First Published in 1818
Categories: Horror, Classic
Source: My own copy
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?
I think I like the story of how this book came to be
better than I liked the actual book. With that said, I’m glad that I read this classic novel.
Frankenstein must have been extremely chilling when it was first published. I can see why it was so popular. It’s a creepy tale that brings up all types of moral questions. To my modern mind it wasn’t terrifying. It was more of a “meh” type of scary.
All the monster really wanted was to love and be loved in return. He begged for friendship. He pleaded with Dr. Frankenstein to create a companion for him. When these things weren’t forthcoming he turned to furious revenge.
“Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested.”
“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”
Frankenstein deserves the classic label for it’s longevity and timelessness. While the tale isn’t as scary as it once was, wonderful writing and fine craftsmanship never go out of style.