The Literary Quest for Happiness

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"Why does that which makes a man happy have to become the source of his misery"

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"The Sorrows of Young Werther"

Curiosities Backhand

Curiosity; the desire to know. The human race continually fights a battle against the unknown. At times, man's conquest of the unknown leads to his downfall. In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, the monster is left in painstaking solitude after the abandonment of his creator, Victor Frankenstein. He has no knowledge of the world around him. His curiosity ultimately leads to his own misery and violent behavior. This lack of social acceptance plays a crucial role in the monster's quest for knowledge of mankind. As the monster gains more knowledge of the world around him he becomes disillusioned by his loneliness. In particular, the relationships that other beings are involved in finally leads the monster to reject his creator.

A similar comparison can be made with the character of Satan, from John Milton's Paradise Lost. Satan, offended that his creator did not appoint him the savior for mankind, rejects God and his heavenly palace. Cast down to hell, Satan rallies the other fallen angels in opposition to God. He then invokes curiosity to tempt God's perfect man to eat from the tree of knowledge. Man now possesses the innate fallibility to sin; or turn away from God's will. It becomes evident that curiosity plays the hand of destruction. The monster's rejection leads to a curiosity that provokes his downfall and the death of his creator. Satan's rejection triggers his clever use of curiosity to gain revenge over his creator through man's downfall.

The monster of Frankenstein is thrust into life as an adult. He was not granted a childhood full of mis...

... middle of paper ..., Satan's hubris nature would not accept that option. When comparing Satan and the monster, the one argument in Satan's favor is that he did have knowledge of the heavenly palace and all that he lost. Sometimes it is easier not to know what you are missing, than to realize what you had once it is taken away.

The monster of Frankenstein suffered endless trails of bitter rejection which lead to his final rejection of Victor. His original lack of knowledge ignited a curiosity which played a pivotal role in his downfall. Satan, though a prideful character, also suffered a rejection that drove him to seek revenge on his creator. Curiosity enabled Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to turn away from God. It becomes evident that both characters experience a lack of acceptance, which leads them to reject their own creators breaking one of the most critical bonds of any being.
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