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1. Frankenstein

Learning Activity 1
Historical Antecedents in the Course of Science and Technology
Reading Assignment: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
1. Developments in Science and Technology affected the society and environment in
both positive and negative manner depending on how it is utilized and consumed by the
people. The products materialized, discoveries unearthed, inventions produced and
breakthroughs disseminated enhanced the quality of life of humanity, providing them
ease, comfort and relief in whatever aspects of life. Research in Science and
Technology has provided mechanisms for humans to help them ease their physical and
structural activities, drugs and treatments to cure diseases or inhibit susceptibility to
infection, methods and devices for easier access to communication and leisure, and
many more. In short, Science and Technology made the world a conducive place to live
However, as men became more curious and acquired more knowledge, the desire to
learn and gain more has also intensified – leading to different kinds of abuse and
exploitation of what was supposed to be tools to enhance quality of lives. Natural
resources were incessantly consumed, inventions were continually misused, and people
became more and more ignorant. Inevitably, humanity has felt the effects of such
wrongdoings. Anthropogenic activities such as deforestation and improper solid waste
disposal strongly initiated climate change and pollution, respectively. Gadgets,
smartphones and other electronic devices has affected behavior and attitudes of
people. Natural laws were defied, leading to promulgation of bioethical issues. As much
as humanity benefitted from Science and Technology, it has also felt its inconvenience
because of improper utilization and mishandling.
2. One of the greatest discoveries in Science that changed the course of history is the
discovery of fire. With fire, numerous developments in the field of Science and
Technology were made possible. It was regarded by Darwin as the greatest discovery
made by humanity, underpinning the development of all modern technologies—from
ceramics, to metal working, to the nuclear industry (Gowlett, 2016). Throughout history,
some of the most significant inventions and discoveries that has enhanced the status of
the society were electricity, steam engines, antibiotics and vaccines, electronic
appliances and communication devices such as radio, television, light bulbs and
computer, and advancements in information technology such as software programs,
graphical user interface.
3. Some of the notable scientific and technological developments in the Philippines are
the following:
Nature-friendly E-Jeepneys are noiseless and smokeless, uses electricity so use
of expensive diesel will gradually decrease, and jeepney drivers will take home
more profits as the electricity is significantly cheaper than the ordinary diesel.
Fe del Mundo, the first Asian to have entered the prestigious Harvard University’s
School of Medicine, is also credited for her studies that led to the invention of
incubator and jaundice relieving device.
Ilonggo doctor/scientist Abelardo Aguilar is the one who discovered the said
strain in 1949 using the soil in his home province. Unfortunately, when he sent it
to his U.S employer in Eli Lilli Co. to separate the strain, the Indiana-based
company owned the drug and didn’t give Aguilar any credit for his outstanding
The Quink quick drying ink was invented by Francisco Quisumbing, a chemist. It
was an innovative ink at that time and was further developed to work with Parker
4. Since the story was set between 18th and 19th century, it is the period wherein people
were very interested in the occult and other belief systems that countered Christianity.
Alchemy and other forms of pseudo-sciences were still practiced. This period marked
the chemical revolution as described by significant advancements in the theory and
practice of chemistry (Conant, James Bryant, ed. 1950). On the other hand, technology
in this period marked the beginning of the first industrial revolution. Modern
manufacturing began with steam engines replacing animal labor. The 18th century also
saw the widespread replacement of manual labor by new inventions and machinery
(Bellis, 2018). It can also be emphasized that advancements in health and medicine
were still on process, as the death of Frankenstein’s mother due to Scarlet Fever was
Science was beginning to unearth how and why the world worked, leading to the logical
thought that science could open doors that should remain closed for the fear of
consequences because of revealing such ideas.
5. The story owed a great deal to the scientific progress and discoveries about
electricity and galvanism. In the late 18th century, which was the story’s setting, Luigi
Galvani had shown that frog legs could be brought back to life by stimulating the
muscles with electrical sparks and Alessandro Volta subsequently built the first electric
cell for further analysis and development. It can also be noted that in the story,
scientists were trying to fathom the mystery and essence of life, particularly on what
kept organisms alive.
6. The story depicts that science can be put into good or bad use merely depending on
the motives of the scientists. Frankenstein’s burning inquisitiveness indulged him in a
quest of unraveling the secrets of life. Motivated by the death of his mother and his
desire to prolong or restore life, his intentions are undoubtedly good despite defying
natural laws. As a consequence, his creation manifested evilness and his indulgence in
using too much science unleased only elements from the dark side. On the other hand,
it should be emphasized that Frankenstein’s creature is not innately evil. He is only a
product of mishandling the powers of science. It is notable in his character development
that his loneliness because of isolation, discriminatory experiences from humans
because of his horrendous appearance, and his desire to feel acceptance and
happiness fueled his wrath towards his creator who abandoned him in the first place.
7. No matter how pure his intentions are, it was never right for Frankenstein to create
his “monster” in the first place. Trespassing graves and body chambers, robbing parts of
corpses and reassembling them, and restoring back them life are universal declarations
of violations encompassing aspects of legality, morality and nature.
8. It was right for him to stop his plans of creating another “creature” and disassemble
what was supposed to be another monster. Frankenstein has already experienced the
consequences of his scientific desires, and it would be insensitive for him to repeat his
mistakes and create another one as it is possible that the experiment could go wrong
and the consequences could spread in a larger scale, i.e., harm other people.
9. I respect his motivation and intentions to formulate such experiences, but considering
legal matters, moral implications and natural laws and regulations that could be violated,
I will never do the same thing that he did.
10. Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist who attempts to unravel the secrets of life,
leading him to the desire of restoring life. Indulged with his scientific endeavor, he forms
a creature by stitching limbs and parts of the dead, and gave life to it through electrical
stimulation. However, the result is a grotesque, horrendous creature whom he rejected
and abandoned. Consumed by loneliness and wrath for his creator, the monster sets
out on a quest to seek revenge by making inflicting harm towards Frankenstein’s loved
ones just to make him feel the misery he carried.
Victor Frankenstein himself is a scientist embodying the likes of Galvani and Volta.
Through his immense desire and scientific enthusiasm, he creates a monster by using
electricity to bring a cadaver back to life. The story essentially conveys a dark tale of
scientific implications and its results which solely depends on the motives of the
scientist. This is also a warning to the society that meddling with nature and too much
scientific desire hampers the natural order of things and will always end in tribulation.
1. GineersNow https://gineersnow.com/engineering/surprising-filipino-inventions-might-want-know
2. J. A. J. Gowlett The discovery of fire by humans: a long and convoluted process371Philosophical Transactions of
the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0164
3. Conant, J.B (1950) Scientific Revolution
4. Thought.co https://www.thoughtco.com/18th-century-timeline-1992474
5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley