Mary Shelley - Frankenstein, Limits of science


Frankenstein is a Gothic novel written by Mary Shelley, a famous female writer from the Romantic Age. The story is about a scientist, whose name is Victor Frankenstein, who manages to create a human being exploiting the latest scientific discoveries in the fields of chemistry, evolutionism and electricity.

Then why am I talking about limits of science? Well, I’m talking about the limits of science since Frankenstein attempts to create a monster without respecting the rules of nature as far as creation and life are concerned. In facts, he joins parts selected from corpses and the result is ugly and revolting. The scientist regrets his creation and becomes afraid of it.

On one side, it's impressive how the scientist manages to give life to something that's already dead; on the other, the monster become a murderer and in the end he destroys his creator.

One of he main theme of this novel is the penetration of nature's secrets.
Frankenstein examines the pursuit of knowledge within the context of the industrial age, shining a spotlight on the ethical, moral and religious implications of science. The tragic example of Frankenstein serves to highlight the danger of man's unbridled thirst for knowledge.
Victor is the main symbol that the acquirement of knowledge is dangerous.

Science without morality is detrimental because it can be used for negative purposes such as nuclear weapons, genetic modification, and unethical medical research.
There's a little contradiction, though.
While Shelley exemplifies the disastrous effect of unmitigated desire to possess the secrets of the earth, she says that such curiosity is innate to human condition.

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