The Intellectual Pursuit and Its Social Counterpart in Frankenstein

Pages: 3 (1056 words) Published: August 31, 2013
The Intellectual Pursuit and Its Social Counterpart
Victor Frankenstein, as a scientist, has a burning passion and an infinite curiosity for the science of reanimation. After spending years studying what is known of the subject, Victor makes a discovery that would have been considered an enormous scientific breakthrough. However, once Frankenstein applies this new science, the science becomes a detriment to society, never to be attempted again. Frankenstein ignored the social implications of the science of reanimation, assuming that society would carry on normally with the added discovery. As a result of his ignorance, the monster he creates, seeking vengeance, murders those closest to Frankenstein. Society was not ready to handle such an advancement, and therefore rejected it. Scientists must be held responsible for any knowledge or science brought forth by their intellectual advancements, for society is unyielding to such advancements and will corrupt much of the knowledge provided by these scientists. If it is true that ignorance is bliss, then Victor, after having pursued great knowledge, must have much regret. The "acquirement of knowledge" (Shelley 71) that was the product of years of Victor's life spent working and studying was eventually death for him and all of the people he loved. Frankenstein displayed two completely different personas during the acquirement and after the application of the knowledge of reanimation. It is only after "fulfilling the romantic dream of creating life from inert matter"(Ziolkowski) that Frankenstein realizes how irresponsible he had been; as a result of pursuing the knowledge of reanimation, Frankenstein releases a monster into society, which "kills all those who are dearest to Frankenstein"(Ziolkowski). Frankenstein’s pursuit of science, driven by his own passion for knowledge, is the soil from which the deaths of those dearest to him stem. Frankenstein, after having realized that these deaths are indeed a result of his...

Cited: Isaacs, Leonard. "Creation and Responsibility in Science: Some Lessons from the Modern Prometheus." Creativity and the Imagination: Case Studies from the Classical Age to the Twentieth Century (1987): 59-104. University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of English. Web. 28 May 2013. <>.
Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein. Ed. Caryn Yilmaz. 2nd ed. New York: Kaplan, 2006. Print.
Ziolkowski, Theodore. "Science, Frankenstein, and Myth." Sewanee Review (1981): 34- 56. University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of English. Web. 28 May 2013. <>.
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