Unsafe Knowledge– Frankenstein
Chakari Monsanto 12. 6. 12 AP Literature Frankenstein Dangerous Understanding From the start of time until now the endless pursuit of understanding reveals guy’s weakness. Modern society supplies people with a wide array of sources on how to get understanding, both great and evil. The thirst for forbidden knowledge beyond what man can basically manage, triggers a terrible life. The protagonist in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley exemplifies the habits of the ideal man grasping for more knowledge than he can really bare; in turn this knowledge becomes stained.
Shelley avoids to the Greek myth of Prometheus permitting the reader to dive deeper into the basic style that those who pursue an insatiable desire for knowledge, if not tamed, will trigger destruction. Prometheus began his journey as a demi-god that “agreed Zeus in the war with the Titans” and helped bring about triumph (Edith Hamilton, 71). Planning, the significance of Prometheus’ name, gave him the capability to see things prior to they took place and bestowed more wisdom “than the gods” to him (Hamilton, 71). Due to his brother’s mistake and without Zeus’ permission, Prometheus took upon the task of developing mankind.
That creation angered Zeus since he recognized how much love Prometheus had for individuals and not for gods. As a warning to Prometheus, Zeus produced females “who are a wicked to men, with a nature to do wicked” which in turn brought suffrage to all guys (Hamilton, 74). When Prometheus realized that his people were suffering and because he preferred humanity more than anything else he took fire from the paradises and talented it to them. He enabled his hubris to drive him even more into doing more for the human beings and less for the gods. Failing to gain from his first error he consistently challenged Zeus, eventually resulting in his failure.
Although the fire brought warmth and convenience to the people, they soon found out of its hidden dangers that they might not control. Fire needs to have never been provided to man due to the fact that it was only indicated for the gods. It represents forbidden knowledge, which entirely comes from immortal beings because they understand how to wield it. When individuals got the fire they were surprised by its benefit– it made preparing food quicker, brought warmth in a cold area, and lit up the darkness. The characteristics of fire made survival simpler for the people until the use of it became uncontrollable.
They found out that fire, when left unkempt, spreads and ruins whatever in its course. As time went on people recognized the great power of fire and bugged it to do evil instead of excellent. People utilized fire to start wars, destroy forests, and burn others alive. The reality that everyone knew how to begin a fire but could not stop it, proves that it should have been left with the immortals. Prometheus’ theft of fire for guy inflamed Zeus not just because he did not like the people but also since it provided the people the same power and knowledge as the gods.
Zeus penalized Prometheus for offering fire to the people by connecting him to a rock and permitted a vulture to eat in restaurants his liver everyday for the rest of his life. Victor Frankenstein, also known as the modern Prometheus according to Shelley, holds a similar yet various story and fate as Prometheus. While Prometheus just wished to correct his brother’s mistake in making a remarkable race of man, Victor wants to comprehend “the secrets of heaven and earth” in order to elevate himself to a godlike status (Shelley, 30).
He decides that he will develop “a brand-new species” which “would owe their being to” him and provide him the magnificence (Shelley, 44). Victor wishes to play the role of God in creating a new race of creatures but does not comprehend that his undying chase for this immortal knowledge leads to corruption. This resembles when Prometheus trespassed in the paradises and talented the humans with never-ceasing knowledge that produced his failure. He personally separates himself from everyone while “months passed” due to the fact that he puts his “body and soul, in one pursuit” (Shelley, 44).
After his development comes to life he rejects it because ugliness consumes the creature’s external look. In contrast to Prometheus’ unconditional love for the mortals he developed, Victor allows his creature to run away and be left in the dark without any one to guide him, no one to reveal him right from wrong, and nobody to care and express love towards him as all developers need to do for their creations. The animal, with no one to depend on, finds out the ways of society and the threats of life too. He goes from town to village searching for someone to assist him but everybody rejects him.
He does not give up on looking for somebody despite the fact that, “children screamed, and among the females fainted” at the simple sight of him (Shelley, 90). After some time passes he recognizes that he must survive on his own because nobody in society, rather mankind, will accept him. On his journey to find a location to stay he experiences a fire. Not knowing of the assistance yet barrier that fire supplies he decides to reach out and grab the fire. He quickly finds out that the fire does not feel pleasant and belts out “a cry of discomfort” after he rapidly removes his hand (Shelley, 88).
Although the creature does not obtain all the typical understanding that humans are suppose to initially have, his ability to recognize the threats of fire and discover to avoid damage portrays that he gains from his errors, unlike Prometheus and Victor. Victor starts to suffer everyday of his life since he never understands when the animal will appear or if he needs to cover up another death that the creature devotes. Prometheus had to suffer everyday of his life exclusively because Zeus ended up being tired of the favoritism Prometheus reveals to the people and because of the never-ceasing understanding that they had.
Victor did not have to suffer physically like Prometheus but mentally from losing his enjoyed ones due to the animal’s aggravation with being alone and unloved by everybody he came into contact with. Victor, even after all the difficulty that the animal already triggers, starts to create a 2nd animal to require the very first. Victor’s inability to gain from his past actions causes him more pain than had he just revealed some empathy to his animal in the start.
Modern society aids humanity to pursue actions that are similar to Frankenstein’s which cause their destruction. Although most understanding advantages society, when individuals continue delving into a subject never implied for mankind to understand, concerns arise. Cautions are provided at every turn like with Prometheus and Frankenstein however do not prevent individuals from their first errors. People that stop at absolutely nothing to achieve more understanding than they require for individual splendor and gain; suffer from their own undertakings.
The fire in the stories symbolizes forbidden understanding only due to the fact that it was utilized in the incorrect method. People can not completely understand all kinds of understanding. We were gifted with some knowledge for our survival but anything outside of that is bound to prevent us because we do not know how to wield it. It has actually been proven time and time again that guy’s pressing desire for knowledge causes damage. Functions Cited Hamilton, Edith. “How the World and Humanity Were Created.” Folklore: Classic Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York City, NY: Warner, 1999.