Things I Think

Just another onMason site

Just like Mary Shelley, Just like Frankenstein…

Clank your chains and count your change

Try to walk the line

Hunter and Garcia

Now that that is out of my system…

When I first read Frankenstein in high school, I considered Shelley’s view of science as very black and white, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. However with a few years under my belt, and the vast wisdom of a 21 year old,  I see the gray area. Rather than the unquestionable horrors of technology, and the depravity of science, I feel the unease, and perhaps the wariness that Shelley feels. Especially in the cases of Frankenstein and Walton, who put so much trust in discovery and knowledge without considering the consequences, it is understandable that we should be skeptical.

“What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle…” (Shelley, 6).

This light, or rather, this knowledge, can either be enlightening or blinding (see what I did there?), and Walton and Frankenstein walk this fine line. They push the boundaries of what is possible, risking the safety of themselves and those around them. For Frankenstein, “life and death appear…ideal bounds, which [he] should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world” (36). His desire to shed light upon seemingly dark places goes unchecked, leading to tragic ends. So its not the science itself that is wrong, it is man’s lack of caution and judgment to do what is right.

Frankenstein and Walton must find the balance between their thirsts for discovery and glory, and the limits of life and death. And as an audience, we must “learn from [Frankenstein]…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” (35).

But, “how many things are we upon the brink of being acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquires?” (33). Where do we draw the line?

And now it’s time to make some cookies!

 

 

 

 

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