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.
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.
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.