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Education as a Theme in Frankenstein Essay

  • Submitted by: Wickedfan4ever
  • on January 6, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,141 words

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Below is an essay on "Education as a Theme in Frankenstein" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Analyse the significance of education as a theme in Frankenstein

Frankenstein explores different ideas about education, both through the experience of a person and through being taught by a teacher. It looks at how people develop a “soul” and a moral compass through the schooling they are given by their parents and how the pursuit of knowledge can mean the end of a person’s happiness. Shelley draws parallels with her own education, and the education of other women from her time, and that of the Creature through ideas about self-education and the withholding of an education.   Shelley also demonstrates how a highly regarded education does not necessarily make for a complete or well-rounded human being in the form of Frankenstein himself.

Shelley tells the reader fairly soon that Victor Frankenstein “ardently desired the acquisition of Knowledge”. He is taken with the ideas of the alchemists, “the elixir of life” and the ability to turn objects to gold. These are the principles that grip Frankenstein’s mind. However Frankenstein’s father tells him not to waste his time with such writers as “Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus” because “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”. Instead, he is extorted to take up the study of natural philosophy, the eighteenth century equivalent of the sciences like physics and chemistry. To advance his education in these fields he attends Ingolstadt University but becomes immediately “dispossessed” by Professor M. Krempe and his “repulsive countenance” because of his “dismiss[al]” of the alchemists “who had so long reigned the lords of [Victor’s] imagination”.   Here the reader sees for the first time Victor’s superficial nature; he dislikes his teacher not solely because of their different beliefs but also because of his “repulsive physiognomy”, he will...

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"Education as a Theme in Frankenstein". Anti Essays. 14 Dec. 2018


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