#Frankenstein Reading second time after 4 years 😊This classic story, originally published in 1818 about a young scientist who discovers a method to reanimate the dead and creates a grotesque creature who then inadvertently causes trouble isn’t the horror story that I was expecting.
Instead this is a story that examines what it is to be human. Although Victor sees this creature as a brute it is in fact, his own arrogance and his treatment of this living being that makes him the monster rather than the creature he created. Written in rather flowery and somewhat dated prose nevertheless this is a book to admire for many reasons.
Written when she was only 18, this particular novel has inspired generations and Frankenstein has become a familiar legend to all. This book is also one of the first science fiction books ever written and it’s themes of a science project gone wrong and the ethical issues of advancing technology beyond known limits are still a mainstay of that genre.
Horror & Amusing
This is a well crafted horror novel, but it is also a commentary on the effects of violence and ad hoc “progress.” This has the requisite mad scientist, grave robbers, stolen body parts, a creature made of mix and match human parts, scientific experiments, and of course it’s a love story as well. What a great book! If you’re one of the few who have not yet read this tale… what are you waiting for? 😉
19th Century Style
Despite its 19th century style and vocabulary this story still horrifies, partly because the gruesome details are left to the imagination. Victor Frankenstein does not reveal how he reanimates the creature. Stephen King would have spent several chapters arranging the guts and brains and eyeballs. The motion picture image of the creature is only supported by Shelley’s description of the watery yellow eyes and the straight black lips. The pearly white teeth, lustrous flowing black hair, limbs in proportion, and beautiful features give a more godlike aspect to the monster.
The violence is barely described. A dead body with finger prints on its throat. An execution. Some screams and sticks and stones to drive the creature out of a cottage. Even the death of Victor’s fiancee is but a muffled scream in a distant bedroom and a body on the bed. The true horror is symbolic, mythical, ethical, and metaphysical. Marry Shelley describes the consequences of hubris in prose while her husband gives a similar image poetically in Ozymandias. “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” .