Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Report: Frankenstein

I'm a first time Frankenstein reader. I know the basics of the story...although, much of the novel has been overtaken by the various film renditions. No lightening storm provides the animating spark for Frankenstein's creature; no maniacal cackles ring through the laboratory; no mention of bolts in the creature's neck. And the creature itself isn't a stiff-legged, dull killing machine, but rather a strong, nimble, and highly intelligent being. Victor Frankenstein does not try to bring his beloved Elizabeth back from the dead (spoiler!). And finally the creature is never referred to as Frankenstein.  The creature is the creature or the monster or the demon or fifty other wretched titles as Frankenstein sees fit to bestow upon his creation...

Yet, before I departed, there was a task to perform, on which I shuddered to reflect: I must pack my chemical instruments; and for that purpose I must enter the room which had been the scene of my odious work, and I must handle those utensils, the sight of which was sickening to me. The next morning, at day-break, I summoned sufficient courage, and unlocked the door of my laboratory. The remains of the half-finished creature, whom I had destroyed, lay scattered on the floor, and I almost felt as if I had mangled the living flesh of a human being. I paused to collect myself, and then entered the chamber. 

At the end of Frankenstein, I'm not sure how I feel about the novel. I can certainly understand how it would have caused a sensation upon its publication. Collecting body parts? Reanimating corpses? And written by a woman? My, my, how very scandalous. Yes, it covers serious topics, ranging from the moral limitations of science, to man versus Nature, to what makes a human, well human, but it also has a tendency to drag whenever Victor takes the lead. He's a bit of a no-action dweller, damn him, and I wanted to slap his face about a million times. But even though he's the de-facto protagonist, I don't think Shelley meant for us to view him as the hero. The sections of the book that really spark are those voiced by the creature. And, let's face it, the creature is waaaaaaay more interesting than whiney Victor. I might love him a little. Of course, I mean the creature. 

Can you feel it? Halloween is drawing nearer and nearer. Remember, my dear ones: open your books, but never your doors to strangers...


  1. I had to study frankenstein for year 12 and I couldn't agree more about Vitcor! he just wouldn't shut up haha
    p.s. I love your blog :-)

    1. Thanks so much! Victor does tend to go on. And on and on and on. I mean, lesson learned. Never try to make a human being using reconstituted body parts. Got it.


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