Author: Mary Shelley
Page count: 273
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever
Deemed one of the first science fiction novels ever Frankenstein delves into human nature, morale and the age old question of: Are people born evil or is it circumstance that makes them evil?
Simply written in the typical 19th century prose Frankenstein is narrated from various first person points of view, first through an explorer sending letters to his sister then through Victor Frankenstein and then through Frankenstein’s monster’s point of view which I found very interesting. The language is what intimidates people from getting into classics but I can vouch that this book is very easy to understand.
The plot of Frankenstein is not so much horrible as it is tragic. Set amongst some of the most beautiful places in Europe the story progresses as one event after another unfolds smoothly until you’re drowned in misery and you feel Frankenstein’s doom yourself.
The characters for me were the most intriguing part. The parallels between Frankenstein and the monster and how they’re often compared to Adam and Satan or good Vs evil really got me thinking because Frankenstein and the Monster are in such similar circumstances. People have literally written essays about those two so check them out if you’re into deep analyses of characters.
The Monster seems to invoke empathy in me for his need for affection and friendship was so strong. Humans tend to be quite prejudiced towards someone that is different and “ugly” and to me the Monster seems like a metaphor for how people are treated not very nicely just because they have a different skin colour or whatever, just my opinion.
That was my take on Frankenstein which I’ve been meaning to read since Halloween last year. Definitely a worthwhile read!