Frankenstein is a peculiar novel in that it focuses mainly on scientific discovery and scientific triumph while simultaneously removing all semblance of scientific knowledge from the text. The idea of writing about great experiments without actually writing about the experiments is odd, but it brings about unusual perspectives regarding everything that is not science-related within the experiments (namely Frankenstein’s monster experiment). Shelley’s main reasoning behind the success of this monster is that Dr. Frankenstein is smart. He went to school and he studied a lot outside of school and now he’s smart because he really liked alchemy and dark magic. This is rather simplified, but the idea is one that has been passed down through generations even to this very day: studying and working hard will bring knowledge.
This thought then brings into play yet another timeless generalization of learning: knowledge begets knowledge as well as power/money. Many live with the idea that becoming smarter will make it easier to learn even more in the future, and that all of this learning will eventually culminate itself magically as some type of a job. For Frankenstein, he spent his entire childhood into adulthood learning about science and disregarding most everything else. Luckily, thanks to the way our fictional society works, all of this hard work was sure to pay off in an equally lucrative manner, right? Since reanimation is a type of ‘holy grail’ for the sciences, I would say that Frankenstein received a respectable reward for all of his hard work.
For this class, such a mindset is not very profitable, nor is it even applicable to the real world at all. More important than simply working hard is keeping an open mind and stretching your mental boundaries so as to encompass all possible solutions or viewpoints. Merely memorizing past knowledge at a university does not always open the mind but, in fact, restricts it.
Even our writing becomes restricted over time. Stream of consciousness writing helps as an exercise in branching out of the typical trains of thought into a world where more unique ideas come to light. This is my idea of true knowledge, tapping into the unlearned of the brain. The thoughts we are born with and developed internally over years of existence. The knowledge expected in the world today and in Frankenstein is practically the very opposite. We often regard people who understand what we perceive as the “truth” to be knowledgeable, but they are not the only ones who possess knowledge. The truth is that every single person possesses a great deal of knowledge, their own personal viewpoint.