Since the beginning of time, mankind has always relied on a few certainties to guide them through life. One of these certainties is one of his country, whether it be a tribe of ten or a country of ten million, the human existence has always strived to be a whole with a group of people. Another of these certainties is a pursuit of happiness. Mankind has always strived for happiness and strived to achieve inner goals. In the works of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” and William Godwin’s “Of the Causes of War” we see both of these displayed very clearly. The works of “Frankentstein” and “Of the Causes of War” both offer multiple parallels in perspective of the stance of human mistakes and the inevitable flaws of mankind.
In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein she speaks of the unlawful pursuit of knowledge that weakens one’s affections and destroys taste for simple pleasures in life(Page 50). She expresses the thought that if someone is chasing a study that dulls their life or destroys the things that they love they are doing a disservice to themselves that can be seen as unlawful and inhumane. The argument is also made that if this rule had never been broken some of the major events would not have happened in history such as Greece would not have been enslaved or Caesar would have spared his country. This very simple law can be applied anywhere from one person to countries where people pursuit what makes them happy and makes them enjoy the simple pleasures, whereas some may pursue what they seem as valuable when in reality it is not what they want at all and is destroying the little happiness they have.
In William Godwins Of the Causes of War he argues that a man is loyal to his country. A country being the place where he resides but also many different other things. A man’s country can be the ideas that he protects or where he finds his happiness. He is willing to fight for his country because it is what matters to him( NAEL 743). Godwin also presents the point of view that since man is always liable to error and in most cases biased toward self improvement, the causes of war fall back on these main reasons of the inevitable error of man and the growing obsession of land and war.
These two works both seem to find a common ground in a problem with mankind and unlawful ways in which man decides to go about life. Whether it be from government in a war to a study in a classroom. These foundations stage a devastating yet undeniable fact that mankind is not perfect and never will be. Humans go after what they see fit and not always what is desirable or needed. This unlawful pursuit can cause a disaster of downfall. The glorious imperfections of man not only keep them from a utopian society where war and unlawful pursuits of knowledge can be avoided, but it keeps a willing and open minded look to life and how it can be improved throughout the future.