Knowledge In Faust And Frankenstein English Literature Essay

The purpose of this paper is to look into how Goethe and Mary Shelley portray cognition in Faust and Frankenstein. My pick of look intoing this specific subject in these two plants originates from the intriguing contrast in sentiments that the writers express in their plants, even though the two literary plants were written during the same clip period and both writers were significantly affected by Romanticism which had spread all over Europe. It is besides really interesting that the two writers judge their supporter ‘s strive for unachievable in opposite ways. The research was carried out by a careful analysis of both the plants in English and subsequently a huge reading of legion literary unfavorable judgments relevant to the research inquiry and the plants in treatment. My decision is that Mary Shelley portrays instruction and academic cognition as a uninterrupted advancement which ne’er fails to better adult male ‘s status, even though her sentiment on the including of out-of-date disproven malpractices as a foundation of modern cognition is doubtful. On the contrary, Goethe ‘s Faust clearly disapproves of Wagner ‘s human-centered attack to acquisition and continuously reiterates the futility of instruction in making any important cognition. Such a disagreement in sentiments is mirrored besides in the manner that the two supporter ‘s ambitious journeys towards the “ truth ” are judged: Goethe justifies and exalts Faust ‘s bet with Mephistopheles, delivering Faust for his changeless strive for cognition, while Mary Shelley darn Frankenstein to a life of agony, hence reprobating his effort to make life.

Table of Contentss

Abstract 2

An analysis of Goethe ‘s and Mary Shelley ‘s portraiture of Knowledge in Faust and Frankenstein 4

Bibliography 17

An analysis of Goethe ‘s and Mary Shelley ‘s portraiture of Knowledge in Faust and Frankenstein

This essay will look into how Goethe and Shelley present cognition in Faust and Frankenstein, severally. My pick to look into this peculiar subject in the two plants stems from the really different positions that the two writers express, even though their plants were completed during the same clip period and are both cardinal plants of Romantic literature in Europe. Both these plants narrate of two work forces who strive for cognition exceling adult male ‘s restrictions. The word “ cognition ” can hold two different intensions: it may bespeak the academic cognition that can be obtained through the survey of plants of bookmans ( which, to avoid confusion, I will cite to in this essay as “ instruction ” and “ acquisition ” ) and the deeper personal cognition of the significance of life and of the intricate enigmas of nature ( which I will denote as “ truth ” or “ kernel of life ” ) . In Faust and Frankenstein, Goethe denounces the futility of instruction, in contrast with Mary Shelley, who expresses the importance of scientific discipline in bettering world. In add-on, Faust ‘s treaty with Mephistopheles is exalted and his psyche redeemed, while Victor ‘s dark experiment is condemned and he is destined to a life of wretchedness and agony.

Goethe uses the supporter ‘s monologue and duologue every bit good as the contrast with his famulus Wagner ‘s out-of-date human-centered acquisition attack[ 1 ]to portray Faust ‘s apprehension of the futility of instruction. Indeed, Faust ‘s gap soliloquy clearly demonstrates his scruples of the restrictions of his ain survey. Peter Salm calls the supporter ‘s province of head “ rational bankruptcy ”[ 2 ], as the character has become cognizant that many old ages of thorough larning have non shed visible radiation on the kernels of life and of the universe. At the start of Night, in his monologue, Faust says:

“ You ‘ve worked your manner through every school

[ … ] and sweated it like a sap.

Why labor at it any longer?

You ‘re no wiser than you were before ” ( pg. 14, 354-359 ) .

