The Acquirement Of Knowledge In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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One of the central themes of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is that the “acquirement of knowledge” is something that is not only detrimental to human society, but also destructive to our very humanity. It is a theme that is hard to understand considering that the pursuit of knowledge is both noble and essential to our progressing as a human race, but it is one worth investigating as there is some element of truth in the statement. The idea that knowledge can be destructive is an old one. From the Garden of Eden to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humans have demonstrated our ability to use the knowledge we have gained for self-serving reasons. As a result, many people are distrustful of knowledge and groups, such as the “flat earth society” spring up from time to time as a reaction to our race becoming too smart too fast. Flat earthers believe that fast progression in knowledge before we have the ability to use that knowledge effectively is where the problem lies. For example, a young child is rightfully sheltered from violence because if they are inundated with violent acts too soon--that is before they have the…show more content…
Strides made in technological and biological fields have been used in warfare to devastating effect. Drones now make it possible to kill at will, while chemical and biological weapons make that killing not only more efficient, but also more terrifying. These modern warfare techniques would not be possible without an advancement of knowledge. However, one is faced with the “chicken and the egg” argument when faced with these facts. Many times such advances only happen because of warfare. As a result, many medical breakthroughs that have happened during the last centuries would not have happened if it were not for World War II or the conflict in Vietnam. Medical breakthroughs that have been used during times of peace as

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