The Human Quest For Knowledge In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein criticizes the human quest for knowledge through science and it highlights the moral implications of such undertakings. By following the story of the “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein, we see how a man’s ambition can be his downfall. However, Shelley notes that although it is dangerous to partake in immoral science, this curiosity to know more about the world around us and who we are is human instinct. This essay will consider Hindle’s premise that Frankenstein is a criticism of the “lofty ambition of man”.

One could argue that by writing Frankenstein, Shelley was “loftily ambitious”, just like the characters in her novel. It is however, important to note that Shelley wrote this novel at a time when scientific advancements was on the rise. The author, John Green, considers Frankenstein to be the first science-fiction novel in the world. (“Don’t Reanimate Corpses! Frankenstein part 1: Crash Course Literature 205” YouTube, 27 Mar. 2014, http://youtu.be/SyyrwoCec1k). Thus, we can see that Shelley was daring in introducing this new genre in 1818. However, even in today’s society, we are dealing with the rapid advancement of science. Thus, Shelley’s novel is one that is timeless in that it challenges the role of science and technology then and now.

The Romantic age is associated with the understanding oneself and understanding nature in a way that is beneficial to nature. It can be said that Shelley wrote this novel to show how the methods used
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