Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Pursuit Of Knowledge

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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

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