Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
“Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. ‘Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.”
Frankenstein is yet another classic book on my top 150 books of all time that I had not read before yet going in I had developed this preconceived notion of what the story is. While I did know that Frankenstein is the name of the creator and not the monster, I did not know the emotional depth of not only Frankenstein’s character but the Monster as well.
Mary Shelley tells her story Frankenstein as a series of letters written by Robert Walton a sea captain that is on a dangerous adventure to the North Pole. During his mission Walton comes across a mystery man in an area of the world where no man should be. This lost soul is in such a weakened condition that he passes out once he is onboard. Eventually Walton nurses him back to health and learns his name, Victor Frankenstein, and why Frankenstein is in the middle of nowhere. What Walton learns is a fantastic tale of epic sadness.
Through these letters we quickly learn that a young Victor is highly interested in learning about science and the natural world around him. When he moves on to the university his love of science has turn into an obsession and as he works on taking an inanimate body and giving it life. While Frankenstein has the good intentions of creating a beautiful creature he actually makes a grotesque monster that even he is repulsed by. After giving this creature life he is so repulsed by his actions he becomes ill and is nursed back to health by a childhood friend. Once Frankenstein recovers he decides to head home where he learns that his younger brother has been murdered.
Victor Frankenstein being grief-stricken looks for solace in the mountains near his family home. Victor while looking for peace finds the monster that he created. The monster then tells Victor what has transpired since he has left him where Victor learns that the culprit for his brother’s death is none other than the monster he had created. The monster explains that because he was so grotesquely made that the world has shunned him and he took out his vengeance on the world upon those he came upon. He then promises Frankenstein that if only he would make a mate for the monster that he would leave the human race alone and leave the civilized world for some place in the wild. Victor reluctantly agrees and sets off to work on making his monster a mate. While in the process of creating it Victor has a premonition that what he is doing will only cause more evil and destroys it. The monster then swears vengeance upon Victor and wreaks havoc upon all that Victor Frankenstein holds dear. Victor then swears to the heavens above that he will stop at nothing to rid the world of what he created. Will Victor succeed to find out you must read this wonderful tale.
I give Frankenstein four shells out of five because for me it was a book that took a while for me to get into, which is not a good thing because it is a very quick read being less than 200 pages. However as I got closer to the end and the Monster taking out his revenge at Victor Frankenstein for creating him the book quickly became a real page turner. If you have never read Frankenstein then I highly recommend doing so just do not rely on thinking you know the story because this tale is one that we all think we know, but really don’t.