Friday, September 28, 2018


Frankenstein (Oxford World's Classics). Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. 1818/1998. 261 pages. [Source: Bought in College.]

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.

Premise/plot: Robert Walton is on the adventure of a lifetime; he's always, always, always wanted to be an arctic explorer. He just wishes he had a best-good-buddy to share it with. As he's sharing his longing for a friend with his sister--via letter--he stumbles across a candidate for the job. He's a strange, odd man with one super-crazy story to tell. He's also a man full of warnings and woes. His name is Victor Frankenstein. You might have heard of him. Maybe.

Victor Frankenstein understands dreaming big. If asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he might have responded oh-so-seriously: GOD. You see, Victor spends way too much time thinking about how life is created. Well. Perhaps I should rephrase that. When he's thinking about creation, he's thinking about how to reanimate DEAD BODIES and RECREATE life.

Frankenstein becomes more than a little obsessed with his science project. I personally could never figure out the appeal. He isn't interested in bringing the dead back to life--as is. That is, reanimating the life of a specific person. He is interested in piecing together bits and pieces of dead humans into a new super-human form. Taller. Stronger. Bigger. And definitely uglier. He isn't interested in prolonging life or reuniting families. What does he hope to gain by his creation? Does he see himself as a Creator? What does he owe his creature--if anything? What does his creature owe him--if anything?

If man is created in the image of God, is the monster created in the image of Frankenstein? Does the monster share the characteristics of Victor Frankenstein? Are the two more alike or different? Does the monster reveal the heart and mind of his Creator?

My thoughts: I've read Frankenstein so many times now. I think I've really only ever read the 1818 text of the novel. Most of the time I stick with the same copy I used in college.

I love the book.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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