Science in "Frankenstein" Analytical Essay by pub3920

Science in "Frankenstein"
Examines Mary Shelley's view on scientific values in "Frankenstein".
# 61472 | 1,663 words | 1 source | 2001 | US
Published on Oct 09, 2005 in Literature (English) , Philosophy (Science) , English (Analysis)

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The issue of the consequences of scientific knowledge is a commonly debated one. Mary Shelley, in the nineteenth century, offers a deep and comprehensive understanding of human values and attitudes towards science in her novel "Frankenstein". This paper shows that instead of simply categorizing science and scientists as either good or evil, Shelley presents a complex network of interwoven values concerning a scientist's responsibility to himself, society and in the practice of science. The paper shows that Shelley analyzes the effects of the accretion of scientific knowledge. As a result, she admonishes scientists who do not think of the consequences of their imprudent certainty of the progress of science and its inherent benefits to mankind. Instead, Shelley asserts that although it is feasible to study nature, the natural world will not succumb to domination.

From the Paper:

"Shelley implies that although a scientist may possess the necessary knowledge to achieve almost limitless scholarship, he must think of the consequences of his actions. While Frankenstein represents a rash scientist who must later pay for his lack of regard for society, Walton aspires to discover a total source of power but his ambition is moderated by his love and respect for humanity. Walton, as Shelley's ideal scientist, possesses a more developed conscience than Frankenstein. He strives for distinction by acquiring knowledge yet turns back when his actions have the potential to harm others."

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