Frankenstein – Discussion Prompts Response

Frankenstein – Discussion Prompts Response

Directions: Write a well-developed paragraph in response to each discussion prompt below. Include the italicized portion of the questions in your Post. Also include your responses beneath each question. Be sure to include textual evidence from Frankenstein and the article “Frankenstein Reframed” to support your responses. (It is best to type your answers in a word processing program and then paste them into the discussion board). Reply to at least two peers’ postings. Remember to go beyond simply “I agree” or “I disagree” in your response. You don’t have to reply to every point the person made. Focus on one or two points that you find to be more interesting. Discussion Prompts: In “Frankenstein Reframed,” Elizabeth Bear suggests that Victor’s central character flaw is his lack of empathy. Is empathy an important faculty for the conducting of scientific research? Explain your response.

Further Description

Bear observes that Victor professes to be a Christian, and also as events unfold, feels that he is being punished by God for his hubris, but “he never considers that he has failed in a far more sacred duty of Christianity: the Golden Rule upon which the religion is founded” (232). Do you agree or disagree with Bear’s observation that Victor is “a terrible example” of Christianity? Provide textual evidence to support your response. The other great character flaw that Bear highlights is Victor’s narcissism. The great critique of scientific reason at the dawn of the Enlightenment was precisely this: that it was pure hubris for humanity to imagine itself at the center of the universe, to displace the external existence of God for a structure of knowledge built within our minds.

Do you think the pursuit of scientific discovery is a fundamentally narcissistic enterprise or a humbling one? Does it have the potential to supplant faith in God or to support it? Explain your response. Bear points out the contrast between Victor, who rarely thinks about the consequences of his research or his actions, and Robert Walton, who prioritizes the lives of others over the quest for knowledge (236). Bear observes “That he [Walton] turns back is not a scientific defeat – he makes no grand declarations about the impossibility of his quest for knowledge and pens no polemics about the uselessness of further ventures” (235). In other words, one might argue that Victor Frankenstein models irresponsible scientific research and Robert Walton models ethical scientific research. Finally what parallels do you see in today’s world?

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