May 23, 2014
Oh the Sorrow
Over the past few centuries, the intellectuals of society have made countless advances in science and the development of technology, which, to different degrees, have all benefitted mankind.
These scientific discoveries are a result of man’s thirst for and dedication to acquiring knowledge, information and power. The innate curiosity and desire for understanding in an individual can grow so immense that his or her moral and ethical boundaries erode, which results in disastrous consequences for all who are involved. In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel
Victor Frankenstein, Robert Walton and the creature are driven to absolute sorrow in direct consequence of the pursuit of knowledge.
Shelley displays how the pursuit of knowledge can lead to sorrow in the first character introduced in the novel, Robert Walton. Walton drives himself to his fate by his pondering of what the
North Pole actually looks like. Walton discusses how he imagines it in a letter to his sister in which he states “I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight”(Shelley 1). This shows that Walton is trying so hard to believe that the North Pole is beautiful that it affects him enough to see through the desolation and pursue the North Pole. Walton also drives himself to sorrow by