Views and Values in Frankenstein
Throughout Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Shelley expresses her views of the time through Walton. A main consequence the acquirement of knowledge is seen to be detrimental to the lives of those whom seek it and those around it. This concern, is conveyed, on a surface level, through the way in which Walton’s desire for knowledge, more specifically, the “unexplored regions..of the mist and snow” leads him to physical danger of being caught in the dangerous conditions of the North Pole. This idea is also portrayed through the acquirement of knowledge that the two protagonists, Victor Frankenstein and The Creature, seek. Ultimately, leading them to the destruction of their lives and the lives around them.
Throughout the novel, Victor
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The dangers of acquiring knowledge are evident through the shift in the Creatures motives and values as he gains an understanding of the world around him. The Creature’s motives are seen to change vastly as he achieves an understanding of his “accursed origin”. The idea that there are dangers in gaining knowledge is emphasised through the fact that the Creature was born innocent. His change is portrayed when the Creature states “When I discovered that he, the author at once of my existence and of unspeakable torments, dared to hope for happiness, while he accumulated wretchedness and despair on me ..Impotent envy and bitter indignation with a thirst for vengeance [filled me]” The fact that his evils only sparked “when he discovered” the isolation and seclusion that he was faced with emphasises his innocence prior to gaining knowledge. Further illustrating the danger, is that when the Creature’s motives for life did alter, he “cast[ed] off all feeling, subdued all aguish, to riot in the excess of [his] despair”. This quote depicts the Creatures desensitised state that allowed him to lose all sense of reality. This is clear when he states “Yet when she died- nay, then I was not miserable. The above examples clearly reveal Shelley’s view that dangers are involved in acquiring knowledge.
Ultimately, Shelley is seen to agree