I had never read Frankenstein. Given my current interest in sci-fi, it felt as if it were about time. I knew it was a Gothic novel. I knew it had been written by Mary Shelley as part of a content between Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Polidori. The purpose of the contest was to see who could write the best horror story. Due to the use of the science of the time – the discovery that the application of electric current could cause a dead frog’s leg to move – it falls under the sci-fi label, perhaps loosely.
I’ve read several Gothic novels in my day, so I was prepared for the hyperbole, the overwrought emotions, and the general gloom. I wasn’t prepared for a creature that speaks French and discourses at length about philosophy, good and evil, bitterness, and loneliness. The creature’s loneliness is palpable and the bitterness it creates, drives him to do horrible things. Then again, Victor Frankenstein creates this creature and runs from it, leaving it to make its own way in the world.
The book questions what a creator owes its creation. It questions the importance of belonging and society to emotional and mental health. It also examines the role that guilt can play in distorting a life – especially when that guilt is well-deserved, even if caused inadvertently. It also explores what happens when man oversteps his bounds and causes a creature to come to life without considering the relationship he will then have to this creature or the creature’s relationship to mankind.
All in all, I’m glad I took the time to read Frankenstein. Give it a read if you’re so inclined. And while you’re at it, consider the ramifications of Victor Frankenstein being considered the modern Prometheus!
Get your copy here: Frankenstein<img
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