Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
FrankensteinAnnotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mary Shelley, David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262533287

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262533287.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Frankenstein Reframed;

Frankenstein Reframed;

or, the Trouble with Prometheus

(p.231) Frankenstein Reframed;

Elizabeth Bear

The MIT Press

The common interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a cautionary tale is not inaccurate but incomplete; Victor Frankenstein’s fatal choices are not in his desire for scientific knowledge, but in his willful avoidance of knowledge about consequences of his actions and their effects on others’ well-being. Shelley parallels Victor with the Greek immortal Prometheus, but this trickster figure is ultimately not an apt parallel for Victor, who undertakes his research in the spirit of self-aggrandizement and narcissism, rather than a desire to improve people’s lives, or even curiosity about the inner workings of the world around him. Victor’s failure of empathy and his myopia about consequences make Frankenstein a powerful parable about responsibility and the need for scientists to engage in careful moral and ethical introspection about the broader ramifications of their work.

Keywords:   Ethics, Morality, Prometheus, Monstrosity, Christianity, Otherness

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.