I recently finished Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and these are my slightly weird, and incoherent thoughts. Whoo.
This is a ridiculously famous book. It’s been adapted a gajillion times,
in different mediums. So how would you not know what it’s about? And why am I
chastising you? Who knows? It starts with a ship captain who is going to the
Arctic, and while he’s sailing he sees a huge monstrous man on a sled. The
monster disappears and another man shows up and is saved by the crew. That guy
is Victor Frankenstein, a young Swiss Doctor who is following the monster. He
tells the captain his story. Frankenstein made the monster, he reanimated a
dead person, and the monster then went on a rampage. So that’s fun.
It’s odd that even though I’ve only ever seen one Frankenstein adaption
I have this image of Frankenstein’s monster as this big, lumbering, grunting,
idiot monster. He’s not. Also the adaption I saw was Young Frankenstein, so I’m
not even sure I have a good enough frame of reference as far as adaptions go.
The monster isn’t like that. He is big, but he’s not lumbering, or grunting. He
spends almost a year in a cabin and learns French by listening in on a family.
He then learns another language. He is bilingual, yeah. He’s smart, he learns languages
by just, hanging around. He knows what berries and roots to eat. He’s a clever
It’s fantastically interesting. It is a story of morals and ethics.
Basically Victor Frankenstein makes this creature. He figures out how to
reanimate people. Yeah. The novel doesn’t explain it, which was fun. Basically
he’s just working, and then he has a cadaver, and suddenly it’s alive, which is
just great. Then he gets completely disgusted by what he’s done and just leaves
his room, leaving his creature alone. Because that’s smart. Then he comes back
and the creature is gone, and he just thinks: awesome, he’s split, perfect.
Shelley words that a bit differently.
Victor is clearly very horrified by what he’s done. He feels awful. He
wishes the monster would go away somehow and just leave him. He does think
about it a lot. He feels like he’s toyed with nature and fucked up everything,
and this will ruin everything. And he should feel these things. He created
someone, just because he can, and then leaves the creature to fend for itself.
He knows it’s wrong what he’s done, but still.
Basically the creature leaves Geneva, where Victor is hanging out, and
he basically finds this family in a cottage and spends his days staring at the
people in a cabin he stumbles over. He doesn’t understand what they’re saying
at first, but by watching them, and because there is a woman in the house who
doesn’t speak the language either, he learns as she learns. He finds these
people fascinating and he wants to meet them, talk to them, and be loved by
them, like he loves them. When he actually reveals himself to them he’s
rejected and he snaps. He goes on a murderous rampage basically. Well rampage
is a bit of an overstatement. He figures that the reason he isn’t loved is
because he’s too different and too damaged and fucked up, so no one will love
him. And this is Victor’s fault. So he decides to torture him by killing his
loved ones until Victor makes him a mate. It’s a solid plan, let’s be honest.
I think Victor’s qualms and his discussions with himself regarding this
mate is very interesting. He has this very serious debate with himself, about
whether he can with good conscience make another monster, even if the creature
promises they’ll go away. I really like his decision and his rationalization. I
found it an interesting choice. He is very aware of the consequences of his
choice and he still makes it. To be fair, both choices are completely shit and
have awful consequences. If he makes another creature he’ll be responsible for
another monster, if he doesn’t the monster will terrorize him and kill his
remaining loved ones. He also thinks a lot about how the potential will react
to being made, like the creature did, and will she love the creature? Or will
she reject him too? Will she go on a murderous rampage? And is this the only
way of getting the creature to leave him alone? This is me trying to avoid spoilers.
The whole thing is just so dark, and hopeless and Victor is just so
desperate to rectify his mistake, but he has no way of doing it. The creature
is desperate to have someone love him. He is trying so hard. He saves a little
girl from drowning and her dad chases him off. He tries to help the people in
the cottage, and they reject him. He wants his creator to make him a mate, just
so he can have someone equally unappealing in the world, because then that
person will love him. He really only does wants someone to love him. I thought
that was fascinating.
It’s so dark, and so awesome. And oh my God, so many feelings.