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The Pursuit Of Knowledge in Frankenstein

THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE During the nineteenth century, romance was a basis of many stories for many authors. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley expresses the ideas of life during this age in her gothic romance, Frankenstein. A theme is a major idea displayed in a work that is connected to the work in many ways. Many themes are found throughout this novel, one of which is the pursuit of knowledge. Throughout the story, the three major characters display a strong need to accomplish their goals in order to gain fame. Robert Walton is in search of the north pole for fame, Victor Frankenstein is in thought of creating a human-like monster for fame, and his monster is able to learn by observation for acceptance among the human race. First, the pursuit of knowledge is shown through Robert Walton in his journey to the North Pole. As a strong ship captain, Walton feels this trip will provide him with fame among all in his home land. Because of his high ambitions and need for accomplishment, Walton becomes lonely and longs for an associate. While trapped on the ice, Walton finds a man and allows him to tell his story of why he is lost so far north. With Walton’s pursuit, Shelley begins the novel. Second, the pursuit of knowledge is displayed in Victor Frankenstein. This brilliant science student dreams of creating the first living being in his laboratory. With his strong drive, his dream is accomplished, he said, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” (55) Due to his dream, and the horror of his monster, Victor’s hope for everlasting fame is turned against him and the monster kills his friends and family. Due to all of the stress from continual work, Victor’s pursuit eventually leads to his death. Just before his death however, Victor tells Walton important advice, “seek happiness in tranquillity and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently inn...

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The Pursuit Of Knowledge in Frankenstein. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:18, July 03, 2015, from