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One Man's Dreams, Another Man's Disasters

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One Man's Dreams, Another Man's Disasters

Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, demonstrates how unlimited scientific research encourages humans to play the role of god, undermining their sense of reality and forcing them to lose touch with what is important. The main character, Victor Frankenstein, has good intentions and willingness to learn that exemplifies a hard working person with big ideas and big dreams. Victor becomes very curious about anthro-science and concludes that he wants to be the first person to discover the secrets about life. After cutting himself off from the rest of the world, Victor brings to life a monster whose existence destroys him and everyone dear to him. Victor's disregard for the consequences of his actions, in addition to his ignorance is Mary Shelley's way of illustrating to readers that though science isn't always bad, the way it is used in the novel makes it very dangerous and unethical.

Victor's unrestrained pursuit of knowledge leads to disaster, highlighting the dangers of immoral scientific practices like creating a human. Prior to even contemplating creating life, Victor wanted to be recognized on a large scale for his accomplishments. Victor explained his enterprise saying, "treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation"(49). Victor's eagerness about such an endeavor belies how terribly unethical it is to surpass mankind's natural limits. Mary Shelley demonstrates the perils of crossing the line between science and sin by showing how avidly Victor seeks the secrets of life. Victor, understanding Walton's ambitions to discover the unknown world on his journey, advises him against taking things too far, stating , "Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how 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" (54). Victor, by the end of the novel, has learned the consequences of his actions, that he understands how curiosity can drive someone too far that they lose touch with what is important. Victor's advice to Walton resonates with Victor's previous obsession with finding the unknown. Victor's claims provide proof that Mary Shelley believes that, though science can be used for good, mankind has an inability to accept its natural limits, making anthro-science wicked practice.

Victor, being the creator of a new species, takes no responsibility for his actions, which slowly but significantly ruin his life. Victor is adamant about bringing "animation to lifeless matter" for many years. However, the moment he sees his dreams becoming reality he is sickened, stating "I had desired it with an ardour that



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