How is the concept of "dangerous knowledge" used in Frankenstein?


Quick Answer

The concept of dangerous knowledge is used throughout Mary Shelley’s novel "Frankenstein" as pain and destruction follow Victor until his last days. An article on Washington State University’s website details how Shelley demonstrates the danger of an unquenchable thirst for knowledge by allowing the creature to destroy everything important to Victor.

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Full Answer

Victor spends an endless amount of time acquiring the knowledge needed to create a living thing from lifeless matter. His thirst for knowledge is impressive, but it drives him over the edge, as he refuses to consider the prospect of negative repercussions to his actions. Victor wants to be acknowledged as a scientific genius, and he never considers what he will do once the creature opens its eyes. He only thinks of himself. When Victor abandons the monster, the monster seeks revenge by killing everyone important to Victor. Shelley turns Victor’s great ambition against him in an effort to warn mankind about his desire to be godlike. In the Washington State University article, it is noted how Frankenstein’s “aspiration for supernatural powers and knowledge created a monster who tormented him until the day he died.” By turning Victor into a victim of his own creation, Shelley hints that an unreasonable thirst for knowledge can be very risky and sometimes deadly.

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