The Danger of Knowledge in Frankenstein

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Knowledge, by definition, is the fact or condition of having information or of being learned (Merriam-Webster). Children and adults alike are always looking for more knowledge and to learn more about the world around them. It is always seen as something positive because who does not want to learn something? This point can be proven wrong.

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Knowledge can be negative because a person might learn unjust or immoral things. One example of such invalidation is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, knowledge can be seen as a source of danger because characters fall victim to the pursuit of it which in the end causes harm to themselves and people that the love.

Knowledge starts from childhood and in Frankenstein Walton and Frankenstein were brought up similarly concerning their education. According to Walton, his education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading (Shelley 28). Through this, the audience knows that Walton’s education from the start was not looked upon well. In context with the rest of the letter, it is shows that his Father did not care about what he wanted and did not let him learn what he longed for. In a similar way, Frankenstein says the cursory glance of my father had taken of my volume had no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with greatest avidity (Shelley 46). Victor, similar to Walton, was looked down upon about his learning choices. Nevertheless, he continues to just learn what he wants and pursues what he is interested in.

Unlike Frankenstein and Walton, the Creature was brought up in an unconventional education, self-education. Walton and Frankenstein had materials and family to turn to when they were children and still learning. In contrast, the Creature learned the science of letters as it was taught to the stranger (Shelley 108). He had to learn simple things like the alphabet from scratch because he never knew anything. Through this one page, the Creature learns about politics, mannerisms, and religions of many nations. Frankenstein and Walton use their knowledge in a perversely but the creature reads as a method of self-examination and definition, as a way of making sense of himself and his experience of the world. (Englert).

In her article, Englert proves the Creature has learned for different reasons.

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