Dick 1 Jacob Dick Mrs. Colvin English IV 9/20/17 With Knowledge Comes Despair Literary experts revere Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the inception of the science fiction literary genre because it talks about the ramifications of a science experiment run amok. The story of an insane scientist so caught up within their own work that they disregard their own sanity, health, and family has been a commonplace setting for science fiction novels since Frankenstein released on January 1, 1818. But what would cause a young girl to think of such a compelling and dark novel? While Frankenstein is a complex novel that is a parable of the repercussions of messing with Nature without consideration, it would be foolish to consider it as just that. The novel is more than just a horror story or a parable, Frankenstein is a novel that contains many life lessons within the belly of the beast. In her novel Frankenstein , Mary Shelley uses the situational archetype of good versus evil, and the symbolic archetype of light versus dark to convey to readers the dangers included in the pursuit of knowledge. In the novel Frankenstein , Shelly uses the situational archetype of good versus evil to explain the dangerous pursuit of knowledge. In the beginning of the novel, Victor Frankenstein wishes to do something good with the world and render death by natural causes obsolete by “[B]anish[ing] disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death” (Shelley 23). This shows the original good in Victor’s overall plan and, at the time, the only evil he encountered was his own self-
Dick 2 doubt, and the moral implications of how he committed his experiments. While overcoming his own self-doubt, Victor continued on his dangerous pursuit of knowledge. Later on, Victor went to the University of Ingolstadt to learn more about how he could become the defeater of death and hero of man, but his first professor mocked his study of the ancient tomes that he so enjoyed when he was younger. Victor disregarded his first professor’s commentary, but still got what he needed for the class and became top of his class. He did however, read into electricity and reanimation, and continued on the path that his professor deemed outdated knowledge and fantasy. Victor’s pursuit therefore, is no longer for scientific achievement, but for personal glory. He wanted the glory of being a creator and rendering death by natural causes to be obsolete. Victor’s disregard for the moral implications of his experiments, continue to lead him down a path of isolation and resentment towards himself for his work. Victor proceeds to isolate himself mentally and physically in order to accomplish his goal of reanimating a corpse. This ruthless approach
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