Hey readers! I had planned on reading Frankenstein by Mark Shelley for my AP English Literature exam but I just didn’t have the time to prepare for this book and I prioritised other options. Nevertheless, I read it after the exam and I wouldn’t say that it was worth it. I think it’s for the best that I didn’t read this classic for the exam as, unlike the other books I read, I didn’t like Frankenstein a lot. It is highly regarded as the first science fiction novel ever and I think it is to that credit that this book is so heavily read and renowned. I think the book meant more to the era and the time in which it was written and that was when it was truly significant. I think that as a primitive model of the science fiction genre, the book is brilliantly written but if you compare it to the more recent works of science fiction you will be disappointed.
The story revolves around a scientist named Victor Frankenstein. Full of ambition and hope, Victor desired to accomplish himself in the field of natural philosophy. He coveted fame and his destiny led him to discover the secret of life that previous generations of scientists have long sought for. He felt that simply claiming the secret wasn’t enough and he needed concrete evidence to showcase his mastery and dexterity. He wanted to create a physical embodiment of his knowledge and thus strived to create an actual human being from bones and ashes. He became a recluse and worked day and night in his laboratory to give rise to his creation. He was successful; however, he would forever regret giving the power of life and senses to an abomination. He created a monster that was taller, broader and more agile than any human being and had the ugliest and most horrifying face that anyone can bear. Victor couldn’t bear to look at what he had done and abandoned his creation. The diabolical being was left to fend for himself and, as he was exposed to the virtues and vices of human beings, he became malicious and sought to end the “wretched” master’s life who had given birth to him. He realised that he was different than those around him and desolation and loneliness stirred bitterness and hate in him. People judged him by his countenance and were prejudiced against him wherever he went. It reached a point where he couldn’t live like this anymore. He found and confronted his master and made his demands. Victor found himself in a predicament. He was presented with a very difficult choice and he was torn between the worries of posterity and his own selfishness. He faced an inner conflict and didn’t know what to do. Whatever the choice was and whatever Victor chose, a conflict between Victor and his creation was inevitable. Who will live and who will perish?
Victor’s tale is told in the first person and I must commend the writing style of the novel. I really enjoyed the diction and syntax that is prevalent throughout the novel. The narration is very eloquent. I think the plot can get tedious at times and it is a bit hard to progress through the book without disinterest. I wouldn’t say that it is a masterpiece but it is a crucial part of literature and is important to study the origins of science fiction. It is a dark tale of vengeance, remorse, destruction and evil. The story is set in eighteenth-century Europe and most of the events occur in Geneva, Switzerland. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless you are a student of literature, of course.