Theme Of Knowledge In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein follows the story of a man, Victor Frankenstein, who created a monster. Along Victor’s journey, he meets Captain Walton who cares for him, and in return Frankenstein warns him about the dangers of knowledge. Frankenstein’s quest for knowledge reveals that knowledge can be beneficial yet dangerous.
The only benefit of knowledge is to no longer desire answers. Victor is warning Captain Walton against probing too deep into knowledge, for he himself was endangered by it. Frankenstein discourages Walton by declaring, “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been” (9). Shelley uses metaphor to compare the
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Frankenstein wants to explore knowledge further, but his professor shares his doubts about whether Frankenstein could deliver results or not. Victor could only think about, “one thought, one conception, one purpose. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (33). Shelley uses visual imagery to depict Frankenstein’s future. Frankenstein claims he will “pioneer a new way,” and discover “the deepest mysteries of creation.” By this he means he will “unfold” the truth about creating life from death. The desire for the knowledge consumed him, allowing him to only think about “one thought, one conception, one purpose.” The dangers of desire are examined after he has created the monster. Victor has just finished the monster and realizes the gravity of the situation. He diminished his “health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (42). Shelley uses the words “horror” and “disgust” to express Frankenstein’s regret. At first, Victor “desired” to make the monster with extreme “ardour,” or passion, which consumed him and damaged his “health.” The damage inflicted to Frankenstein is both physical and mental, as his physical “health” is diminished and the “dream vanished,” causing “disgust to fill his heart,” a fact which is only actually true in Victor’s
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