Essay on John: Frankenstein and Happy Young Man

Submitted By desertedge
Words: 418
Pages: 2

his quote is stated by Victor Frankenstein in Chapter 4 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and he is talking to Robert Walton about his studies in Ingolstadt. More specifically, he is discussing knowledge and the repercussions of acquiring knowledge. He tells Walton to view him as a reason not to acquire knowledge, as it is dangerous. If not by his orders, he says, at least by his examples. He says a man who has little knowledge other than what he learned from his surroundings will be happier than the man who goes out of his way and strives to learn more than is provided directly to him. “[A] man who believes his native town to be the world” refers to someone who thinks that the knowledge they have acquired is all that there is to know, and who is satisfied with this. “He who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow” refers to a person who wants more knowledge than he can safely have and who will never be satisfied, always wanting and craving more. I believe that man who knows little other than what immediately surrounds him will be happier because he knows nothing different and therefore will have nothing to compare his life to. He will not feel happy, per se, but simply neutral, about his life, simply because he has no other frame of reference for comparison and because of his ignorance. Similarly, I think a man who wishes to know more and who will never be satisfied with what he knows will be unhappy because he will discover too many negative aspects of the world or use this knowledge in a poor way. In addition, the ownership of too much knowledge can lead to…