When is enough enough?

Dear Mary Shelley,


I am writing this letter to pose an unresolved question from your book Frankenstein. In the book you wrote, “A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.” I just want to say that you would probably tremble if you saw the education system today! It seems that the desire for good grades ruins the studies a lot of times and doesn’t actually benefit students. On a more serious note, however, I would like to know when you think one should know that they should abandon their efforts of obtaining education. There have been so many inventions that are the product of numerous failures. Take, for example, WD-40. The hugely successful product got its name because of the number of attempts it took to perfect it. Forty attempts is a large number and could easily seem frustrating. It seems like the frustration could affect the creators in many different ways and yet they didn’t stop and created a successful and useful product. Should they have stopped? And if so when? I wonder how much of a difference it would have made if the story was written where Victor got it right on the first try or if it was written to where it took him 100 tries. Perhaps it would make the reader more sympathetic either way. If it only took one attempt readers may be sympathetic because it was his first try and there was so much ignorance of the matter. If it took him 100 tries one might be more sympathetic because he was clearly passionate about the creature and was trying his best; he would have just so happened to fail. All in all, I wonder if the intent and amount of energy put into something add or subtracts from the actual results and when one should know to give up their aspirations. When is enough enough?



Veronica Griffin