However, the context inevitably shapes the values of the composer and is reflected in the way those values are presented to us. From examining 'Frankenstein' it is certainly true that Shelley has established "a deeper understanding of disruption and identity". 'Disruption' is symbolically portrayed through humankind’s relationship with nature and is exemplified through the disruption of natural order while 'identity' refers to the characteristics of humanity itself that become blurred in the text. Established in a time of great scientific advancement, ‘Frankenstein’ encapsulates the thirst for human advancement through science and the unchecked nature of these attempts through the disastrous effects of creating life. In essence, Shelley is indicating to the readers that challenging God and unchecked scientific progression brings disaster and hardship.
Victor Frankenstein and Walton are “mirrors” of each other. Walton longs so badly for knowledge and recognition for his scientific experiments, but Victor knows the danger of an obsession with science and knowledge. The parallels or “mirrors” between the two characters show to the reader that Frankenstein’s story is actually a harsh warning to not only Walton, but to society also. This forces the reader to take note of the serious tone in his story. Frankenstein also realizes this and feels he has to tell his story to stop Walton making the same errors in judgment that he has; hoping that he will ‘deduce an apt moral from my tale’(31).
A famous Harvard professor named Lawrence Kohlberg concentrated his work on the ethical evolution of an entity as he established a theory on the moral development of individuals. In this theory Kohlberg explained the six stages of moral development while also stating that people may only progress if they move along this path one stage at a time. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the individual experiencing these moral stages is the monster whose lone creator was Victor Frankenstein. Although the monster does go through some ethical expansion, it cannot experience the first level of Kohlberg’s theory because the ‘authority figure’, in this case Victor Frankenstein, was nonexistent as he neglected the monster completely. As a result of this abandonment Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development cannot be completely applied to the story of Frankenstein, but there still remain certain connections.
Soumitra Sarkar ENGL 220 Section 62 Instructor: Mikael Awake Frankenstein Research Proposal 04/22/2015 Frankenstein Research Proposal - Human Nature Branching off of the third topic of the research prompt, I’m making a proposal to work on how Shelly has portrayed human nature in Frankenstein. In the novel, Dr. Frankenstein makes a monster from the best body parts and yet others reject that monster along with it’s own creator. The status quo is that humans are naturally accepting and good people. However, in every single instance, the monster in the novel is rejected. Initially the monster seeks to somehow befriend others.
‘Frankenstein is not merely intended to entertain; there are messages Shelley wants the reader to recognise.’ Mary Shelley did not just write ‘Frankenstein’ to entertain the audience but there are certain morals that she wants the readers to be understand; in particular, the pursuit of knowledge and responsibility. Knowledge is power but it can also be dangerous in the wrong hands. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and certain roles expect certain responsibilities. ‘Frankenstein’ was written as a result of a proposal by Lord Byron. Shelley and some others were to write and tell a horror story.
The overwhelming theme of science that is expressed in Frankenstein is that knowledge has the potential to go beyond the boundaries of human control. The reader first obtains the notion that Frankenstein had an urge to explore science in his discussion with Robert Walton. After Walton mentions to Frankenstein that he aims to go out into the word and seek knowledge and wisdom, Frankenstein states: “One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race.” From this statement, the reader is first given a sense of foreshadowing that what Frankenstein will tell Walton about his past will be about how he attempted to pursue knowledge and how it affected his life. He recites that during his schooling at Ingolstadt, Frankenstein caught a real interest in the science of biological creation through his teacher M. Waldman. Afterward, Frankenstein acquired an eager curiosity to explore the realm of biological creation, where he states: “So much has been done…more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown power, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.” Here, Frankenstein frankly
One of the ways Shelley explores the dark side of the human psyche is the suppressed and forbidden knowledge which Victor Frankenstein is hungry for. We can see this when Frankenstein states 'how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge'. However it will ultimately lead to a happier life that the man 'who believes his native town to be the whole world'. This drives Frankenstein to exceed the boundaries of science hence create new life. Shelley portrays the desire of knowledge as lust which, if left unhindered, can drive a man to peril.
The same quoted used above, demonstrates this point as well. Frankenstein could have watched the blossoms, and taken part in this delightful activity, but he decided to instead work on his creation, proving his very beliefs to be, in his definition, false. The above quote also demonstrates that Frankenstein’s decisions were a capital reason that destiny either changes constantly or doesn’t exist. Frankenstein’s thirst for knowledge is the key reason that destiny is alterable. In his narrative, Frankenstein says, “No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onward like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success.
While in the process of creating the monster, Frankenstein is both completely obsessed with his project, and, does not consider the consequences before it is alive. As soon as he becomes “capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter,” (53) Frankenstein explains how it “was the most gratifying consummation… to arrive at the summit of [his] desires” (53). Immediately, he begins work, and “[seemed] to have lost all [of his] soul or sensation but for this one pursuit” (55). Frankenstein “could not tear [his] thoughts from [his] employment” (56) and “pursued [his] undertaking with remitting ardor” (55). Even though Frankenstein feels that his “human nature [did] turn with loathing from [his] occupation” (55) as he is creating the being, he continues on with an “unnatural stimulus” (55).
His overall attitude towards technology is that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys the vital sources of our humanity. It creates a culture without a moral foundation. It undermines certain mental processes and social relations that make human life worth living. (Postman, 1993) Postman defines technopoly as a "totalitarian technocracy", which demands the "submission of all forms of cultural life to the sovereignty of technique and technology". However, Negroponte is very optimistic about technology although he knows technology has dark side, and he makes many predictions for the future development of media and technology.