Author: Mary Shelley
Date Finished: October 21, 2007
I think that I put a stigma on classical literature. I expect them all to be difficult to read and comprehend or frankly just boring. Kind of like Howards End, which I struggled through last month. Because of these feelings, I put off this type of literature. In the case of this book, I wrongly judged the book.
The book begins with letters from a man, Walton, to his sister. He is on a journey, presumably near the Arctic, and he encounters a man who is in search of another man. The man, of course, is Frankenstein, and he relates his story to Walton of how he created a monster. While the name Frankenstein (often mistaken for the monster) is incredibly well-known, I was surprised at how little of the actual story I was familiar with. Frankenstein creates his monster--pieced together from parts of several beings--and when he first sees the monster hovering over him, he realizes the wrong he has done. The monster, lonely and misunderstood, leaves for a few years but reenters the story after he kills Frankensteins little brother. It seems he sees his strength and horror as a type of power of Frankenstein; he uses this power to his advantage after he realizes he has no place in society and thus bribes Frankenstein to make him a mate. Frankenstein refuses and the lives become devoted to chasing and hiding from one another.
While I really liked the story and felt myself being drawn into the details, I am not--nor never have been--a fan of romantic literature. Some of the passages are bogged down with romantic details (nature and such) that I started to become a little impatient with. Otherwise, it was a good and surprisingly quick/easy read. I kind of had a "seriously?" moment at the very end, but overall I thought Shelley did a fantastic job at probing at the depth of human nature.