Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus can be used for discussing the limitations of human knowledge, especially, the inability of a person to foresee the long-term effects of one’s actions. This paper is aimed at discussing such an issue as the responsibilities of the creator and the creation. To a great extent, the author shows that an individual cannot fully predict the consequences of his/her actions. Overall, this novel illustrates that a creator must make sure that his/her creation is not forced to suffer; moreover, this person has to make sure that his/her actions do not pose a threat to other people. Nevertheless, this literary work indicates that creation must not forget about the existence of the free will, especially when they explain the ethical aspects of their behavior.
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It is possible to say that Mary Shelley illustrates the despair of a person who feels abandoned by other people. The author uses the following phrase to describe the experiences of the monster created by Victor Frankenstein, “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on” (Shelley 188). In turn, the protagonist, who is a very ambitious scientist, does not understand that his attempts to revive a human being will eventually destroy the lives of many people.
The questions discussed explored by Mary Shelley are of great relevant to contemporary scientists. For instance, one can mention the article written by Andrew Lustig, who examines “efforts to alter nature, including human nature” (Lustig 8). The discussion provided by this author indicates that scientists often act as Victor Frankenstein, but they should understand that such behavior can be dangerous.
Moreover, Mary Shelley demonstrates the disastrous impacts of vanity, especially in those cases, when a person does not understand the limitations of one’s knowledge. Victor Frankenstein explains the motives for his experiment in the following way “I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.” (Shelley 34). Therefore, a creator must make sure that he is not overwhelmed by vanity. This question is also of great importance to scientists who develop ethical standards that researchers should reach. They understand that people can be “susceptible to certain weaknesses of pride, ambition, greed, and vanity” (Briggle and Mitcham 91). Scholars recognize the idea that the results of their scientific experiments may have far-reaching implications for many people.
Nevertheless, Mary Shelley examines the responsibilities of creation. The creature revived by Victor Frankenstein makes a free choice to become a monster that destroys the lives of innocent people. This is one of the reasons why he is doomed to failure. In this case, one should focus on such a concept as free will, which implies that a person can choose between good or evil (Clark 20). Therefore, this character cannot justify one’s atrocities only by saying that his creator betrayed him.
On the whole, these examples are useful for understanding the limitations of human knowledge. However, the chosen works throw light on the responsibilities of a creator who should think about the impact of his/her actions on the lives of others. Nevertheless, the creation should not blame other people for one’s ethical choices. These are some of the main points that can be made