Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
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.
My copy of this actually came from my high school. My younger brother brought it home to read (which he didn’t) and didn’t return it to the school. It wasn’t on my reading list when I was in high school, and it shuffled around on the bookcases in the house until I decided that I was going to read the book. I didn’t. I just kept shuffling it around and around bookcases, until a couple of months ago when it got placed at the top of my TBR pile. I don’t think I ever paid too much attention to it due to Frankenstein not being one of those old Hollywood monsters that I felt a connection to.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)
Can we just talk about that quote for a moment and the brevity that it holds? The absence of fear can create both terrifying and wonderful things, and I think this quote contributes to Shelley’s overall message with this book quite nicely.
I really fell in love with this book, and I’m planning on re-reading it every October now. It’s spooky and terrifying, not because of the monster, but because of the man who created the creature. Frankenstein is a character that will stick with me for a very long time. This isn’t a simple book by any stretch of the imagination. It plays on so many themes and the balance between light and dark, good and evil and the characters that don’t fit neatly into any of these boxes. As a reader I like to have a clear antagonist and a clear protagonist, but with this book the creature and Frankenstein walk the line and cross it several times.
Overall I really loved this book. The narration style isn’t something I’m entirely used to, but I think it worked well. The writing is beautiful, and the characters, the myth, the story, and the warnings within the story are something that will continue to hold the test of time. And frankly, I’m kind of upset that Mr. Covich didn’t assign this to be read in a classroom setting. The discussions with my honor’s or AP English class would have been golden.