The Mortalities of Scientific Research-Creation In Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley, many believe the true monster is Victor Frankenstein; however, the real monster is the knowledge of scientific research and creation. Scientific research is performing a methodical study in order to perform a hypothesis or answer a question (cite) and creation is the act of producing or causing to exist (cite). Although scientific research and creation have shaped the world we live in today, there is a moral code that we all have to follow to eliminate hardships.
Throughout the novel, Shelley constantly cautions her readers of he consequences of dominating the power of scientific knowledge and to be omniscient. In this paper, I will argue that Victor’s need for scientific knowledge and unethical means of creation was the monstrosity and how this impacted his life. The ethics behind scientific research and creation has always created a predicament and this was worse during the 1800’s. This is the decade of industrialization as for the beginning to a new meaning of science; electricity and locomotives have now been established.
At that time there were no regulations or procedures put in place for what is moral behind scientific reation. Haynes explains,”However, from the mid-twentieth century, there has also been criticism by historians of science and sociologists of the image of the noble, objective, open- minded scientist, intent only on seeking truth. ” This was a very accurate description as scientists were open to experimenting with new and foreign objects but never through a moral code.
Presently, scientists or any profession that requires experimentation follows a moral code and practice high standards to keep others from suffering (Yarborough et al. . “The science was also bad because it violated the most basic enet of medical ethics and scientific inquiry-primum non nocere-first, do no harm. Scientists and health professionals must hold themselves to the highest professional standards of commitment to the human rights and dignity of the people whose lives they have the privilege of serving. ” According to Yarborough, this practice will encourage scientists and future scientists to experiment with science in a safe environment and protect the general public from any danger.
Victor Frankenstein-like many scientists (cite) had the motivation to become big with his intentions, he was so driven he forgot the orld around him and started living in his own world. He forgot his responsibilities and morals trying to make the most powerful invention. This is evident when Victor explains to his sister that one man’s life is nothing next to scientific inventions as it creates more; “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race. (Letter 4. 1)” An ethical creation is a creation that is in accordance with the rules or standards for the right practice and profession (cite). His inspiration may have come from losing his mother at a young age. One of the bigger questions the reader faces while reading the novel is if it would make a difference if he were to study a different subject.
Would he still commit the same crimes? Or would he have been safe from what was to become of him? “Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science. (2. 6) Victor believes that his vengeance for science was the cause of him becoming so inhumane. Although it is not or certain he would not have created, there is a chance that he would not have been as passionate about his goal. Victor throughout the novel is seen as a remarkable striving student, he is constantly wanting to learn more and gain knowledge. This is seen when he asks his father about Agrippa; however, sadly his father has no positive commentation on Agrippa and tell Victor that he was a futile scientist.
This fuels Victor’s curiosity as how such a life-changing experiment can be easily dismissed. “If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the rinciples of Agrippa had been entirely exploded and that a modern system of science had been introduced which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical, under such circumstances I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies. (2. 7)
Again, Victor is criticized for his readings on Agrippa as his first professor taunts him for wasting his time on a failed scientist. This became a turning point in the novel as Victor finally decided to leave his works on Agrippa and follow his instructor’s instructions. Later on (consequently), Victor is seen again consulting another professor and this time the professor believes Victor can do anything with his ideas.
If the professor had not encouraged Victor’s work on Agrippa, it may have been possible that Victor would have never created his creature and his family would have been safe for the ultimatum they had to face. Also, the professor’s words sparked ideas in Victor’s head and not all of them were ethical as it is seen in his creation. Victor believes he was born on this planet to create, he didn’t want to be like other scientists he wanted to study immortality and reincarnation. Victor lived fast paced days, all he can see, think, and hear was his goals.
The ancient teachers of this science,” said he, “promised impossibilities and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera but these philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles. They enetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding- places. They ascend into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe.
They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows. (3. 14) As a result, the breaking into graveyards and stealing immortal parts of deceased human beings did not faze him. Frankenstein became presumptuous with his need to achieve his goals and believed everything was moral under scientific research. However, this proved to be fatal not only to him but his innocent family as he was wary of his own responsibilities.
Also, Mary Shelley is seen warning the readers about having knowledge. She believes there is good knowledge; however, having too much good knowledge may not always be ideal. This is seen in Frankenstein, his means of creation had a beneficial purpose, he just wasn’t able to see past his goal as he was blinded it. This caused Frankenstein to act out in immoral activities and consider unethical approaches. Throughout the novel, Frankenstein shared a common theme of most scientists f his time and that is to become the greatest (omniscient).
Striving for success is not a bad thing until it becomes an addiction that decides one’s path. Frankenstein foregoes his responsibilities in place for scientific research and creation. Is it moral to have such knowledge and use it unethical ways? There isn’t any direct passage of knowledge being the monster, everything is in connotations or is implied. The text was an easy read; however, would have been better if the author didn’t use her experiences to write the novel (bias). As it becomes comparison and the reader can be confused with who the monster really is.