Frankenstein and Guns

By Anjali Nayak 

Published in 1818, Frankenstein is considered one of the first, if not the first, science fiction story. Written by a seventeen year old Mary Shelley, the story revolves around a young scientist’s pursuit of knowledge, who creates a sapient creature through an unorthodox scientific experiment. 

Shelley writes through the lens of a cautious, thoughtful scholar, apprehensive as to what the technological advancements of industrialization will lead to. As the human race continues its never ending curiosity, Frankenstein questions many of the moral aspects of science. Is the pursuit of knowledge a competent excuse to bend the laws of morality? Should there be any reason for humans to meddle with the balance of nature? 

The best example is the invention and creation of the atomic bomb. A kind of real-world Victor Frankenstein, Robert Oppenheimer is known for having been very conflicted about his role in the development of the atomic bomb. The scientists of the Manhattan Project probably had an idea of the potential atomic weapons would possess. The invention of nuclear technology led to the horrors of the Cold War, fueling the constant fear between the Soviet Union and the United States. This technology’s potential for destruction has only grown since its initial creation. 

Personally, I feel that the pursuit of knowledge is an inadequate justification as to the torcher and infliction of pain often caused upon animals and humans alike. While science can and has been predominately used for good, there is a fine line between science and playing God.