Essay about Frankenstein- Acquirement of Knowledge

Words: 1482
Pages: 6

“How the dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” To what extent does Shelley’s Frankenstein support Victor Frankenstein’s view?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores the concepts of knowledge and science and the dangers involved with the pursuit and investigation of these ideas. The novel conveys Shelley’s attitudes towards science by portraying it as having the capability to exceed the bounds of human restraint. Through the development of her protagonist Victor Frankenstein, the romantic and gothic aspects of her novel, the period of 1818 and the influences of the world she was living in that
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Shelley uses the Romantic contrast of man vs. Nature to portray scientific development.
The culture and general characteristics of the time of 1818 where Shelley was living are evident in the text. As the historical setting is in this period Shelley incorporates certain aspects of the time into the novel, consequently criticizing or praising her perception of society. The 19th century was a period of great change, socially, politically and scientifically. This time saw the rise of Imperialism and of the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the literary movements of Romanticism and Victorianism. Shelley also explores the significance of science during 1818 which was at its height of research and discoveries. Shelley portrays Victor as the embodiment of the overambitious scientists of the time. Through his failure and realisations of his wrongs she consequently illustrates her lack of faith in science and the danger it can cause with researching aspects of nature that aren’t meant to be tampered with. Scientist’s purposes were previously to understand science but in this strange time of science the scientists took on the role of writers and poets and began to create. Shelley felt that this was an insult to