Frankenstein: The Danger of Misusing Science
Frankenstein is often thought a tale of the dangers of science. Frankenstein is not so much the dangers of science, but of man’s misuse of unknown science. Another misconception is the monster in Frankenstein was created by dead bodies. This is not true. The monster was made of inanimate matter. When Frankenstein started trying to play God and create life, he was undertaking a task he fully did not understand. Thus the creation was a true monster. This paper will examine the misuse of science Frankenstein used to create his monster and the fatal results.
Frankenstein, the creator not the creature, was raised to question things around him, since he came from a wealthy modern home. After studying at the university, Frankenstein decided to undertake the mission of creating life from inanimate matter or even reversing the death process. He quickly figured out that reversing death was impossible. So he created a creature out of inanimate matter. Frankenstein was no Michelangelo. He did not study every little feature of a man. Thus his creature turned into a monster with long limbs and grotesque features. Horrified by his creature, he dubbed it ‘monster’. Frankenstein then ran away from this horror. As a result the creature learned to hate Frankenstein. He then went upon a mission to destroy Frankenstein. So Frankenstein decided to kill his monster, after the murder of family and friends. He tracked the monster to the Arctic, where he dies. The monster having no purpose left in life goes into the Arctic to commit suicide.
Frankenstein’s thinking was flawed on many levels. His mission was focused on creating life, but not nurturing this life. He never took into consideration the monster’s feelings. Frankenstein’s creature became a monster due to the actions after his creation. The major mistake on Frankenstein’s part was the focus on the creation, not the consequences of what would happen beyond the creation.
Frankenstein can be compared to the Nazis. He wanted to experiment with life with no thought about that life’s rights, pain, or suffering. This disregard of respect for life is cruel and unethical. Humans or human like creations must be nurtured and treated humanely. If not treated humanely, feelings of hate and retribution are foster. Just like Jews fought against the Nazis, the monster fought back against its creator.
In order to have created life and succeeded, Frankenstein should have though about every aspect of the experiment. Not just bringing life, but nurturing it as well. Even if the creation was hideous, Frankenstein could have trained and educated the creation into a companion. Obviously from Frankenstein’s attitude, he would never have treated the creation as an equal. In those days women were not even considered equals. However Frankenstein could have educated the creation to be a loyal servant. Frankenstein was too concerned about his failure of creating a perfect human than what to do with the newly made creation.
As a result the creature turned into a monster. Just like a neglected child will grow up to hate or even murder their parents, Frankenstein’s monster wanted to destroy him. The parent/child comparison is very relevant to this story. Frankenstein was the cause of the creation, just like parents are the cause of children. Without nurturing and care children turn into monsters, like Frankenstein’s creation. Frankenstein can be compared with careless people who do not want children, but want to do the things that create children with no protection. The act is what these people focus on, not the science behind the act.
Frankenstein misused science he did not understand. He understood how to create inanimate matter into a living creation, but did not understand the psychology behind nurturing a creation. Frankenstein only had part of the equation, but rushed ahead with his ambitions. The result was the death of family, friends, Frankenstein, and finally the life he created.
Shelly, Mary and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.