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.