Posts tagged gothic
Posts tagged gothic
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
What do you picture when you hear someone mention Frankenstein? A big green monster with bolts in his neck? One who looks like, say, Boris Karloff? Somewhere in the funnel of pop culture, that’s the image that universally comes to mind, but that’s not what Mary Shelley originally intended.
Everybody has heard of Frankenstein, but how many have actually read the book? If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to give it a whirl—Mary Shelley’s dark novel is one of the ultimate horror tales and predecessor to many other works of science fiction.
Famously written in 1818 as part of a contest between Shelley, her husband Percy, and their famous poet friend Lord Byron, Frankenstein is a dark and fascinating tale of the human condition and what happens when we push science too far. Victor Frankenstein, ambitious and clever, has been slaving away to figure out the mystery of life and creation, trying to cobble his own human being together from the body parts of cadavers and bring it to life. Of course, we all know that this does not end as the doctor would have liked, creating instead a violent and wildly unpredictable Creature who is immediately branded as a monster.
Rather than take responsibility for the mess he has created, Frankenstein allows his Creature to roam free and uninhibited over the land. The pitiful Creature, abused, neglected, uneducated, and friendless, longs only for companionship, a luxury denied him over and over again save from the kindness of a blind man who cannot see his frightening appearance. At his core, we discover, he is not an evil monster, but merely an unfortunate soul who has not been given education or restraint: a parentless child left to fend for himself.
As the Creature gains more knowledge and experience in the world, he learns of his creation and comes back to Frankenstein with a request: to make him a mate or there will be severe consequences.
Check out the original story, a thoughtful and spooky tale of ethics and humanity, just in time for Halloween!