‘FRANKENSTEIN’ – A Gothic Masterpiece

Sep 24, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Book Emporium, Hang Out

Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ is bit of a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with the pop culture version of Frankenstein’s monster; first off as many might believe, Frankenstein is not the name of the monster but the name of the scientist who creates the monster in the desire to delve into the mystery of life and death and secondly, instead of being a horror story about a clumsy, dumb, groaning monster it is a deeply philosophical piece of literature about a monster who exhibits near human emotions, displays profound intellect and also has read John Milton’s famous ‘Paradise Lost’.

Now I can understand that readers of today have become used to the structure and form of novels from the 21st century and might get easily bored by the narrative and consistent whining of Victor Frankenstein but fans of the 18th century Romantic Gothic literature will definitely love it. But I would like to advise all kind of bookworms to read this book. It has all the elements a good book must have; a scientist who is probably mad and has a crazy obsession with unveiling every mystery about life and death and believing that he has uncovered the secret and has the power to reverse death, a monster who is not your average monster, a crazy manic energy that is the driving force of the narrative and strange, unexplainable deaths that keep popping up all over.

If that isn’t enough to ignite your interest in this book maybe this will; Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley when she was 19 years old. One day in 1816 a few of Shelley’s friends were sitting around a camp-fire telling ghost stories when one of her friends, who happened to be none other than British romantic poet, Lord Byron challenged each person to write their own version of a German horror story, Frankenstein being Mary’s response to the challenge. So in short Frankenstein was written by 19-year-old Mary Shelley only to win a bet against her friends. Isn’t that cool?

The best things about the book lie in the character of the monster who, again, is not your average monster in a fairytale. He possesses an amazing sense of the world, his intellect is even further than that of his master’s and some of the best quotes are reserved for him; “I ought to be thy Adam…” the monster says to his creator, “…but I am rather the fallen angel.”. “Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested.” Ultimately we learn that what the monster wanted more than anything was someone to listen to and care for him. “I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all.” But if he cannot have that love and care and friendship then he makes his intentions to do evil very clear. “I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

I am sure that all of us are very familiar with the tale of Frankenstein, we’ve all heard about it since we were kids, watched cartoon versions of it. But now reading the actual book, knowing where all those adaptations came from has been a pleasure and I would strongly advise all readers, if you are still interested in this piece of pop culture that has captured your imagination since you were young and want to know more about it than please go read it.

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