This quotation mark introduces the cause of the supporter ‘s desperation: Faust understands that farther instruction will non be successful in taking him to go any “ wiser ” than he was before his great instruction. In the simile in poetry 355, he curses himself for non holding seen this before. Indeed, Stuart Atkins writes that Faust “ repudiates a tradition of formal larning symbolized by the Gothic environment ”[ 3 ].Shortly after, he echoes the impossibleness of accomplishing wisdom through an hardworking survey of other bookman ‘s plants and, more by and large, the inability of adult male to derive any valuable cognition:

“ All this wretchedness goes to demo

There ‘s nil we can of all time cognize. ” ( pg 14, 370-371 )

Once more, this quotation mark from Faust ‘s monologue, proves the supporter ‘s province of desperation, underlined by the usage of the word “ wretchedness ” to mention to the human status and life on Earth. Faust is cognizant that adult male will ne’er cognize what he refers to as the “ truth ” , the cardinal kernel of life.

In Outside the City Gates, Faust is remembered of the inefficiency of academic cognition as many provincials tell Faust of their gratitude towards him due to his attempt in bring arounding the pestilence, even though the supporter is cognizant that his male parent ‘s medical specialties did “ more mischievousness than the pestilence could of all time make ” ( pg 33, 1052 ) . Goethe uses the bookman ‘s statement,

“ For what we need to cognize is rather beyond our range,

And useless all the cognition we have found. ” ( pg 34, 1066-1067 )

to one time once more retrieve the reader of the impossibleness of adult male to make into the greater enigmas of life and the futility of all the cognition humanity possesses at nowadays.

However, Goethe goes farther than merely portraying instruction as an insufficient cause for cognition. Indeed, through Faust ‘s soliloquy, the writer portrays instruction as an obstruction to adult male ‘s accomplishment of the kernel of life. Indeed, Faust says, turn toing himself: “ Your hunt for truth terminals in confusion ” ( pg 14, 371 ) . The writer ‘s lexical pick of the word “ confusion ” is important in this context since it reveals how Faust ‘s intensive acquisition in the hunt for cognition has merely resulted in perplexity, therefore the supporter really knows less than before of the enigmas of the universe. Not much later, Faust plaints:

“ If merely I could fly this lair

[ … ] Released from larning ‘s musty cell, ” ( pg 15 392-396 )


“ You ‘re stuck inside this den,

In this accurst keep ” ( pg 15 398-399 ) .

Once more, the enunciation is carefully chosen ; so, the words “ den ” , “ musty cell ” , “ den ” and “ keep ” , with their strong obscure and negative intensions, describe Faust ‘s Gothic survey as a prison for his psyche thirsty for cognition of the existent universe. Indeed, Peter Salm states that Faust “ now desires to purge himself of the [ instruction ] in order to hold his dulled senses and his imaginativeness restored. ”[ 4 ]Therefore, it is clear that Goethe does non restrict himself to repeating the utility of instruction through the usage of duologue, but, utilizing careful word pick in Faust ‘s monologue, he accuses academic cognition of forestalling adult male from making the truth he longs for.

Another manner in which the writer denounces the futility of instruction is through Faust ‘s contrast with his famulus Wagner. The latter is a typical Renaissance humanist, who believes that the most “ sacred beginning ” to larning is an old manuscript. His function in the drama is to be a “ in writing Renaissance opposite number to Faust ” .[ 5 ]In Night, Faust expresses his ain review towards the Wagner ‘s human-centered attack to acquisition:

“ How is it that [ Wagner ‘s ] head takes such pleasance

Everlastingly dabbling in these shallow footings.

He digs so avidly for concealed hoarded wealth,

And so rejoices when he digs up worms. ” ( pg 21, 602-605 )

Faust strongly mocks Wagner ‘s short-sightedness and limited position of acquisition. The usage of the phrase “ shallow footings ” indicates the supporter ‘s disgust for the human status that his friend experiences. In add-on, the apposition of the words “ hoarded wealth ” and “ worms ” metaphorically indicates Wagner ‘s misrepresentation in seeking for the “ truth ” but being satisfied when he discovers undistinguished cognition. Once more, Goethe ‘s accurate pick of enunciation emphasizes Faust ‘s low sentiment of the cognition that can be obtained through the survey of other bookmans ‘ plants. In this contrast of different ideals, the writer ‘s mocking of Wagner ‘s figure, urges the reader to sympathise with Faust ‘s position. This consequence is achieved by presenting Wagner as a “ drudgery dullard ” ( pg 19 521 ) , which instantly creates in the reader ‘s head a amusing position of the famulus and hence turns him into an undependable character.

