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Frankenstein

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Welcome. In this lesson, we want to take a look at the concept of unintended consequences of advancement, and we will take a closer look at Victor Frankenstein from the novel Frankenstein. The quest for knowledge is probably the most obvious theme that is found and demonstrated in Victor Frankenstein's effort to make discoveries in chemistry that had never been made before. These led to the creation of what he terms the creature--what we will term the monster. And it can also be seen in Walton's attempt to reach the North Pole by ship charting unknown territory. And I would like you to make note that this trip to the North Pole is supposed to be a metaphor for mankind's quest in undiscovered knowledge. It's important to note that the novel does not hold the position that all scientific discovery is bad but that the unchecked pursuit of knowledge can be extremely dangerous. Walton almost gets his entire crew killed because of his mad schemes in Chapter 24, while Frankenstein's desire to conquer new heights of knowledge drives him to this "filthy creation," as quoted from Chapter 3, which eventually causes him great suffering and brings about his death. Frankenstein himself characterizes this uncontrolled thirst for knowledge as both madness and intoxication, while the monster muses on the nature of knowledge which clings to the mind like a rock and can only be removed by death itself. Another theme which runs through the novel is that of enslavement. Frankenstein dreams of creating "A new species "which would bless me as its creator and source..." but in fact, it is he who becomes the slave to the demands of his more powerful creature. The monster even addresses Frankenstein with these words. He says, "Slave...you are my creator, but I am your master: obey!" Again, that would be a metaphor for something that man could create but could not control. So Frankenstein and Walton may also be said to be slaves the way human culture today may be a slave to the technology in which it creates. They were slaves to their own discoveries. A related theme of imprisonment is also touched upon. Frankenstein's workshop is actually referred to as a cell, which could refer to something like a monk's simple room-- something that would indicate an unhealthy devotion to a cause but could equally refer to a jail cell-- maybe indicating his bondage to science itself. The monster is imprisoned in his hideous form, which prevents him from having any type of relationships with humans, but rather than being shut in, his imprisonment is to be shut out from the culture. Frankenstein even describes his own situation of intense guilt and persecution by the monster as being chained in some type of an eternal hell. There were allusions to being the created as well in this particular chapter, which would also become part of the concept of an unintended consequence. Adam and Lucifer or Satan are 2 characters from the Bible who were in the novel. Both were creations of God, but both of those creations went wrong-- Adam in his disobedience and Lucifer in seeking to overthrow God. The monster is supposed to be Adam, made in God's image or made in Frankenstein's image, but instead he is treated as Lucifer even though he is innocent, whereas Lucifer was guilty. Later, his anger at rejection, a major theme that can be found in unintended consequences of creating something, and, ironically, it is Frankenstein who eventually alludes to himself as Lucifer, the usurper, the one who wanted to be God, to create the way God created. He tried to take the position of God by creating this particular life unnaturally. And so what does this leave us with? It leaves us with the unintended consequences that can be seen in the death of Justine and William, in Henry's pursuit as well and in his death by the creature, Frankenstein losing his most beloved possession in Elizabeth, but probably the unintended consequences would be that Frankenstein not only lost himself physically but loses himself spiritually, emotionally, and ideologically-- an unintended consequence.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Genre: None
Producer: blendedschools.net
Director: blendedschools.net
Views: 36
Posted by: blendedschools on Oct 18, 2012

Frankenstein Consequences of Advancement

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