more savoury than the berries I gathered from the trees. I tried, therefore, to dress my food in the same manner, placing it on the live embers. I found that the berries were spoiled by this operation, and the nuts and roots much improved. (11.7)

This shows how learning and knowledge makes the creatures life easier and helps to achieve his goal to survive in this new world he has been thrown into.

I was dependent on none and related to none. The path of my departure was free, and there was none to lament my annihilation. My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them. (15.5)

The creature is finding what his goal really is and what he has to do to achieve it. He must learn what his creator has done to truly understand what he is and to find out what his place in this world is.

Sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him. (15.11)

The creature his contemplating what he is and his imagination shows what he truly wants, but what he has learned with his time alive has taught him the complete opposite.

Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science. (2.6)

Victor he explains how knowledge sealed his fate and created what now plagues his life.