Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Posted May 21, 2009 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction / 0 Comments

Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyTitle: Frankenstein (Goodreads)
Author: Mary Shelley
Published: Penguin, 1818
Pages: 273
Genres: Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

This truly is a classic tale of social insight, a story of one seeking acceptance and desiring companionship but being rejected and branded a monster. The thing that I liked most about this book is the fact that it’s divided into two accounts, designed to view both sides of the story. The first part of the book ‘Frankenstein’ tells the story of the life of Victor Frankenstein, the creation of Monster Frankenstein and the death of his younger brother William.  A servant ‘Justine’ has been put on trial for this murder, but Victor knows the identity of the true killer.  Monster Frankenstein and Victor finally meet up and despite his desire to kill his creation, Victor is forced to listen to the monster’s story, after being threatened.

‘The Modern Prometheus’ tells the story of the Monster Frankenstein, confused and unsure from the very first day of life, found himself hiding in the woods watching people and learning how to find food, create a fire and  how to differentiate between the feelings of happiness and sadness. Watching a family in poverty taught Monster Frankenstein many things and he started chopping wood and shoveling snow for the family while they slept. His loneliness finally drove him to show himself to this family who ended up running away in fear. With a mixture of loneliness and anger, he seeks out his creator, finding his way to William where he decides to kidnap him for companionship and ends up accidentally strangling him.

This is where the two stories meet and monster Frankenstein pleads with Victor saying he’s ‘a good creature turned bad by unforgiving humans who scoffed at friendship’. The monster pleads with Victor to make him a companion which he would take and never be heard from again. Victor reluctantly agrees but found it harder and harder to do, even though his family was in danger. Victor began to realize the female companion could wreck much havoc by giving birth to more monsters and refusing to be with the monster as a mate altogether.
Monster Frankenstein swears revenge and goes about killing everyone close to Victor in attempt to show Victor what it feels like to be alone. As Frankenstein dies, the monster appears in his room and begs his dead body for forgiveness.

In the end the story has no true villain or hero. Monster Frankenstein and Victor Frankenstein were both portrayed as  hero and villain. The story also leaves you wondering on how you treat others, do our actions end up turning people into a ‘monsters’? Overall this was a brilliant story, although the language was at times hard to understand, it is still worth the read.

0 responses to “Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  1. It is a great novel, but the actual writing can be a little difficult to read at times. It just overflows with ideas and is one of the most remarkable novels ever written. The constrast in ideas between what Mary is saying and what Shelley says in the The Modern Promotheus is interesting, the way Mary focuses on responsibility for actions, rather than just the ability to challenge God. Great post or a great book. Thanks for sending me the link.

    • Chazz Byron

      I’ve heard it said that it’s a book you can read over and over again and draw new things put of it everytime. If that’s the case I will have to read it some more 🙂

  2. […] and sometimes it’s just a matter of comfort. For the past three years I’ve been re-reading Frankenstein ever year; simply because I love this book and yet there is still so much in the book to discover. […]

  3. 1. Frankenstein « Reading the 1001 Books

    […] This review can be found on my book blog; please direct all comments here […]

  4. […] Polidori. Two novels were born that very night; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s (née Godwin) Frankenstein and John William Polidori’s The Vampyre. The evening begat a curse, too. Within a few years of […]

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