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Frankenstein as a Cautionary Tale of Science The human race has long been preoccupied with the quest for knowledge Children spend between twelve and fifteen years in schools before they are considered able to contribute to society and lead adult lives We are convinced of the notion that a higher level of knowledge will lead to a happier life and a better world We trust that technology and science will improve our standards of living will make tasks easier and lead us to salvation Many people put as much or more faith in the scientific method as in God In Mary Shelleys Frankenstein Victors ordeal can be read as a tale of warning His intentions are good and his ability and knowledge are at the genius level Victor is the ideal student and fledgling scientist his faith in science however and his lack of moral considerations and critical foresight land him in the path of a fatally destructive force Shelley deals with notions regarding the danger of knowledge the need for moral and ethical considerations the importance of objectivity and of being responsible and accountable for ones actions Victor is a wonderful illustration of how a scientist should not be There are several allusions to the sin of knowledge in Shelleys text Of course the story of Eve and the apple and the fall from grace conjure thoughts that support this concept but it goes deeper In Frankenstein the pursuit of knowledge inevitably leads to misery and disappointment The acquisition of knowledge gives Victor the means to harm his loved ones as well as himself The creatures attainment of knowledge has opened his eyes to the cruelty of his position in the world and has therefore caused him suffering I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted on me I tried to dispel them but sorrow only increased with knowledge Oh that I had for ever remained in my
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