ENG-3U0 November 20 2015 Frankenstein: The Pursuit of Knowledge Throughout the course of their individual journeys, Victor Frankenstein’s extreme passion for gaining knowledge about creating life, Robert Walton’s curiosity to discover land beyond the North Pole and the monster’s eagerness to obtain knowledge about humans was the principal cause of each of their suffering. As such, In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the pursuit of knowledge is a dangerous path which leads to suffering. Victor Frankenstein develops a keen interest in discovering knowledge about living beings which ultimately results in his personal suffering as well as others suffering. To begin with, Victor embarks on an assignment through combining body parts and following various …show more content…
This quote makes it apparent that Victor regrets his decision to heavily pursue knowledge and create his monster, clearly showing that the path that he embarked on was one that resulted in severe suffering. In conclusion, it is clear that Victor Frankenstein’s intentions are pure, however he is unaware that his pursuit of knowledge directly leads to his personal suffering. Robert Walton, similar to many explorers during his time, is ambitious to discover land beyond the North Pole. However, to reach this goal, he has to walk the dangerous path of acquiring knowledge. Walton’s goal, which is to reach the North Pole, requires him to captain a ship which travels through thick and thin. Unfortunately for Walton, his ship gets caught between sheets of ice which causes him to suffer in the unforgiving conditions of the sea. "I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day and devoted my nights to the study of mathematics" (4). Not only does Walton’s curiosity to discover the North Pole cause him to suffer, but also impacts the lives of his fellow crewmates. Furthermore, Captain Walton also encounters suffering when …show more content…
Discouraged and discontent, the monster gives up his quest to become acknowledged by humans. Finally, arguably the most important confrontation in the entire novel, Victor Frankenstein and his monster meet face to face and explain the causes of each other's suffering. The monster explains that it is simply his mere knowledge of his own existence that causes him great grief, "I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?" (175). At this moment, the reader and Victor Frankenstein realize that the reason for the monster's malicious acts is due to the suffering that he has endured while attempting to gain acknowledgement from humans. The reader is once again reminded of the dangerous outcome the path of knowledge leads to. Deol 5 These three characters all had their individual goals that they set out to achieve, Victor Frankenstein failed at creating a monster which would benefit society, Robert Walton attempted to discover new land beyond the extents of the North Pole, and the monster strived to gain acceptance from humans. However, the fact that links these three characters journeys together
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Victor Frankenstein's obsession with creating life is fueled by his desire to unlock the secrets of the universe, but he fails to consider the consequences of his actions. He becomes so consumed by his research that he loses sight of the humanity that should guide scientific inquiry. As a result, his creation becomes a monster that threatens the very fabric of society. Furthermore, the novel also highlights the dangers of the pursuit of knowledge without regard for the consequences.
Since Frankenstein rejected the monster and was frightened by its appearance, several other people felt the same way and rejected the monster as well. This made the monster feel like an outcast and irrelevant to the world that surrounded him. Since he gained knowledge on his own, he was able to set up revenge plans against his creator. He begins killing each and every one of Frankenstein’s loved ones. Furthermore, the monster admits, “I have murdered the lovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept,” (page 1970).
Throughout the novel, these characters toil with the pursuit of forbidden knowledge by suffering through the ramifications of their decisions to satisfy their desires. The author implies that blind ambition can lead to the downfall of beings who don’t limit their curiosity. These endeavors include determining the secret of life as well as its creation, discovering a passage in the North Pole, and learning to understand one’s place in the world. Victor Frankenstein suffers from the cost of knowledge by allowing his thirst for the unknown to exceed his limits. In like manner, he pushes his own limits and spends countless nights working to construct his creature even though he is cautioned that only God is capable of creating life.
Victor does not handle his monster, or his fears, well. When Frankenstein first sees his monster, he immediately “escaped, [from the room the monster was in] and rushed down stairs. p50” As the monster is an externalization of Frankenstein’s fears, this escape, this inability to so much as look at the monster, can be interpreted as Frankenstein’s inability to acknowledge his fears and anxieties. Like with anxiety, denying the monster’s existence only causes him to grow more destructive.
But, in the detail which he gave you of them, he could sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured, wasting in impotent passions.” (Shelly 273) The monster feels as though Frankenstein has wronged him in every way, first by making him ugly, second by abandoning him, and lastly he destroyed the only thing he had hope in; a mate. In the previous quote he explains that there is more that just one side to every story, he explains to Walton the pains he went to on account of Frankenstein. Victor
Frankenstein wants the glorification and pride in being the first person to create life. Frankenstein sees himself in Walton, and Walton says, “ ...do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose?...,but I prefer glory to every excitement that wealth place on my path”(10). Walton is a younger extension of Frankenstein and gives perspective to the ideas of the younger version of Frankenstein as he creates the creature. However, Frankenstein’s ambitions cost him dearly. The deaths of those around him make him suffer, but also the creation of the creature makes the creature suffer.