Outside the metropolis Gatess, through Faust ‘s duologue with Wagner, the supporter states his disapproval of Wagner ‘s desire to seek cognition in ancient manuscripts:

“ You merely know a individual impulse ; far better so –

That other urge you should ne’er seek to cognize. ” ( pg. 35, 1110-1111 )

Even though, Faust desires his friend ‘s simpleness and ignorance which lead him to believe that cognition obtained from books will uncover him the “ truth ” , he is witting of his friend ‘s restrictions and sightlessness to the true kernel of life. Through the usage of enunciation and Faust ‘s duologue with Wagner, Goethe juxtaposes Faust ‘s disenchantment towards instruction with Wagner ‘s out-of-date and closed-minded position of acquisition, hence reaffirming his ain position of the inefficaciousness of larning from the plants of other bookmans.

Goethe uses metaphors, duologue and secret plan development to warrant and laud Faust ‘s hunt for greater cognition in his journey with Mephistopheles. Indeed, as Vazsonyi points out, “ Faust ‘s ceaseless nisus and his changeless dissatisfaction with what appeared to be deficient or uncomplete cognition had now become positive traits ”[ 6 ]. Goethe ‘s purpose is foremost achieved by negatively portraying the melancholy human status through the pick of enunciation in Faust ‘s duologue with Mephistopheles. Indeed, when Faust is asked to be joyous by the Devil, the bookman answers with an elaborate address which clearly underlines the restrictions of adult male on Earth. Faust says:

“ You must waive, renounce, abstain –

This is the boring chorus

That echoes in our ears, that blue vocal.

Hour after hr we hear its croaking voice,

It mocks and follows us our whole life long ” ( pg 48, 1549-1553 )

The usage of the equivalent word “ forgo ” , “ renounce ” and “ abstain ” , makes these words successfully achieve a repeat consequence on the reader, hence stressing the inactive quality and inescapability of the human status. This consequence is confirmed by the word “ reverberations ” and “ chorus ” and the phrases “ hr after hr ” and “ follows us our whole life long ” , which demonstrate the perennial nature of the restrictions that adult male has to yield to. Furthermore, the words “ blue ” and “ croaking ” repeat the great consequence the latter have on the emotions of adult male, while the word “ mocks ” may be a mention to work forces that, like the famulus Wagner, are beguiled into believing that adult male can really obtain existent cognition. In add-on, the usage of the first individual remarkable indentifies these restrictions as common to the whole of humanity.

Shortly after, Faust says:

“ I curse the power whose enchantment

Deludes our psyches with its luring trickeries,

And with its false alluring fast ones beguiles

United states in this drab cavern where we dwell. ” ( pg 49, 1587-1590 )

In this quotation mark from Faust ‘s discourse to Mephistopheles, Faust ‘s transmutation is apparent: if before he envied Wagner ‘s ignorance and short-sightedness which kept him unaware of his restrictions, he now curses this semblance of felicity that vanishes merely to go forth adult male to its ain psychotic belief. Indeed, Goethe underlines Faust ‘s full consciousness of the unreality of this false feeling through the words “ false ” , “ fast ones ” , “ trickeries ” , “ enchantment ” and “ beguiles ” which all have a negative intension of misrepresentation. Goethe therefore reduces all the felicity in adult male ‘s life as lone pure semblance. The metaphor “ drab cavern ” to stand for the universe demonstrates that adult male ‘s restrictions arise straight from its earthly nature and that an flight from Earth would liberate him from his melancholy human conditions, as we will see subsequently on.

