Frankenstein

or the Modern Prometheus.

Frankenstein is the creator, not the creature. The many adaptations and dramatizations of Frankenstein have led me (and everybody unacquainted with the novel) into this falsehood, but now it is resolved.

Her eyes scared me when I first looked upon this picture. It is as if she is looking at me right through the canvas and the barrier of time…

Mary Shelley wrote this at the dawn of her nineteenth year! She possessed a talent not many grey-bearded men could gain after years of experience. Her writing style is independent and very different from Anne Bronte, whom I read last week.

In a certain context, the novel is very relevant to contemporary readers. With current technological advances, one wonders where to draw the line? Victor Frankenstein did not set a limit to his scientific abilities, and dared to imitate God by creating life. He did not dwell upon the consequences of such an action, and as a result ruined himself and everybody connected with him. It is easy to underestimate the power of knowledge, and it is hard to tell when one must not drive that knowledge further into the depths of Nature. Knowledge is power, and with power comes responsibility. Something Victor lacks, evidently. This is just one concept which stood out to me, and which I chose to take away from the book as a lesson.

I have contemplated long enough on my rating of the novel. Three or four stars? It is brilliantly written, and the character of the creature is wonderfully constructed, but Victor… Victor! neither did he gain my affection, nor my sympathy. At first I was indifferent towards him, then, after the creation of the monster I was angry at Victor for not being responsible enough, and afterwards I could barely contain my feeling of dislike founded upon Frankenstein’s idleness about the whole situation. I mean only after everybody he loved is murdered by the wretch, Victor decides that maybe (finally!) he should take some action and avenge the victims.

The “wretch” on the other side was supposed to produce sympathetic feelings in me, but it was more than that! I admit to liking him more than anybody in the whole story! At the beginning of the creature’s story, I felt all the necessary feelings of sadness, compassion, and curiosity. The murders of so many people by the monster’s hands shook my benevolent opinion of him, but when at the end he confesses that the murders brought him only misery and torture, and he tells Walton “You hate me; but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself.” I just could not help but like the wretch perhaps more than Mary Shelley intended her Reader to.

The meaning of the carefully chosen “wretch” is doubled. As defined by the Merriam Webster online dictionary, it is:
1:  a miserable person : one who is profoundly unhappy or in great misfortune
2: a base, despicable, or vile person

I wish to refer to the creature using the first meaning.

Johnny Lee Miller as Victor, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature in Danny Boyle’s “Frankenstein”. I must see this!
(Photo Credit: telegraph.co.uk)

Overall, the fourth star became solid when I read the conclusion of the novel. It touched me  deeply, and brought the whole story together. A very different end was expected from me, honestly. But I will not say that I am disappointed.

Here is my rating of this novel:
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2 responses to “Frankenstein

  1. I enjoyed your review of Frankenstein very much. When reading the book, I hated Victor and the English Society for the way they treated Frankenstein’s creation. I felt more sympathy for the “monster” than almost anyone else. I am new to your site and I am not sure you have already but I would suggest reading Dracula or Brave New World. Again, great book review. 🙂

    • The monster was pretty much my favourite character!
      I haven’t read Dracula yet, but I will. And Brave New World will be part of my 20th century literature to-read books, along with The Great Gatsby. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking your time to comment and suggest books! 😀

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