Mary Shelley
Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus
   Frankenstein is an ambitious young man. Deeply impressed by his readings of alchimists and his philantropic ideals, he endeaveours to find the secret of life and a means to conquer death. His first experiment consists in giving life to a being made of dead human tissues. Horror-striken by the horrid appearance of his creature when he comes to life, Frankenstein flees and abandons him. However, his hopes that this spark of life he gave will eventually die away are vain, and the creature does live on...
   A masterpiece of gothic romance, Frankenstein is an unforgettable novel. Shelley offers a moving tale, which demonstrates how even the best intents can have disastrous consequences, if science is used too recklessy, without wisdom and great care. She wanted to show the dangers in humans trying to surpass nature ("God" in her words). Though, her novel can also be read as a critic of society, which mainly judges on appearances. Thus an innocent is condemned to death, and the creature, though kind-hearted, is beaten and considered evil by all only because of its difformity. Even his maker turns away from him in disgust, horrified by his appearance, thinking that "his soul is as hellish as his form, full of treachery and fiendlike malice."
   Deeply mature and intelligent, the novel first offers Frankenstein's view of the events, then his creature's on two occasions. Though dark and disturbing in themes and content, the author has a subtle humane approach to the horrifying events in her story. Incisive and beautiful, it is an enjoyable and heart-wrenching work. The only drawback may be that Frankenstein's eternal laments about his plight can get annoying at times, but I have a feeling it is on purpose. The author may be slightly showing his tendency to pity himself. Frankenstein refuses to admit his responsibility in his creature's actions, which he attributes more readily to an innate evil than to his own abandonment and his sufferings at the hands of humans. Similarly, Frankenstein often blames fate for his own mistakes.
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