Faust ‘s negative position of the restrictions of adult male reaches its vertex when he declares:

“ If I should of all time take a life of sloth or leisure,

Then allow that minute be my terminal!

Or if you can juggle or blandish me

Into a province of self-contented easiness,

Delude me with delectation or luxury –

Then that twenty-four hours shall be my last. ” ( pg 52, 1695-1697 )

As Tantillo writes, “ Faust ‘s bet with the Satan reflects his assurance in his ain sadness in visible radiation of his divided nature ” . Indeed, Faust is so confident that he will ne’er accomplish existent felicity and valuable cognition in his ain being that he agrees to decease if he should of all time be satisfied with his achievements.[ 7 ]Goethe ‘s drastic portraiture of human status and adult male ‘s restrictions through an accurate pick of enunciation and metaphors in Faust ‘s address to Mephistopheles justifies the supporter ‘s hunt for unachievable cognition beyond human possibilities in order for him to make satisfaction.

Goethe uses metaphors and ocular imagination in Faust ‘s duologue with Wagner to further warrant the supporter ‘s hunt for the kernel of life by showing his desire as natural. Indeed, in “ Outside the City Gates ” , Faust says:

“ If merely I had wings to raise me from the land,

To surge and track it on its onward flight ” ( pg 34, 1074-1075 )

Through this metaphor, Faust expresses his will to abandon suffering world and fly towards the Sun, which represents for Faust ultimate cognition. The phrase “ raise me ” signifies the relieving of the load of human status on Earth, while the word “ path ” symbolizes the bookman ‘s “ titanic hunt for cognition and experience ”[ 8 ], as if the supporter is running after the cognition of the kernel of life.

Subsequently on, Faust that his nature is dual: one portion of him desires to see earthly pleasances, while the other has “ an congenital impulse to distribute its wings, / shake off the dust of Earth and surge to loftier highs ” ( pg 35, 1116-1117 ) . The imagination of wings and flight recurs once more in this metaphor, repeating Faust ‘s desire to get away his function on Earth. Indeed, since flight represented one of the greatest aspirations of adult male, the intension of the word “ surge ” propose the overcoming of the same restrictions of adult male which Faust lamented earlier in the novel. In add-on, the phrase “ agitate off the dust of Earth ” , reminds the reader that adult male ‘s restrictions are created by worlds ‘ earthly nature and that to obtain true cognition one must go forth behind his non-spiritual ego. It is clear that Goethe uses enunciation and metaphorical ocular imagination to portray Faust ‘s “ compelling thrust towards comprehensiveness of life and apprehension ”[ 9 ]as a natural inborn desire deducing straight from his misery caused by adult male ‘s restrictions, hence warranting his treaty with Mephistopheles.

Not merely does Goethe warrant the supporter ‘s bet with Mephistopheles, he exalts Faust ‘s endeavoring during his journey for ultimate cognition through Faust ‘s acclivity to heaven at the terminal of Part II. Indeed, as Tantillo writes, in Faust “ productive activity replaces moral uprightness as the end of human endeavoring ” .[ 10 ]Indeed, in “ Prologue in Heaven ” , a inactive God proclaims:

“ For adult male ‘s activity can slow all excessively fast,

He falls excessively shortly into a faineant easiness ;

The Devil ‘s a comrade who will badger

And spur him on, and work creatively at last ” ( pg 12, 340-343 )

From this quotation mark it is instantly clear that in the universe created by Goethe to be the scene of his drama reverts traditional Christian philosophy, as God is presented as an inactive perceiver, while the Devil is the accelerator that urges adult male to be productive. The Lord of the drama believes that work forces are at their best while they strive, even though he acknowledges that adult male will mistake every bit long as he lives.[ 11 ]It is Faust ‘s ain despairing enterprise for cognition and failure to make satisfaction that earn him his concluding salvation. Monica Montanaro suggests that Faust has achieved the vertex of human fulfillment in his extended cognition and changeless love of creative activity.[ 12 ]

