Mary Shelley Throughout the modern era, the Industrial Revolution was considered to be the spark of the new age. The technological advancements that followed served many benefits to the modern society as a whole. Eventually it led to the rise of hard sciences, which aimed to benefit the human race. However, this advancement of scientific technology has also led to the use of hard sciences in whole new ways. The tampering of human existence through cloning, and the manipulation of human genetics Is becoming a common practice throughout much of the world.
Some people are In such favor of this science that they believe scientists have granted mankind “Promethean powers”. However, while they may have granted man kind these powers they have not dealt with the ethical and moral responsibilities that come with them. In the novel Frankincense, or Modern Prometheus (1980) by Mary Shelley, the deathly results that follow such technology arises when a scientific creator refuses to take ethical responsibilities for his creation. Victor’s selfish neglecting of his own creation results in the death of numerous innocent people and eventually his own downfall.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
To start off, Victor Frankincense’s character development in the novel is truly astonishing because he is portrayed to have an almost split personality. Throughout the beginning of the novel the readers are kept in the dark about Victor’s character. We learn that he is a hard working and creative person, who Is very passionate about his work. He spent much of his time learning about natural philosophy and organic chemistry, and had an interest for learning. It even states that he had worked on his creation for two whole years, working very hard and focusing on the task vigilantly, which even deprived him of his health and sleep.
It is not until later that we discover that he is actually very cold hearted and hates his creation as soon as comes to life. What’s most cruel about the reason for his hate Is that it is simply based on the way the monster looks. HIS yellow eyes, shriveled complexion, and straight black lips were too hideous for Victor to tolerate. Unable to stand the presence of his creation he flees his apartment and wanders out into an abandoned courtyard, leaving the newly born monster all alone to take care of him self. The monster is heartbroken and he egging to wander around the apartment wondering what he did wrong.
Being abandoned at birth made the monster not be emotionally attached to humans, making him later on kill to anything that stands In his way. A quote from the book re- enacts the cruel treatment that Victor Imposes on the monster. “l had desired It with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room, continued a Eng time traversing my bed chamber, unable to compose my mind to first few years of birth, the same idea can be taken when it comes to the monster.
By abandoning the monster at such a critical part of his life, he had essentially scarred the monster and given him a bad impression of the human race, making him want to torment and kill humans without feeling any remorse for his actions. In addition, once again the audience gets to see a change in Victor’s character development, and see how Victor’s true character really is. Like it were not bad enough abandoning the monster, Victor then procrastinates and puts off dealing with he monster for as long as possible. He considers moving back to Geneva and living with his family because he is truly sickened by his bad deeds.
When he sees Henry Cultural, his childhood friend, he is unable to hold a good conversation with him, for the thought of the monster haunts him at every point of time. When the two return to his apartment, he prepares to hide his secret from Henry. However, much to his surprise the monster is no where in sight. Instead of being concerned about the dangers the monster could potentially impose if let loose, he celebrates and is relieved of the thought. His neglect for the monster turns it into a heartless creature who seeks revenge by killing anything which dares to get in his way, and he does not feel wrong or right for his actions.
Victor’s neglect is eventually responsible for the murder of two innocent people. A quote which reveals the impacts of Victor’s harsh neglect is mentioned during the first half of the novel in which Victor talks about his return to Geneva and his absent role in the monster’s life. “Summer passed away in these occupations, and my return to Geneva was fixed for the latter end of autumn;… I was undisturbed by thoughts which during the preceding year had pressed upon me, notwithstanding my endeavourers to throw them off, with an invincible burden. (Shelley 95) This quote also reveals another aspect of Victor’s character, his sloth. From that quote it seems as though the neglect of his own living creation does not seem to bother him, as soon as he manages to escape. Yet again, Victor fails to take responsibility for the creation of his monster, even after the death of his little brother he refuses to live up to the mistake and he stays in the dark, which leads to n innocent girl being accused and executed for the murder. Moreover, near the end of the novel it seems that Victor does not learn from his mistakes.
After rejecting the monster’s plea to create a female companion, the monster promises to leave and go live abroad in the Jungles, never to bother anyone again. Victor agrees unexpectedly as he believes this is the only way to rid the monster. Yet again tampering with the nature of existence and trying to presume the role of god, he begins constructing his female creation. But because of the slothfulness of his character, he realizes that the reaction will require a lot of time and resources, and he begins putting it off for as long as possible.
When he is near finished with his creation he begins to have selfish thoughts, of what the monster would look like and could possibly bring on him self. This results in him rejecting the idea of another monster who would be Just as hideous as the monster he had already made. He does not think about the monster’s loneliness and sorrow but rather that whether he would end up in Jail for the murders if her were caught. In the midst of these thoughts the monster appears wrought the window, out of pure fright Victor sins again by immediately destroying Victor’s wicked act made the monster feel, and which made him swore revenge on his wedding night. Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey! “(Shelley 132) Victor does not actually have sympathy at all for the monsters pain and neglect, he does not feel that t is his responsibility to give the monster a female companion, which would give him the love and affection that he craves.
Despite being responsible for all the pain the monster had endured, Victor refuses to deal with him in a moral manner. Instead he demeans the monster and insults him, promising never again to create another one of his kind. This upsets the monster very much and he swears to return on his wedding night. To conclude, scientific knowledge does not always give humans the right to play the role of god, no matter how much this science might be beneficial to he world. Technology has improved rapidly over the past millennium, however there is still a lot to be learned, in terms of the long term effects of such “Promethean powers”.
Mary Shelley Frankincense is a perfect example of how much can wrong in such little time if scientists refuse to take ethical and moral responsibilities for their own creations. Many practices such as gene manipulation and cloning are being done even without adequate scientific knowledge of their impacts on the human race and the environment. Society is being turned blind to the thought of these types of genealogy which they believe will be beneficial in the long run. Instead they are proving to cause more harm than good, and scientists are refusing to take proper actions and responsibilities against these types of technologies.
Scientists nowadays are refusing to eat their own genetically modified organisms, out of fear that will get cancer and other illnesses. These same scientists are still working for the same companies who produce genetically modified organisms for all the people to buy and eat. It Just goes to show that nowadays it is all about corporate profit rather than the DOD of the people. Corporate profit is being chosen at the expense of human health and well being, and since the creation of these organisms are so complex, the fingers point at everyone.