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The Puruit Of Knowledge In The Novel Frankenstein

1498 words - 6 pages

The dangers of the pursuit of knowledge is a main theme in the novel Frankenstein. This theme is most evident in the main character Victor Frankenstein. He suffers because of his pursuit of knowledge and his creation ultimately destroys his life. As the novel progresses the creature begins to change as he gains knowledge. The creature at the start is innocent and means no harm. As he gains knowledge, however, he begins to learn that he does not fit in and becomes angry. We will take a closer look at how knowledge hurts these characters throughout the novel.
The knowledge that Victor is pursuing and the knowledge the creature is pursuing have fundamental differences. Victor is working to ...view middle of the document...

He wants to figure out what brings dead tissue to life. His obsession begins to take over his entire life. He loses touch with the people around him and with reality, and begins to look pale and ill. As Victor says in his own words, “…the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time…“ (39) This very clearly paints a picture of a lonely man who has become separated from the world around him. This pursuit of the secret of life is torturing Victor Frankenstein long before anything is even created. The big idea that he is not thinking of is the potentially disastrous consequences of his work. His constant work on the project is driving him mad and nothing is going to stop his determination to be successful.
After months of toil, Victor Frankenstein finally reaches his goal. He successfully brings life to old, dead body parts. When Victor looks at his creation, however, he is horrified by his creations terrible appearance. The creature is crude and grotesque, not at all what Victor had envisioned. This is the point where his new found knowledge begins to be his demise. This awful image of the creation will haunt Victor’s thoughts, keeping him up at night. The day after his mishap, Victor falls very ill. This illness symbolizes the turmoil his creation is causing. Later, Victor receives a letter about his brother’s death. Victor rushes home, and passes through the woods where his brother was strangled and he sights the monster. He becomes convinced that the creature is the killer. Victor is stunned and needs to get away for a while, heading back to Geneva where he grew up.
Upon arriving in Geneva, he finds out that a nice girl, Justine Moritz, who was living with the Frankensteins had been accused of the killing. She is found guilty and sentenced to death. Victor feels extreme guilt knowing that his creation is responsible for the deaths of two people very close to him. This is another example of a negative consequence that Victor failed to consider. His creation causes him great pain, a result of his pursuit of knowledge.
Victor is later on approached by the monster, where the monster admits to the killing. He asks Victor for understanding. He also requests that Victor create a companion for him, promising to move away from society if that is done. Although Victor is against the idea at first, the monster is eventually able to convince Victor to agree. However, in the middle of his project, Victor thinks of the possible consequences of creating another horrible creature. He questions why he would create another monster when his first creation has caused so much trouble. The consequences of having two creatures could be exponentially worse than only one, and it is at this point that this thought comes into Victor’s mind. Victor discontinues the second creation. The monster becomes very angry and swears his revenge on...

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