What does Victor mean when he says, "Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow" in chapter 4 of Frankenstein?

Victor's meaning in the passage beginning with "learn from me, if not by my precepts" is that man should not become too proud and should not seek knowledge that transgresses the limitations set by God.

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In this particular quotation, Frankenstein shows that he's understood the error of his ways. He's come to realize that there are limits to what humans can do and that it's best for everyone if we stay within those limits. Sadly, Victor only came to realize this after he transgressed the bounds of human knowledge in carrying out an experiment that unleashed a hideous monster upon the world.

In creating the monster, Frankenstein was playing God, putting himself in the position of the Almighty by seeking to create a race of creatures. The results of Victor's hubris have been catastrophic. Playing God has been a disaster for both him and humanity as a whole.

There's nothing wrong with knowledge per se, of course. And Frankenstein isn't trying to suggest that knowledge in itself is the problem. But the acquisition of knowledge beyond certain bounds can be incredibly dangerous, as Victor knows from personal experience. And because of his experience, he's come to believe that, on the whole, it is...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 953 words.)

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