Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
I have wanted to read this novel out of sheer curiosity for a very long time. When I finally started to read it, it wasn’t for pleasure, it was for my English Lit course. Not only was it so I could collect wider reading quotes but I also then had a to produce a presentation on it to present to the rest of my English lit class.
I’ve only tried to read this novel once before – not long before I read it properly – and I found it dull. When I picked it up again, little had changed. We are introduced to a character in letter form who is travelling in the cold and barren north. In the following days he recounts in letters he encounters a man on the ice whom he take aborad and declares himself as Frankenstein. Frankenstein then proceeds to tell his tale. He recounts his childhood and how that led him to science before finally delving into the heart of the novel: the creation of a human being from lifeless matter. When he manages to do this, he is disgusted by what he has done and flees leaving the monster unattended. When he returns, he finds the creature gone. From then on he is haunted by his creation and tortured by him as he kills members of his family. The first encounter with the creature years after the release exposes violent emotions of love, despair, hatred and misanthropy as the creature comes to learn about the cruelty of mankind, the solitary nature of his existence and the lack of love he has. For this, he punishes his creator.
This was a powerful novel that took me a time to get into. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed this novel because that would be lying. Certainly, once I had got into it I took some pleasure from the messages it appeared to be sending but that certainly took a while. Overall, I enjoyed studying it and found it to certainly be a good novel. It exposed ideas about the human nature in that Frankenstein seems to be a representation of god and the creature, man, and all of the flaws of mankind are exposed through the creature. It also showed how someone will be inevitably shunned for their physical appearance. All in all, an interesting novel but not what I would personally call a classic.
- 2011 in Review: #931: Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (bridgetsbooks.wordpress.com)
- “Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ (bronzefish.wordpress.com)
- Hearts of Darkness Tome 1: Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
- The Most Famous Night in the History of Horror (nmwritersbloq.wordpress.com)
- Frankenstein: It’s Complicated (comppost.wordpress.com)
- Frankenstein: Intertextuality (comppost.wordpress.com)
- Organic Monsters (comppost.wordpress.com)