In decision, it is apparent that Goethe uses duologue, enunciation, imagination, secret plan development and Faust ‘s contrast with Wagner to denounce Humanistic acquisition, which is seen as an obstruction to the achieving of the ultimate cognition, and to laud the supporter ‘s changeless nisus in the hunt of the true kernel of life, which leads to the character ‘s salvation. Indeed, as Stuart Atkins argues, in Faust ” adult male is doomed to failure, mistake and defeat ; merely in fighting against his day of reckoning he does accomplish tragic self-respect ” .[ 13 ]

Before comparing Shelley ‘s ain position on instruction portrayed in Frankenstein, one must first admit one chief difference in regard to Goethe ‘s Faust: if in the German masterpiece the thoughts of the chief character reflect the writer ‘s position on cognition, in the Gothic novel the supporter is an anti-hero and therefore his ain positions are frequently accused and rejected by Shelley. Indeed, by associating Victor Frankenstein ‘s damnation to his alchemical surveies and by juxtaposing Mr. Krempe ‘s and Mr. Waldman ‘s different sentiments on ancient scientific discipline, Shelley condemns Victor ‘s trust on the out-of-date attack to acquisition and expresses contrasting sentiments on the potency of scientific discipline to ever better human status.

A contrast between chemistry and modern scientific discipline is created in Chapter 2, when Victor ‘s male parent despises his boy ‘s readings on Cornelius Agrippa by naming them “ sad rubbish ” ( II, 40 ) . As Frankenstein subsequently explains, “ if [ his ] male parent had taken the strivings to explicate to [ Victor ] that the rules of Agrippa had been wholly exploded, and that a modern system of scientific discipline [ … ] possesses much greater powers, [ … ] because the powers [ … ] of the former were existent and practical ” ( II, 40 ) he would hold surely stopped reading Agrippa ‘s plants and returned to his former scientific surveies. Victor ‘s comment demonstrates the writer ‘s personal esteem for modern scientific discipline, whose powers are described as “ existent and practical ” , and her disapproval of the natural philosophers like Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus, which represent the out-of-date alchemical attack to the universe. Indeed, likewise from Wagner ‘s humanistic attack to larning in Faust, the alchemical thoughts in which Victor believes in are accused by the writer, who blames Victor ‘s destiny on his will to detect the chimeral elixir of life, of which he had learnt in those early scientists ‘ plants. Victor is hence the anti-hero of the novel, the character whose beliefs are straight condemned by Mary Shelley. Soon after, after a lightning destroys an old oak tree bole, Frankenstein, in a province of desperation, says, “ It seemed to me as if nil would or could of all time be known. [ … ] I [ … ] set down natural history and all its offspring as a deformed and stillborn creative activity ; and entertained the greatest contempt for a manque scientific discipline, which could ne’er even step within the threshold of cognition ” ( II, 41 ) . Here, merely for a individual blink of an eye in the novel, the supporter refuses the work of Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus which he describes as a “ distorted and stillborn creative activity ” , boding the creative activity of the monster, described subsequently on through the same adjectives, which is the direct merchandise of the supporter ‘s religion in their plants. In this blink of an eye of the fresh Victor Frankenstein portion Faust ‘s position on instruction and acquisition ; Victor does so admit the impossibleness of scientific discipline of obtaining any important cognition. The strong connexion between his survey of plants of chemistry and the creative activity of the monster is underlined by the storyteller invasion at the terminal of this chapter: “ When I look back, it seems to me as if this about marvelous alteration of disposition and will was the immediate suggestion of the guardian angel of my life-the last attempt made by the spirit of saving to debar the storm that was even so hanging in the stars, and ready to envelope me. ” ( II, 41-42 ) Once more, the writer foreshadows the Frankenstein ‘s damnation as a consequence of his effort to make life and necessarily links it to his passion for the ancient hunts for the elixir of life by alchemists and natural philosophers.

