Thursday, November 14, 2013

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Well we all know the story of Frankenstein whether its through reading the actual book or watching the movies ( but as far as I can tell there is only really 1 movie that is true to the book) 
Basic plot: man wants to create life, man creates life than abandons it and the creature he creates turns into a monster. 
Before I read the book I did not realize how much of an irresponsible jerk Dr Frankenstein was because the movies make him out to be the victim which is complete bull! Needless to say I do not like Dr Frankenstein, he got exactly what was coming to him. 
Another misconception inspired by Hollywood is that the Monster is stupid and does nothing but grunts which is completely false. The Monster is actually super intelligent and is surprisingly well spoken. In fact through out the book you follow both the Monster and Dr. Frankenstein so you get to see what both go through during this ordeal.
\The Monster is actually very tender and kind at first, all he wants is for his father to love and accept him. One of the more heart breaking scenes in the book to me is when the monster is finally alive, you know the whole "ITS ALIVE!!" moment that everyone knows. What everyone doesn't realize is the interaction between the two. The Monster, upon seeing his father smiles, and what does Frankenstein do? He flips and runs away from him. The Monster confused and hurt follows his creator and tries to be with him but he was driven away by the fear and disgust his father had at his appearance.
Dr Frankenstein, already a stand up guy!
So the Monster is left to wander on his own trying to find someone who will accept and love him the way he is but instead of finding love and acceptance he only encounters fear, hatred, and violence. So what does he turn into? A violent and angry Monster because that is all he has ever known, He also develops a special hatred for Frankenstein as displayed in this quote:
"From that moment [he] declared everlasting war against the species, and more than all against [Frankenstein] who had formed [him] and sent [him] forth to this insupportable misery" - Chapter 16, pg. 121

During this entire time Dr Frankenstein is trying to pretend that what he did didn't happen, that he did not create life that is wandering around somewhere out there and tries to live life normally but obviously that doesn't work out. The good Doctor encounters the monster a couple of times and he does the same exact thing he always does, run.
After a while of this cat and mouse game the monster finally gets a hold of Frankenstein and basically says that if Frank refuses to be the Monster's companion in life then he needed to make him one and threatens that if he doesn't create a companion for him he would kill Frankenstein's wife. So Frank agrees at first but during the creation process he cannot handle the idea of bringing another Monster into the world so he doesn't and destroys only chance at love and companionship.

"In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bound towards him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being. . . I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature. He showed unparalleled malignity and selfishness in evil; he destroyed my friends... Miserable himself that he may render no other wretched, he ought to die.  The task of his destruction was mine, but I have failed."  Chapter 24, pg. 199-200

So what does the Monster do? He makes good on his threat and kills Frank's wife officially making him the monster that Frank always thought he was and they end up spending the rest of their lives chasing one another.
Now obviously I am bias to the Monsters case, he did kill a couple more people in the book some were accidents and the more later on ones were on purpose (if I can remember correctly). If Frank had taken responsibility for his own crap than the monster would not have become so violent.


So I love this book so much because there are so many dynamic layers to the plot and so many different morals. The obvious one is that we are not to play God. I think personally I got that we need to be careful of our actions to others and how we can create monsters in our own lives. Also I love the Monster and how he is like a child at first, his first encounters of life were fear and anger which only got worse by others reacting to his hideous appearance and because of this he himself turned into a violent angry person.
I think I love that aspect especially because I think we need to be careful what we are exposing our own children to. If we smack our kids for doing something wrong how can we be surprised when he smacks another kid for doing something he didn't like? He is just doing what he has been taught just like the Monster.
A question was posed to me during a college course in which we were studying this book: Should Frankenstein have created a companion?
My answer to that is an astounding yes! If he had the Monster would have left him alone, he would have been happy with a new companion that accepted him and they would have made a life somewhere quiet and secluded. But once again Frankenstein's misconceptions of right and wrong and selfishness got him into another mess, one that costed the lives of several people he loved.
In general this is very much a cautionary tell, warning us to be careful of our actions because we have no idea who or what we can create in the process.

Thanks so much for reading my blog! Tell me what you think about Frank, do you have different opinions or do you agree? Let me know!
Till next time,
Keep reading!