"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly. Examination of acquiring knowledge in the three main characters.

Essay by ronnieselaUniversity, Bachelor's February 2003

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The main motif in Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein" is acquiring knowledge. The three main characters of the book; Walter, Victor and the monster are on a quest for knowledge. Each of the three desires knowledge of a different sort, but in all cases the knowledge and experience they experience are dangerous and unsatisfactory.

Robert Walton attempts to reach the North Pole, a mission that many before him have failed to complete. Although Walton is aware of the fact that his quest is dangerous: "These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage," he is seeking to acquire knowledge that hasn't been revealed to anyone before him. He ends up trapped in between two sheets of ice.

Victor Frankenstein, a well-educated man that is constantly involved in the study of science, is fascinated with the ability to form a life.

The knowledge that Victor obtains disconnects him from the outside world. He spends his entire time on his project, creating new life. Since he is so involved in his work, Victor looses touch with his family, his friends, and with his future wife. By discovering the ability to create life, Victor brings the dreadful monster to life. Victor becomes very ill, since the thought of the life he gave the monster is constantly on his mind, and it makes him sick. Eventually, the horrifying creature leads to the deaths of all of Victor's beloved relatives and also kills Henry, his close friend.

The monster is created as an enormous creature with the mind of a new born. After a while without any relation to human beings, it settles near a house in the woods. Through the cracks in the wall of the house, the...