Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The truth about Frankenstein

I just finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818 edition) and I must admit that I was not prepared for such a moving, gut-wrenching character as that of the monster. My previous ideas of a Frankenstein monster were formed by Boris Karloff, Mel Brooks, Herman Munster and breakfast cereal. How is it possible that all of these incarnations could represent the truth so sparingly? Yes, he was a monster, but in appearance only - until provoked by profound loneliness and the realization that his only salvation lay in the hand of his creator – the creator who despised his creation. Of all of the characters in the novel, the monster (who is never named) is the most sympathetic, the most articulate, the most conflicted, and the most human. From the initial image of the monster sledding alone in the Artic, to the monster's description of his death pyre at the end, this novel was gripping, surprising, and endearing.

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