The fictional horror novel of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is driven by the accentuation of humanity’s flaws. Even at the very mention of her work an archetypal monster fills one’s imagination, coupled with visions of a crazed scientist to boot. Opening her novel with Robert Walton, the conduit of the story, he also serves as a character to parallel the protagonist’s in many ways. As the ‘protagonist’ of the story, Victor Frankenstein, takes on the mantle of the deluded scientist, his nameless creation becomes the embodiment of a truly abandoned child – one left to fend for itself against the harsh reality posed by society. On the other hand, Walton also serves as a foil to Victor – he is not compulsive enough to risk what would be almost
Frankenstein and his monster begin with opposite lives: Frankenstein has everything and the monster has nothing. However, in creating the monster, Frankenstein’s life and feelings begin to parallel that of the monster’s life. Frankenstein is incredibly intelligent with a fascination for science, but ultimately his thirst for knowledge leads to his undoing. Similarly the monster is determined to understand the society around him. But once he does, he understands that he will never be able to find companionship, which leads him to pain and anger.
All three characters are on a search for knowledge and it plays a major part in their life and more importantly their fate. Here we can see both the journey and the end result, knowledge, posing danger. Victor Frankenstein is a perfect example of the consequences of knowledge. Victor sees the most loss and sadness associated with knowledge. He searches for the answers to create life and goes beyond normal human realm to inquire on them; “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance ... or, in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world” (21).
The monsters revenge on Frankenstein, drives him too to be full of hatred and need for vengeance because he destroyed everything good in his life. He feels as the death of his loved ones is his fault because he is the one that created the horrid creature in the first place (Brackett). “As time passed away I became more calm; misery had her dwelling in my heart, but I no longer talked in the same incoherent manner of my own crimes; sufficient for me was the consciousness of them” (Shelley 158). The monster wanted Victor to feel the same thing as him, lonely and sadness. The monsters revenge works, Victor becomes rejected by people and has nobody but himself.
Victor Frankenstein turns away from his responsibilities by ignoring the existence of his creation. Throughout the novel, Victor is constantly running away from the monster and not giving him attention, which resulted in the monsters change of personalities. For example, in page 71 the creation said, “All men hate the wretched; how must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” This quote suggests that because of the ignorance of Victor the monster began to become evil and have the urge to seek
It is often said that the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. Even Aristotle said, “The more you know, the more you know you don 't know.”. This can often lead to a yearning for more knowledge and sometimes, can be somebody’s downfall. In this case, it was Victor Frankenstein’s downfall. His love for science and his ever-growing quest to learn about the human body ultimately destroyed him, his family, his wife to be, and his best friend.
“I seek the everlasting ices of the north, where you will feel the misery of cold and frost, to which I am impassive. " That was the end part of Victor’s life, the curse of his creation compromised with Victor’s life. Even scientific innovations highly blessings to humanity if a person uses it wisely, but same knowledge can be a curse and can destroy a human race. For example, Nuclear bombs which destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan is an example of cursed knowledge. In the Frankenstein, curse generated by knowledge ultimately took the life of an ambitious, knowledgeable scientist, Victor,
In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein (1818), Shelley shows her audience that while acquiring knowledge leads to survival for the Creature and power for Victor Frankenstein, the path to obtain this knowledge leads to the destruction of one’s self. Education and knowledge have major negative effects on both of the characters’ attitude, perception, and decisions. The life experiences of each character is dependent on the amount of knowledge that the character possesses. Knowledge gives Victor Frankenstein a superiority complex, and it changes the Creature’s perspective of the world and the people in it. The Creature, like a baby, is brought into the world with no prior knowledge of how society behaves.
The monster continues by reassuring the creator of his independent intelligence and power over the creature by telling Frankenstein, “This you alone can do”. Here, the creature assumes a role of submissiveness and reliance on Frankenstein. Frankenstein’s monster gains the sympathy of the reader who, despite condemning the murder of innocent people, commiserate with the lonely creature who is in search of an acquaintance, which he will likely never find. The monster also displays power and aggressiveness over Frankenstein; “You are my creator; but I am your master; obey!” The monster wants to desolate Victor’s heart, not by killing him directly,