Any One Book: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (finally)

I have finished it just this second, and my words upon completion were ‘thank god for that’ well, that’s me paraphrasing, I wasn’t all that polite.

It’s a good book, worthy of being a classic and I can imagine that it was scary when it was first published, but now there are times where it’s almost…dull.

I really, really wanted to like this book but there was one obstacle that was impossible to overcome; I hated the protagonist.

Victor bloody Frankenstein is one whiney, wimpy man who lamented the woes of his miserable life and cursed heaven and hell for casting him a terrible lot. Yet he is directly responsible for every misery that hounded him throughout his wretched life. Dr Frankenstein is one of the worst protagonists I have suffered and ruined an otherwise perfectly acceptable tale.
You all the know the story, scientist creates monster, monster ends up killing people.

Yet I always thought we were meant to feel sorry for the monster, he was judges by his looks and not by his personality, he was abandoned by his creator and shunned from civilisation, but I get the feeling that might not have been Shelley’s intent.

She tried so hard to justify Dr Frankenstein’s actions that it almost seemed that she, too, had abandoned the monster. Whenever a particularly monstrous event effected him he sank into a crazed fervour, debilitate and unable to do anything, he was a helpless fool who refused to admit his mistake and it cost him dearly. Even then he failed to realise it was all his fault.

But anyway, away from the negatives. The story was well written and the plot was excellent, the history given gave a good background to the events and I particularly enjoyed the monster’s tale.
The monster was perhaps the best character, despite his unfortunate habit of killing people, and he inspired sympathy from me as a reader. He walked a path he did not want to take because his master left him without any guidance or even a map to read. He was betrayed by the only person he knew and was left to figure out life for himself.

He was even doing a pretty good job of it until a family he had been helping finally saw him and chased him through the forest. He never knew happiness because of the selfish ambition and subsequent cowardice of one man.
My only problem with the writing was that major events were too heavily foreshadowed. It might have been unavoidable as the story is set out as Dr Frankenstein telling another man his story, but it ruined what could have been good surprises and plot twists that would have made the book all the more entertaining.

But again, Dr Frankenstein’s inability to man the hell up (well he did a bit at the end) and take responsibility gave this book a dark cloud it could not shake off. The sad truth is all the misery could have been avoided had Dr Frankenstein given guidance to his creature, of course this would not have made for a good story but if he had realised this or taken responsibility it would have shown some character growth. On top of that, everyone he seemed to be about to grow a little bit he regressed into the dark clutched of despair and cursed the world, once more, for his fate.

In the film ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ the character of Mary Shelley states that the story was supposed to highlight that man was not supposed to play god a create life because it can basically come back to bite you on the arse. Personally, I think it’s more of a story that highlights humanity as the true monster, Frankenstein’s creature was a product of human ambition and human treatment, and look what that caused.

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6 responses to “Any One Book: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (finally)

  • beckyday6

    Ohh dear, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it more! At least it was a reasonably small book (or at least, I think it is? :S) No wonder it took you so long to finish it. It’s a book that I’ve been really wanting to read, especially after reading Dracula but maybe now I won’t rush into reading it quite so quickly, lol!

    How are things? Still super busy? 🙂

    • Summer Grant

      It was really small, barely over 200 pages, I thought it would be a breeze. I would definitely recommend it to any classics lover and people who like Dracula, it just kind of doesn’t have the same thrilling atmosphere and anything that might have been really shocking was heavily foreshadowed way before it happened so was ruined. Still, the writing and plot were good!

      I am good thanks, at the moment I have it relatively easy, don’t have anything due in until March, yay! I’ve really missed blogging so it felt good writing this! How are you? How’s everything going?

      • beckyday6

        Wow, that is short! I think I will still read it, just because I tend to find even if I hate a classic (like our pal Gatsby) I still get something out of it…it’s weird, some kind of different perspective or interesting way of writing, but I guess that’s how they became classics! Ahh, I like forshadowing if it’s done well, shame Shelley used it a bit too much!

        Haha woop woop! Still, I find the longer the deadline the more I procrastinate. :S It was good to be able to read one of your posts again too, I definitely miss them!
        I’m good thanks, finally getting into the university lifestyle, everything just feels normal now. I’ve got a report due in that I am avoiding, but apart from that good!

      • Summer Grant

        Yes! Definitely read it, you can’t read the classics without Frankenstein! It is well written, and unlike the infamous Gatsby, stuff happens! Yeah unlike foreshadowing too, especially when you’re rereading a book and you notice it and you’re like ‘omg there was a clue all along!’

        Haha, same, you think that it’s so far away and before you know it ‘holy crap my assignment is due next week.’ it’s nice to have a break, before Christmas I had three due in over three weeks then after Christmas we did a crisis management simulation and then had a research report due, it’s nice to be able to relax 😛

        Yay I’m glad you’ve adapted! Not too long left until you finish your first year 😀 how have you found it so far?

      • beckyday6

        Ha ha don’t worry I will. 🙂
        I know it’s crazy! I don’t understand how it’s zoomed by so quickly. O_o I don’t feel ready to start looking for a house and whatnot, although I’m really looking forward to getting one. I feel like I should be full to the brim with all kinds of amazing knowledge by now, but I don’t feel that way at all. Did you get that?
        But it’s good, the first semester was really hard and stressful but I’m enjoying this one a lot more already. I love how at university you can meet so many different kinds of people as well. 😀 Hows the ?masters? (pretty sure that’s what your doing? :S) going? Is it really crazy hard?

      • Summer Grant

        Yeah, I did get that. Don’t worry, you have knowledge, it sort of just sneaks up you without you realising.
        Yeah, it’s strange that there’s such a mix of people, and that they’re all civilised (unlike college and school).
        The masters is going alright, stressful is a bit of an understatement. But I only have until May left for all these assignments, then May until September which will be focused solely on dissertation. Can’t wait to get it out of the way haha

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