One of the most popular literary genres originated in the distant 19th century, when 18-year-old girl Mary Godwin, in Byron’s villa, had a dream about a pale scientist leaning over a creature he gathered together from dead body parts. This short dream served as the basis for the creation of a novel about a scientist whose genius led him to the border of madness.
The novel not only became the ancestor of horror, but also proved as the foundation for the popular genre of science fiction. It makes no sense to talk about the dozens of films and adaptations. Everyone knows the story of the “mad” scientist and his monster. But not everyone knows what really lies between the pages of this popular novel. It is time for someone to shake off the dust from this story and put everything in order.
The story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is already so common that the true symbol in “Frankenstein” has already been lost. Young student Viktor comes up with a crazy idea. The idea is simple, but the implementation is much more complicated. Frankenstein wants to resurrect dead flesh, but not just a dead man; he collects him from a multitude of dead body parts, starting from scratch. In the end, Victor does what he desired and the creature comes to life.
I want to immediately warn all future readers that the novel is not about the monster, but about its creator. Also, it makes no sense to talk about the originality of the novel, as it is the first of its kind. The plot is interesting, but the review would not be fair if it didn’t mention a huge number of negative points.
The novel is stretched too much, and instead of giving the reader a story about the monster, we are given a story about a spineless scientist and his tormented reflections about what kind of monster he created.
The great moments of the novel can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And, by the way, in all of these moments, there is a monster. The image of the protagonist of the novel, Victor Frankenstein, turns out to be completely different from how it is presented in numerous film versions. The young scientist, while creating the monster, does not shout, “It’s alive!” does not laugh like a deranged madman, and certainly is not proud of his creation.
First of all, Victor is frightened, falls ill for several months, and then leaves for another country. On the one hand, this is a very interesting move. The creator was frightened of his creation, realizing all his guilt and frivolity. On the other hand, if he tried to figure out what he had done, there would not be so many misfortunes in his life. As an ordinary person, Frankenstein escapes from the problem, instead of understanding why it happened. And when Victor gets a chance to fix everything, he misses it because of his own egoism. This is a huge positive element of the novel. The realistic depiction really shines here.
The character of the monster is simply incomparable. Waking up as an abandoned “child,” the monster begins to look for a place in this huge world. For many years he wanders alone, searching for some food and warmth. All his attempts to get closer to people end unsuccessfully. And in order to somehow interact with the environment, the monster learns to talk and survive. The character turns out to be tragic, but the classics cannot be classics without tragic heroes. However, all the characters of the novel are tragic in their own way.
Secondary characters are created superficially and do not even need much focus. When you take a book in your hands you want to plunge into it completely, but this will not be possible without the proper atmosphere. Some writers manage to keep the reader in suspense, and some writers simply don’t care about it. Mary Shelley, in parts of the novel, succeeded in this, but the atmosphere appears only when focusing on the monster. For this genre, the atmosphere is the most important element, and it is a disappointment that in this novel it was not given proper attention.
This novel is not devoid of its stylistic features, but it is immediately clear that Mary Shelley was a novice in the writing business when she wrote “Frankenstein.” Where there is no atmosphere, there is no style. The author was able to present an interesting story, but told it in a boring way. The book has a large amount of unnecessary descriptions, which significantly reduces the literary value of the novel.
It is not clear who can enjoy this novel fully. The novel became a classic only because of its age and did not pass the test of time. Such novels are analyzed in schools with the attempt to understand what the author wanted to say, but the text in “Frankenstein” does not make much sense.