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merry2e's picture

Knowledge as Agony and despair (sorry for the pessimism, Audra!)

I came into reading Frankenstein with limited knowledge…I knew it to be a horror story about a monster who was created by a mad scientist…Frankenstein has fast become one of my favorite all time novels…not to mention, I bought the book on CD which gives it an added quality of eeriness. The book is nothing at all like I thought. Full of passion, love, adoration of life, beautiful descriptions of the people and places, full of scientific imagination, relational and psychological dilemmas, I felt lost in the book, as though I was a character…I even dreamt of Frankenstein last night.


So, my question, after reading (almost finished, not quite done) Frankenstein is… when do we know that we are in dangerous, murky territory by gaining too much knowledge and need to stop? Does there come a point when the more we know as human beings, the more destruction and death this knowledge will create or can we embrace this learning and use it to guide us to a more peaceful universe, world? We have the capability to keep people alive for years on life support, to determine whether a fetus is “viable” and we can choose whether we want a boy or girl child, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and an IQ of astronomical numbers (not too distant future, if not already)…we will be able to live to 150 years and beyond…when is knowledge too much?? And when do we just live for today?

On pages 40 (par.2) and 101(par. 2&3), both Frankenstein and his clone speak of this knowledge, and how, when their eyes opened to the knowledge they had, it brought both pain and agony to them. I feel similarly…but I continue to want to open my eyes to more and more and more and more….


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