Pursuit of knowledge is a theme that often shows up in the text Frankenstein. Frankenstein the main character and the monster are very willing to gain knowledge and learn every aspect of life. They incorporate many dangers while pursuing knowledge. Through the characters of the monster and Frankenstein, Mary Shelley develops the theme of pursuit of knowledge. She uses the characters- monster and Frankenstein to demonstrate how dangerous it is to pursuit knowledge. Through observing, the monster is noticing the behaviors and acts of the cottagers.
By observing the cottagers the monster is gaining knowledge and through this the monster is feeling sad and angry at the same time. He is feeling sad and angry because he knows that he is a different creature and will not be accepted by the cottagers. The monster says that “I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me. I tried to dispel them, but sorrow only increased with knowledge” (85). The monster is saying that by gaining knowledge his sorrows and depressions has only increased. Even though the monster realizes that it’s dangerous and his pain will keep increasing, he doesn’t stop pursuing knowledge.
The monster continues to pursue knowledge by deciding to get in to the cottage in order to talk to the old man. He bravely gets in to the cottage and gets scared. The old man was blind so he did not see the monster. In the mean time Felix one of the cottagers came in to the cottage and beat the monster in anger. Felix beating the monster is dangerous and puts his life in danger. The monster comments “cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? ” (97). The monster is sick of his life and put his life in danger as he pursued knowledge.
Furthermore, the monster’s pursuit of knowledge caused him to desire something that he could never have in his life, a companion. The monster got rejected by Frankenstein and that made him vicious and dangerous. The monster killed Frankenstein’s close friends and family and that made Frankenstein hate him. Then Frankenstein says “Begone! I do break my promise; never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness”. (122) Frankenstein broke his promise of making the monster a companion. Overall, the idea of wanting a companion led the monster to miseries and sadness.
Through the pursuit of knowledge the monster wanted a companion but he can never have one. Moreover, pursuit of knowledge lead to him committing suicide. By achieving the knowledge of wanting a companion the monster forced himself to be hated by Frankenstein. After killing many of Frankenstein’s family members Frankenstein decides to take revenge on the monster. However, Frankenstein becomes incapable of killing the monster because he becomes sick and later dies. After Frankenstein’s death the monster goes to him and says that “I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt.
Soon these burning miseries will be extinct”(166). The monster expresses sadness because he killed his own creator. The monster’s pursuit of knowledge leads him to commit suicide because he couldn’t live with the idea that he killed his own creator. So, pursuing of knowledge can be very harmful as it can change any creature’s view about something or someone. It can lead people to many dangerous places where he/she should not be. For example- as the monster was eager to learn about human society he observed the cottagers and felt sad because he will never be accepted by them.
Then he went in to the cottage to communicate but got beaten by Felix which is very dangerous for the monster. Therefore, the monster wanted a companion but got rejected by Frankenstein. As he got rejected by Frankenstein he killed Frankenstein’s family members. At the end Frankenstein dies and the monster also wishes to die because he is the one who is responsible for his creator’s death. The whole idea of pursuing knowledge led to the monster’s death. This is why pursuit of knowledge is harmful for any creature.