Victor Frankenstein has dedicated most of his life to the study of science. When he was old enough, his father sent him to continue his education in the sciences. While at school, Frankenstein develops an interest in the natural sciences and quickly becomes obsessed with creating life where there is none.
When his experiment succeeds, Frankenstein is repulsed and horrified by what he sees. After the encounter with his creator, the monster flees into the nearby woods.
As time passes, Frankenstein begins to believe that he is free of his creation, until a letter from home informs him of his little brother’s brutal murder. Frankenstein becomes convinced that the monster is responsible and sets out on a course for revenge.
Frankenstein, classic Gothic literature, has been read by millions of readers since its first publication in 1818. Many films and television series have been made featuring Frankenstein’s monster, and he has become a prominent fixture in modern culture. Many young readers, like myself, believe they already know the monster. Yet, until now, I had never read it.
I began this novel knowing most of modern beliefs about Frankenstein’s monster. Thankfully, I was also aware that many of these beliefs are wrong and stem from the many movies and television series. Despite having never read the novel, over the years I have learned many things about the original work and its author.
The version of this novel that I read was constructed in the same form as it was originally published in. The text is written in old English, and the spelling is correct for the time period and region, making it different from modern American English. Some readers may find this difficult to read or understand since many things are different now, including speech pattern and dialect, than they were then.
The story itself was a lot less exciting than I thought it would be. The story, in a sense, has three separate narrators, also known as a frame story, that take turns telling the story. In the beginning, the narrator is an explorer who happened upon Dr. Frankenstein while on an adventure to the North Pole. He then relinquishes the narration to Dr. Frankenstein. Frankenstein tells the majority of the story, relenting narration to the monster himself at one point and again to the explorer at the end.
I also found this novel to be rather tame. Most of my life, I was lead to believe that Frankenstein was horrifying, it is after all a Gothic novel, but in reading it, I found it to be thought provoking and sad, but not horrifying. Perhaps this is due to our exposure to truly horrifying events, television shows, and literature. Or perhaps because we have been exposed to Frankenstein since we were small children.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who thinks they know, or would want to know, the truth behind Frankenstein’s monster.
I borrowed a copy of this novel from my local library and I am currently seeking permissions from the publishers at The Pennyroyal Press to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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