The writer besides juxtaposes Mr. Krempe and Mr. Waldman ‘s reaction to the great dedication with which Victor has studied the plants of ancient natural philosophers to show contrasting sentiments on scientific discipline ‘s possible to better human status. Even though both the professor clearly have a strong religion in the power of modern scientific discipline, they hold different beliefs sing ancient malpractices of scientific discipline such as chemistry. Indeed, Mr. Krempe clearly despises the supporter ‘s older surveies naming their work “ bunk ” and accuses Victor of holding “ burdened [ his ] memory with exploded systems and useless names ” and non cognizing that those plants were “ a thousand old ages old, and every bit moldy as they are ancient ” ( III, 46 ) , showing his belief in the futility of chemistry and other out-of-date scientific disciplines every bit good as their entire rejection as foundation for modern scientific discipline. Mr. Waldman, nevertheless, expresses rather a different sentiment: he says, “ [ the ancient natural philosophers ] were work forces to whose tireless ardor modern philosophers were indebted for most of the foundations of their cognition ” ( III, 48 ) In this quotation mark, the difference in positions of the two professors is apparent: so, Mr. Waldman believes that even though the work of these writers has been disproven by modern scientific discipline, modern-day scientists must acknowledge their function in puting the foundation for scientific find, hence showing the acquisition of cognition as a constructive linear procedure which occurs bit by bit and often includes the demand to look back on the work of past bookmans to larn their intuitions and their mistakes. Subsequently on, Mr. Waldman comments that “ the labor of adult male of mastermind, nevertheless mistakenly directed, barely of all time fail in finally turning to the solid advantage of world ” ( III, 48 ) . This statement is much more powerful than the preceding in that it asserts the writer ‘s belief of the efficiency of any scientific work bettering the human status, even though this work may be seeking to turn out a false hypothesis or traveling in the incorrect way. Indeed, Mr. Waldman refers to the ancient writers Victors has read as “ adult male of mastermind ” and through the words “ of all time ” and “ finally ” suggests that the truth of his statement is applicable to all epochs, even to those characterized by scientific malpractice such as thaumaturgies and chemistry ( “ nevertheless mistakenly directed ” ) . This emphasizes a cardinal difference between the beliefs expressed through Faust and Frankenstein: Goethe clearly dismisses all the academic cognition that Wagner is acute to analyze as futile and useless, while Mary Shelley demonstrates that non merely does academic knowledge take a adult male to go wiser, but even the cognition of old bookmans which have been disproven can be a foundation for modern cognition. In decision, otherwise from Goethe, Mary Shelley is faithful in the ability of modern scientific discipline and instruction to significantly better humanity, but condemns Victor ‘s overpowering passion for a scientific malpractice and is doubtful on whether disproven scientific discipline is accountable for puting the foundations for modern scientific discipline.

Differently from Goethe, Mary Shelley condemns Victor ‘s ambitious undertaking of making life through enunciation, visible radiation and dark imagination and secret plan development. First of wholly, it is apparent from the stoping of the novel that Victor Frankenstein ‘s experiment which consequences in the creative activity of the monster is negative event which leads to Victor being “ condemned by nature ‘s Gods to limitless agony ”[ 14 ]. Indeed, Victor loses all his relations and friends and dies on the chase of the being he himself has created.

