Frankenstein Essay Essay, Research Paper
When Mary Shelley started writing the story of
Dr. Frankenstein, she did not realize the true
potential of her work. She was simply writing
a short story to pass the time. Shelley had no
idea her story would evolve and grow as the
years pass. She had no idea it would launch
a whole genre of horror stories and an array
of movies that have captivated the imagination
of every generation including our own. The
story of Dr. Frankenstein taps into the darkest
crevices of the human condition. Our so-called
“quest for knowledge” has lead to many advances;
It is human nature that drives us in our
curiosity, but a lot of the time we do not
take responsibility for our creations, and
that is why many of our species’ endeavors
have resulted in tragedy.
Dr. Frankenstein set out to create a “perfect
creature” when he began his endeavor. But
moments after his creature came to life he
turned away in disgust. He ran away from
his baby if you will.
“Unable to endure the aspect of the being
I had created, I rushed out of the room and
continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber?” (P.56) Compare if you dare: Frankenstein’s actions to those of a mother giving up her child for adoption. What right has the creator to turn on his/her creation? Doesn’t the magic of creation carry the burden of responsibility? Yes of course it does. If you create a living being you have the responsibility to protect and nurture it. That is the very nature of creation. According to the “monster” all he wanted was for Frankenstein to create a companion for him. Was he not, in this case, making the same mistake as Frankenstein himself? What would have become of his companion if HE turned away from her in disgust? Well, unfortunately Frankenstein decided not to create another “fiend” because he saw the potential for evil that existed there. But I, for one, believe that Frankenstein should have created a companion for the fiend. Any human can understand the simple need for companionship and the madness that can come from total seclusion and loneliness. “You may render me the most miserable of men,
but you shall never make me base in my own eyes.
Shall I create another like yourself, whose
joint wickedness might desolate the world.
Begone! I have answered you; you may torture
me, but I will never consent.” (P.138) Refusing
to help the monster was a mistake. Creating the
fiend was also a mistake. A mistake that was
excused by the so-called quest for knowledge
all scientists appear to be on.
Frankenstein was on a quest for knowledge,
one that he thought to be of utmost importance.
He was after the most sacred treasure of all.
He was after life itself. In the end, did
Frankenstein succeed? Well that depends on
your definition of life. Some might say that
a man is just the sum of his parts. Others
might say that a human being is more than that.
I believe a person is not just the sum of his or
her parts. I think a human being requires love
and respect. Without these things, any human
could turn out like Frankenstein’s monster.
Indeed, Frankenstein’s monster did not receive
any of that love in his lifetime and for that
reason, he never knew what it was to be human.
Every scientist has his Holy Grail. The one
goal in his lifetime which he strives for and
pours years of hard work into. “No one can
conceive the variety of feelings which bore
me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first
enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared
to me ideal bounds which I should first break
through, and pour a torrent of light into our
dark world.” (P.52) Whether it’s curing cancer
or explaining why the universe is the way it
is how far can a scientist go before it is too
far? When J. Robert Oppenheimer was working on
the atomic bomb, he was taking into consideration
how many American lives it would save. He was
thinking about ending the war and bringing peace
to his people. By the time he saw the true
destructive power of his creation it was
already too late; in the months that followed,
a great many people died. In thinking about
the quest for knowledge one begins to think
about how far us humans can take exploration
before it becomes exploitation. “Learn from me,
if not by my precepts, at least by my example,
how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge
and 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.”
The story of Frankenstein opens up a huge array
of moral and ethical dilemmas. That is perhaps
why it has been so successful. One cannot
presume to judge why Shelley made Frankenstein’s
monster so human, and yet so evil. Frankenstein’s
quest for knowledge created the physical being,
but because he did not take responsibility for
his creation the monster turned out evil.
Maybe the monster really was made in man’s image
and that in itself was the reason behind his
By Gil Hagi