Monday, 30 August 2010

Frankenstein



“Did i request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me man? Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?”

Hello everyone. And if your wondering no I didn't read the book in one day, I just noticed that it was Mary Shelley's birthday to day so thought it'd be apt to dust of my old notes I took back when I did read Frankenstein and edit it a bit so I could cobble together a review, enjoy.

Frankenstein is very different to the classic film. There is no castle, no Igor (who was originally called Fritz) no lightning and no hammy and melodramatic “It’s ALIVE!”. What there is however is a tale about the follies of letting romantic notions about adventure control a man and that unbridled inquisitiveness can lead to disaster.

Victor Frankenstein becomes a brilliant student of sciences (presumably biology) at the Ingolstadt University, were his quest for intellectual prestige fuelled by his sorrow of the death of his very beloved mother, leads him to experiment with bringing the dead back to life. This proves to be a disaster as when he does finally succeed in conquering mortality he finds the creature he creates to be so hideous and big -in order to make the assembly of the body easier Victor made it from parts that were much bigger then the average so that the creature is around 8ft tall and extremely broad- that he immediately panics and flees, this leads to the creature escaping into the wilderness. And since it has the mind of a newborn spends a lot of its time(several years)wandering through the woods slowly learning about life and mankind. Unfortunately due to his grotesque appearance the creature is constantly met with lynch mobs whenever he tried to find companionship and is forced to constantly flee and hide while developing an intense hatred for mankind and his creator Frankenstein.

By coincidence the creature stumbles upon the Frankenstein home and Victors little brother whom in a fit of rage the monster kills and then frames the Frankenstein’s close family friend who is later executed. However in one of his many fits of self loathing -something he shares with his creator Victor- the monster abandons revenge in order to strike a deal with Victor were the beast will leave him and all humankind alone forever if Victor will construct for him an “eve” to go with him into isolation (see bride of Frankenstein).

The deal goes ahead after the monster recounts his hellish life to Victor including the time he spent several years observing a French family through holes in there walls, by doing this he slowly learns French,as well as the concepts of poverty, love and Islamophobia(that is not a joke)before finally being rejected when he tried to make contact with them. However Victor starts having second thoughts or more accurately third or fourth thoughts, he becomes afraid that if he does do what the creature -which he never gets round to naming despite having several lengthy conversations with- wants then he might just procreate and raise an army,(how two collections of corpses could possibly breed is not made clear though to be far there was little understanding of human reproduction in the early 1800's at the time this was published) and ends up smashing the corpse, this enrages the monster when he discovers Victors double cross and he begins a campaign of vengeance on Victor, first by killing his best friend and once again framing Victor for it and then he caps it off by beating Victors wife to death on there wedding day, the combine shocks break Victor mentally and after several nervous breakdowns decides to embark on a journey of revenge himself, and hunts the monster all the way to the North Pole, in a vane effort to correct his lifetimes worth of failures and mistakes. The End....... Or is it?

So there you go one of the earliest giants of the Victorian Gothic horror and one of the earliest pioneers of Scientific Fiction, though the science here is not only made up but also just a catalyst to get the plot going. Victor in one of the few acts of genuine thoughtfulness we actually read him doing in the book quickly destroys his resurrection secrets and refuses when asked to go into specifics.

1 comment:

  1. I find it interesting that in the book Frankenstein is middle class and lives in a boarding house, and Hollywood made him into an aristocrat living in a castle. Perhaps this tells us something about the class views of Hollywood.

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