Theme Of Dangerous Knowledge In Frankenstein's Fallen Angel

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In Joyce Carol Oates critical essay entitled, Frankenstein’s Fallen Angel, Joyce explores thematic aspects of the novel. Oates claims that Frankenstein is a “unique blend of Gothic, fabulist, allegorical, and philosophical materials” (Oates). The novel is fueled by grotesque and inventive images that are directly from the unconscious. When Frankenstein says, “I have selected his features as beautiful,” this is an example because right after the creature comes alive Frankenstein screams, “breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelley pg37). This concept is revived when Walton believes the Artic will be a country of eternal light but he finds it is only ice. Joyce argues that three of the most important themes in Frankenstein are dangerous knowledge, lost innocence, and monstrosity. The theme dangerous knowledge is a big part of the novel plot and conflict development. One of them best examples of dangerous knowledge in the novel is when the creature finds the three books. Mary Shelley strategically has the creature find three symbolic books, Paradise Lost, Plutarch’s Lives, and Sorrows of Werter. When reading Paradise Lost the creature reads it as though it is factual history, this book “supplies him with the sense of his own predicament” …show more content…

Lost innocence can be seen when Victor leaves for college with the hopes of discovering unknown powers. He ends of discovering and unknown power which in turn brings an end to Victor’s innocence. During Victor’s last moments alive he tells Walton, “Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries” (Shelley pg172). Victor tells Walton that his ambition ruined his innocence and how he had good intentions. Lost innocence is major theme within the novel because both the creator and the creation lose their innocence which drives the conflict

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