An addiction is a sickness. An addiction, whether it be to drugs, alcohol, sex, or food, can take over your life. An addiction can force someone to make decisions that will ultimately hurt not only themselves, but the people closest to them.
Victor Frankenstein has an addiction to knowledge. Victor Frankenstein has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Victor Frankenstein will continue working, creating and thinking no matter who will be hurt as an outcome. At first, this may sound like a positive quality to possess however in the case of Victor Frankenstein, it is not.
I knew well, therefore, what would be my father's feelings; but I could not tear my thoughts from my employment, loathsome in itself, but which had taken an irresistible hold of my imagination. I wished, as it were, to procrastinate all that related to my feelings of affection until the great object, which swallowed up every habit of my nature, should be completed. (Shelley 51)
Victor 'knows well' how his behavior, actions and 'employment' will affect his family and the love of his life. He describes his actions as selfish and loathsome, but pursues them without hesitation. An addiction tends to blind a person of rational decisions and thoughts, however Victor seems to aware of his addiction yet allows it to consume him nonetheless. It is here that Victor proves he is untrustworthy. When a person suffers from a severe addiction they, more often than not, deny that there is anything wrong. Addiction is a sickness or disease and when you have it, you cannot see it. Victor clearly sees he has an addiction, knows it's repercussions and still continues down a dangerous and destructive path in order to create his monster.
I can recognize the signs of addiction because it has directly affected my life. One of the closest members of my family suffered from a narcotic addiction and thankfully, overcame it. I directly connect an addiction to sickness or disease. There was denial, avoidance, indecision and heartache. There was a time that he said there was nothing wrong. Never once, while sick, he admitted to having an addiction. It was not until an intervention with his loved ones that he realized he needed to change. Sober for the past couple of years, he finally saw his addiction and changed in order to keep his family and friends in his life. Because he knew, if he continued to follow the same path, he could lose them forever and that was not a risk he was willing to take.
Perhaps only because I experienced the affects of addiction first hand, I can confidently say that I would not want Victor Frankenstein as a part of my life. I cannot fathom how someone could recognize an addiction and not prevent it from ruining their life. Victor's unending desire for knowledge pushed away everyone who was most important to him. Ultimately proving that 'bad knowledge' does exist and that without family and friends, you have nothing. Victor realizes this life lesson after it is too late. He can do nothing else but warn a new friend who shares similar interests, passions and goals to use caution before proceeding forward...
"Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drank also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me - let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!" (Shelley 17)