Frankenstein

Oh my dears, what to say about this book? Prior to having read this book, “Frankenstein”, knowing the story only from film, cultural osmosis, I would likely have classified it simply as a horror story. I would have been incorrect, or at the least not giving it the credit it deserves. This book is, in so many ways, the godmother of modern literature. There are places where it goes on too long and yet the entire time it is doing something, constructing something, informing something. The story is told from the perspective of three characters, one of which is the “monster,” the creature, created by Dr. Frankenstein, and hardly the grunting, inarticulate, being as usually portrayed in film. Gothic, romantic, horrific, poetic, literary, often credited as being the first science fiction novel, each new chapter revealed to me elements included in other works written after its publication in 1818/1823. In other words, this work has provided a structure, a lesson in how to tell a story or write a novel, for many of its successors. Further, it does not shy away from naming its own influences, often directly in the text, such as Ovid’s “Prometheus”, or Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” It is also a morality tale, as Dr. Frankenstein has undertaken to create human life through unnatural methods, playing God, as it were, and suffers the consequences of his actions. Without this book, all of modern literature as we know it, ceases to exist, that is how important a work of fiction it is. The only thing I don’t quite comprehend is why Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” isn’t required reading in every high school English or creative writing class. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
TS