Frankenstein is a novel written by the English author Mary Shelley in 1818. It is remarkable that Mary Shelley wrote her novel at the age of twenty. At that time, it was a great feat for a young woman to write a successful book. I want to emphasize that she published Frankenstein mentioning her name only in 1831. The first edition of the book was anonymous. It is curious that we are able to read such a splendid and affecting novel due to the happy coincidence.
Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and her husband decided to have a competition and clarify who was able to write the most trimming horror story. The young woman won this competition fairly. Mary Shelley was looking for inspiration travelling about Europe. She visited many old castles and listened to numerous mysterious stories of the locals. Finally, she decided to write a horror story about the weird scientific experiments referring to the creation of the artificial form of life. Frankenstein is supposed to be the foremost science fiction book inasmuch the author describes an unorthodox and controversial scientific experiment. Furthermore, the novel refers to horror stories, Gothic novel and Romanticism if we pay attention to its atmosphere and general mood.
The plot of the novel is quite simple. Nevertheless, it is still engrossing and magnificent.
Frankenstein is written in epistolary form. Victor Frankenstein is the main character of the novel and he is narrating about his life and work in the form of the letters. He wanted to bring life and light to the human society. Thus, the novel has a subtitle The Modern Prometheus. Victor learnt about physiology, physics and other sciences in order to understand the actual source of life. This man wanted to defeat death and create life. Apparently, he conducted fearful experiments connecting the parts of the dead people together hoping that this creature will live. However, Victor was frightened by the effect of his work when his creature gained life. He was just a fearful and ugly monster who scared local people. Victor could not bear living in his town anymore and he decided to escape. The monster began to chase his creator whereas he realized that he was an improper form of life but not a human.
The novel contains many discreet motives and ideas. Firstly, there is a problem of the value of life. Victor decided to become God conducting his experiments with the parts of the dead bodies. No matter how he tried, it was impossible to make a human being from the lifeless limbs. He made a huge body but he failed to develop a human being with its feelings and emotions. In brief, you cannot create a perfect form of life artificially.
Secondly, there is the problem of the negative attitude of the human society towards ‘different’ people. Victor managed to teach his creature to read and write. The monster could even think.
Unquestionably, the society could not accept the creature. They called it ‘monster’, ‘fiend’, ‘demon’ or just ‘it’. Needless to say but the monster did not understand the reason of such an attitude of the public. When he discovered about his origin and became angry with his creator and human society in the whole. He realized that he was a toy or just a result of an obscure experiment.
Thirdly, there is the first attempt of the evaluation of the controversial nature of science. Mary Shelley pointed out at the dangers science could bring. Regardless of how scientists strive to improve human life with the help of electricity, physics, healthcare, etc., they can cause harm to the people around involuntarily. Finally, they improve one’s life sacrificing the life of the person or animal who is the target of the experiment.
Frankenstein is a very popular and spectacular book. There are many screen versions of this novel forasmuch is attracts human minds with its ideas and motives. The genre of the book is complex whereas there are elements of horror that are mixed with the tragic and dramatic understanding of the realities of human life by the creature who could not find its place in this world. I recommend Frankenstein to everyone who wants to be called an intelligent person.