Check out all the info on what I am reading for Frightening Fall here!
Frankenstein, Frankenstein. Where do I even begin. If you aren’t familiar with the real story of Frankenstein (which I totally thought I was…wrong!), here is a brief summary. That’s a good place to start I think.
The story follows the narrative of Victor Frankenstein, written by Robert Walton to his sister Margaret Saville, while he is on a boat headed from Russia en route to an expedition at the North Pole. It is on this journey that he meets Frankenstein, frozen and half dead drifting on a chunk of ice. The rest of the story is finding out how he came to find himself drifting on the frozen sea.
To basics of the story is that Frankenstein was obsessed with science since he was a child. He then went on to college where he discovered how to bring life to inanimate objects. So, naturally, he built himself a giant man stitched together from different animal parts and performed some secret hocus pocus to make it alive. Upon giving life to the creature he realized that it was a bad idea, became instantly terrified and ran away. The creature then went off on it’s own and wasn’t heard of again for 2 years. Certain events brought the monster and maker back together again, eventually ending up where Robert found him on the ice.
Now, that is an extremely brief explanation of an extremely long-winded story. There are good bits to the book, so let’s start with those. The way that the story brings light to so many issues is really quite impressive. The prejudice and loneliness that befalls the monster is heart-wrenching. It brings up so many important questions. What does it mean to be human? To be alive?
I really loved the part of the story from the perspective of the creature. He is intelligent, well-spoken, and kind. The only problem was that it was too short, and then we were back to dear old Victor.
What can I say about Victor Frankenstein that isn’t hateful? Maybe that I suppose he had good intentions at the beginning? Eh, that’s still a stretch. The guy is just a terrible person. He blames the monster for all of his own actions. Dude, you’re the one that created him, it’s not like he asked for it. Then there is the whole every time something happens that I feel responsible for I drop ill for months so that people will give me attention thing. Get over yourself, Victor. Luckily, Mary Shelly is an amazing writer so I found this one quote from the creature that sums up Victor in a couple lines:
“Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder, and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man! yet I ask you not to spare me; listen to me, and then, if you can, and if you will, destroy the work of your hands.”
That right there sums up the cowardice of Victor Frankenstein. This is a guy who let someone else die because he was too scared to tell the truth, and then had the nerve to say that said person still wasn’t in as much pain as he was because they died knowing they were innocent. Well of course they aren’t in as much pain Victor, because they’re dead.
On the bright side, I think you are supposed to dislike Victor. I don’t even think you are supposed to feel sorry for him. It is through him that you see the prejudice in the world, and the judgement of society on those who are “different”.
Basically, I didn’t hate the book. I hated the main character. I do think that it is a book that everyone should read, at any age. I have read a lot of articles saying that it should be a required read for YA, but I think that it is just as important for adults as well!
There were a few pretty lines that I loved as well, you can find those here!