So, here we are. It’s Christmas Eve. It’s only right then that I review something connected to the holiday. Yes, we are going to review Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.
What, it has a lot to do with Christmas. Don’t you remember that part where Dr Frankenstein …er… when he…
(Several Minutes Later)
Okay, I admit it. This has nothing to do with Christmas. But I’m reviewing it anyway.
You all know the basics of how this starts. We have Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, and he decides to work on how to create life. He does so and creates his monster. Said monster is horrifying and later tries to destroy his life.
Actually, Frankenstein abandoned the monster and it was forced to life a wretched life where it was shunned by all. It amuses me to consider how the efforts by the writer to point out neglect and suffering was a good part of why monster became what it was have been so ignored by popular culture. Well, there is season 1 of Penny Dreadful. That has a good Frankenstein plot in it. If you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend it.
Well, Frankenstein abandons his research after creating the monster. He abandons the creature too and it is forced to live in the world alone. Frankenstein also suffers a nervous breakdown. He does recover from that and slowly starts living his life again. However, an incident happens that ruins this happiness and the monster also reappears in his life, demanding that Frankenstein create a mate for him.
The plot, in my opinion, is a strength of the tale. Thanks to well written first person narration, the path that lead Frankenstein to creating the monster, the torment he suffered from seeing what he had done and his struggles to deal with the aftermath of the monster’s creation on his life and mind are conveyed in excellent detail. The same applies to the suffering of the monster when it narrates the misery of it’s existence. Both terror inspired by the monster’s appearance and it’s actions and sympathy in regards to it’s miserable life can be found in this book.
The complexities of both of Frankenstein and his monster are superbly conveyed to the reader. Both grasped at my interest and didn’t let go. In that respect, the book does well. However, the other characters are just there, serving their designated roles. They aren’t bad, but I’ll never remember any of them outside of their roles. Frankenstein’s love interest will always just be that person who Frankenstein loved to be, nothing more. The book does convey enough to show why Frankenstein cares about these people, but there’s not much to them beyond that. His best friend does have a bit beyond that, but it is just told to us by Frankenstein. What we have shown via scenes really of most of the other characters is not that interesting.
While I had trouble starting it, I’ve been suffering from a bout of depression and so everything has been hard to start. So, I can’t say it will be like that for others. But It did keep my interest once I had, which given my current disinterest in most things, certainly deserves praise. In my opinion, it certainly deserves it’s place as a classic work of fiction.