Dangerous Knowledge in “Frankenstein” by Shelley

Subject: Literature
Pages: 4
Words: 1141
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


By nature of reasoning, knowledge is a form of conviction that differs from opinion or conjecture. A person’s or something’s awareness or knowledge, such as information, abilities, or things, contributes to one’s comprehension. At the same time, maladaptive pursuit of knowledge can generate adverse effects due to the presence of obsession and absence of realism. Dangerous knowledge is related to potential negative consequences for the humanity due to the inadequate use of resources, incorrect recognition of opportunities and abilities, and unethical behavior.


Frankenstein is considered to be a novel authored by Mary Shelley, an English novelist. The book Frankenstein portrays the narrative of Victor Frankenstein, a theoretical scientist who, in an unusual laboratory test, produces a sentient monster. In addition, in the work Frankenstein, the author depicts the whole history of Victor that is a skilled researcher and who triumphs in providing life to a creature he invented. Nevertheless, this is not the ideal specimen he had envisioned, but rather a repulsive monster despised by Victor and humanity in particular. The Monster subsequently seeks vengeance by murdering and terrorizing others. Victor’s fascination with science grows into an obsession and mania while at university. Victor experiments on dead victims and constructs a monster out of parts of the body. He is appalled by what he has made and abandons the creature immediately and permanently. Victor, on the other hand, assumes the Monster is to be accountable for the deaths of his people after seeing it at the crime site. Frankenstein passes away in the final letters, and the Monster, remaining unhappy, flees, most presumably to its own demise.

Dangerous Knowledge

Concerning the identification of one specific issue that Frankenstein seems to be raising in the early chapters, it is feasible to emphasize the question of dangerous and risky knowledge. As it is described in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the ambition to seek the unknown and undiscovered can occasionally result in one’s own death. Humans have an intrinsic desire to explore any real meanings inside the environment, yet these journeys for the unknown can occasionally lead to unintended consequences. In his quest for the mystery of life, Victor Frankenstein constructed a living creature that he assumed to be the key to the wisdom he had long sought. To inform Robert Walton about the dangers of aspiration and the chase for destructive knowledge, Victor Frankenstein attempted to explain him his experience (Shelley). Despite the fact that his actions were counterproductive when he saw his product and the unconditional damage it would cause instantly.

The quest of hazardous understanding is the general statement Frankenstein’s idea conveys in terms of research, innovation, and human situations. Victor Frankenstein demonstrates his uniqueness from the start of the novel (Shelley). He is obsessed with learning the mysteries of heaven and existence, which eventually leads to his demise (Shelley). This is information that extends beyond typical human bounds and can occasionally oppose the desired outcome. Victor’s development of artificial life and his rash quest of science led to the deaths of everyone he cared about. Victor, paradoxically, lost the lives of people he actually cared about in his endeavors to find the mystery of life by making his own. Victor’s refusal to accept the unfamiliar resulted in his eventual anguish and, as a consequence, his lack of knowledge. He rejected to be satisfied with his existing meaning of reality and pursued a deeper comprehension of life, which only served to destroy his delight.

Even with instances such as Frankenstein, nevertheless, human beings will not be happy with their existing understanding. There will definitely be additional step or phase people can take or advancement individuals can make in their quest to discover the unknown. Researchers will try to constantly push the boundaries of human situations and study the depths of hidden knowledge in an effort to go beyond what is realistically attainable within human existence. Even if the bad repercussions exceed the benefits, this will occur.

In social contexts where individuals agree to know things jointly, knowledge may be hazardous based on how it is generated or communicated. Excessively obtained knowledge can suffocate the most profound discoveries and hypotheses. Victor seeks to oppose acknowledged human limitations in order to unlock the true meaning of life, which lies at the core of Frankenstein. Similarly, Robert Walton aspires to go above and beyond past human endeavors by attempting to reach the North Pole. In fact, the aspect of danger in knowledge is related to the absence or lack of responsibility for the probable outcomes.

Importance of the Issue

Considering how the form and style of the letters and chapters help shape the perception of the identified issue, it is possible to emphasize the manner Victor describes and explains his motive. Victor Frankenstein hinted at his ambition to function as God and stray from scientific and intellectual standards (Shelley). Through the form and style of the letters Victor assumes his abilities and opportunities are unlimited and the unknown will be discovered solely by him. In his expressions, Victor appears not only to be obsessed, but self-confident, and the level of confidence is connected to the unconditional degree of knowledge. The style illustrates total inability to accept the reality or realistic limits of human power and ethical considerations.

The issue of dangerous knowledge can be presented as important due to several factors. Firstly, it is obligatory to highlight the ethical principle that was underlined in Frankenstein. Victor delivered life into the world in an unnatural method, which is possibly immoral and unethical. He was compelled to construct the monster by an unexplained burning urge. He was engrossed in his research, which would eventually lead to the creation of this life form. After he develops and then enlivens his monster, Victor’s continual inability to accept responsibility plagues both his existence and the lives of everyone around him. Secondly, the pursuit of unlimited and undiscovered knowledge in an inadequate manner can lead to significantly negative consequences. The humanity will always benefit from explorations and scientific findings but exclusively if done controlled and ethically. Dangerous knowledge is linked to the possibility of adverse affects for mankind as a result of inefficient resource allocation, erroneous assessment of options and capabilities, and unethical action.


To summarize, Mary Shelley, an English novelist, is credited with creating the book Frankenstein. The novel Frankenstein narrates the story of Victor Frankenstein, a theoretical scientist who creates a sentient monster in an extraordinary laboratory experimentation. In terms of science, creativity, and human problems, Frankenstein‘s general remark is related to the search for hazardous understanding. From the beginning of the novel, Victor Frankenstein exhibits his singularity. He is preoccupied with discovering the secrets of heaven and existence, which ultimately to his death. Knowledge may be harmful in social circumstances when individuals agree to know something together depending on how it is created or transmitted.

Work Cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Sourcebooks Wonderland, 2020.