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    Morality Of Science Essay

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    There are two parallel stories in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, “one ofattempting to discover the secret of life and the other of forcing nature toopen her secrets to man (Neal). ” This novel can be looked by combining thosetwo stories into a theme of the scientist who seeks to play God and what happensto him in his quest to create life from death. When looking at the book in thisregard, “the reader discovers the dangers inherent in defying the naturalorder, (Neal)” and the potential consequences of scientific discovery. VictorFrankenstein, fascinated with scientific exploration in the physical world,embarked upon an experiment that forever changed his life and that of his familyand friends. During his studies away from home, Victor foolishly decides that hewill play God.

    “I will pioneer anew way, explore unknown powers, and unfold tothe world the deepest mysteries of creation (Shelly p. 47). ” “What liesbehind Frankenstein’s scientific projects is obviously an attempt to gainpower (Damyanov). ” Victor devotes himself to his task of creating life fromdeath for a period of two years without once considering the implications of theresult of his experiment. “Thoughtless Victor built in no safety controls, nodevice to assure that only good actions would be performed (Neal).

    ” “Shelleywarns us of the dangerous division between the power-seeking practices ofscience and the concerns of humanists with moral responsibility, emotionalcommunion, and spiritual values (Damyanov). ” Victor invested so much selfishcare and time into his creation and never thought of the implications of hissuccess. As if almost seeing into the future, Shelly gives us a “warning toconsider the final effects of scientific exploration and experiment (Neal). “Neglecting all moral implications of his creation, Victor completes his work. Victor never imagined that his success would create horror instead of joy andimmortality.

    “It was a dreary night in November that I beheld theaccomplishment of my toils (Shelley p. 56). ” “How can I describe my emotionsat this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite painsand care I had endeavored to form (Shelley p. 56)?” Even when Victor came tothe realization that his success in creating his being had become an abhorrence,he took no responsibility in trying to remedy his actions or take care of thecreature. “Victor emulated God’s actions when he created the being(Neal). ” He had hoped “a new species would bless me as its creator andsource; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me (Shelly p.

    52). ” Unfortunately for Victor, the exact opposite resulted. Victor wasresponsible to his creation as a father is to a child, but only tried to escapethe creature’s wretchedness. The creature has been left to his own devices toeither become part of society, or to live alone in hiding, suffering, and pain.

    Victor awoke the day after witnessing his creature come to life in a horrifyingform and in finding the creature had disappeared, basically goes on with hislife. Frankenstein does not take on the moral responsibility of remedying hisdisastrous creation until years later when it returned to him. Years after thecreatures “birth,” he has learned to speak and write, and sets out in searchof Frankenstein; his creator, his father. He has discovered that no man willtreat him with any dignity or compassion or love and desires to find this fromhis creator. After realizing that he cannot recover these feelings fromFrankenstein, the creature requests that Victor create another being; a femaleform of himself, a true companion.

    When confronted by the creature, Victor seemsto realize for the first time the moral implications of what he has done. “Wretched devil! You reproach me with your creation; con, then, that I mayextinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed (Shelley p. 96). ” Thecreature, also realizing how wrong Frankenstein had been in his attempt tobecome God, exclaims to him, “How dare you sport thus with life? (Shelleyp.

    96)?” Victor eventually agrees to create a female companion for hiscreature. While working on her creation, Victor becomes more acquainted with themoral implications of his work and destroys the new companion. “Might he notconceive a greater abhorrence for it when it came before his eyes in the femaleform? (Shelly p. 160)” When the creature discovers what Frankenstein has donehe swears vengeance and hatred to his creator and his family. Frankenstein, whohas become a terrible mess of an individual by this point, still tries to findhappiness, despite his creation, and also swears to rid the world of hismonster.

    “Frankenstein has sought this unlimited power to the extent of takingthe place of God in relation to his creation (Damyanov)” and it has absolutelyruined him. Frankenstein selfishly endeavored to play God without consideringthat the result could likely have a negative impact on mankind. “Shelley’smessage is clear; a morally irresponsible scientific development can release amonster that can destroy human civilization itself (Damyanov). ” Victor learnsthis lesson, but too late. He has already lost his family, his best friend, hiswife and his livelihood. As he says while relating his tale, “Learn from me,if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirementof knowledge, and how much happier that man who believes his native town to bethe world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow(Shelly p.

    36). ” Shelly’s moral lesson in her novel applies greatly toscience today with all the advances in technology and miraculous discoveries inscience, the implications of experiments and creations must be thoroughlyinvestigated. At the time the story was written, it would have been unimaginablethat these evens could hole any truth or possibility of reality. Now, thepossibilities are far too real and the implications could result in the end ofcivilization, as it is now known. BibliographyShelly, Mary. Frankenstein.

    Ed. Maurice Hindle. London: Penguin Group, 1992. Damyanov, Orlin. “Technology and it’s dangerous effects on nature and humanlife as perceived in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and William Gibson’sNeuromancer.

    ” http://www. geocities. com/Paris/5972/gibson. html Neal, PatriciaA. , Ph. D.

    “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Myth for Modern Man.”

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