Aside from utilizing secret plan to reprobate Frankenstein ‘s title, Shelley besides describes Victor during his work on the creative activity of life as stray, unhealthy and mentally insane, hence pressing the reader to see the effects of this undertaking both on Victor and on humanity. Victor says “ My cheek had grown picket with survey, and my individual had become emaciated with parturiency ” ( IV, 55 ) , which demonstrate the supporter ‘s about inhumane application to his undertaking. His undertaking shortly becomes an compulsion, as demonstrated by the words “ a resistless, about frenetic, impulse, urged me forward: I seemed to hold lost all psyche or esthesis but for this one chase ” and “ I was therefore engaged, bosom and psyche, in one chase. [ … ] my eyes were insensible to the appeals of nature ” ( IV, 55 ) , boding the agony that will deduce from the creative activity of the monster. Most significantly, it is possible to see the alteration in Victor ‘s character deducing from his work, since, one time a great lover of nature, he wholly ignores the beauties of the outside universe, demoing his complete submergence in his undertaking. The repeat in “ my head was filled with one idea, one construct, one intent ” ( III, 47 ) clearly underlines Victor ‘s insanity due to an inordinate excitement to make his end. Victor besides postpones “ all that related to [ his ] feeling of fondness ” ( IV, 55 ) , which one time once more underlines how greatly his project has affected his individual. Mary Shelley emphasizes the great alterations that occur to Victor ‘s character while working on the creative activity of life to propose a demonical ownership of his psyche, hence denouncing his ambitious effort and boding the black result of his experiment. Indeed, in a storyteller intercession at the terminal of the chapter, Victor himself subsequently says, “ I do non believe that the chase of cognition is an exclusion to this regulation. If the survey to which you apply yourself has a inclination to weaken your fondnesss, and to destruct your gustatory sensation for the simple pleasances [ … ] so that survey is surely improper ” ( IV, 56 ) .

Shelley besides uses visible radiation and dark imagination throughout the drama to reprobate Victor ‘s creative activity of the monster. Indeed, in the period of clip during which the novel was written, “ visible radiation ” had a intension of “ cognition ” and “ ground ” .[ 15 ]Victor invariably adopt light imagination in his narrative when depicting his will of making ultimate cognition: “ pour a downpour of visible radiation into our dark universe ” and “ I was like the Arabian who had [ … ] found a transition to life, aided merely by one inkling [ … ] visible radiation ” ( IV, 54 ) . However, Victor ‘s research is carried out in cemeteries and slaughter-houses, which have a intension of darkness, and the scene of the creative activity of life in the monster is described utilizing the undermentioned words, “ It was already one in the forenoon ; the rain pattered drearily against the window glasss, and my taper was about burnt out, when, by the gleam of the half-extinguished visible radiation, I saw the dull xanthous oculus of the animal unfastened ” ( V, 59 ) . The absence of visible radiation in this scene, highlighted by the words “ about burnt out ” , “ gleam ” , “ half-extinguished ” and “ dull ” , contrasts with the old imagination of visible radiation, underscoring that the creative activity of life is non the fantastic find of cognition that Victor was conceive ofing, but instead a dark act which will hold deeply negative effects on his life. As Paul Sherwin points out, this is a “ negative epiphany ” for Victor, as he assists to the “ disintegration of his hopes ” and “ witnesses the abashing fact of the animal ” . The animal hence becomes a “ dark complement to Frankenstein ‘s visible radiation ”[ 16 ]. Therefore, it is clear that in Frankenstein, otherwise from Goethe in Faust who justifies and laud the supporter ‘s bet with the Devil and journey to obtain cognition, Mary Shelley condemns Victor ‘s ambitious undertaking through secret plan development, enunciation and light imagination.

In decision, it is clear that Goethe and Mary Shelley express two contrasting point of views on cognition. In Faust instruction is portrayed as uneffective and ineffectual, whereas in Frankenstein is present the construct that scientific discipline, even though mistakenly directed, ever improves the status of adult male. Another disagreement is in the manner in which the two writers judge their supporter ‘s strive for unachievable cognition and truth: Goethe non merely justifies Faust ‘s treaty with Mephistopheles, but really laud his journey in hunt for the deeper kernel of life, while Mary Shelley explicitly condemns Victor ‘s ambitious undertaking by condemning him to a life of ineluctable agony.

Alex Pagnotta