Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book one of the Wordsworth Classic Reading Challenge was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein! I recently finished it with my senior English class.

Synopsis from Wordsworth Classics website - Begun when the author was only eighteen and conceived from a nightmare, Frankenstein is the deeply disturbing story of a monstrous creation which has terrified and chilled readers since its first publication in 1818.

The novel has thus seared its way into the popular imagination while establishing itself as one of the pioneering works of modern science fiction.

I am an English teacher. I love the classics, but this being the first time I have read this novel, it's not my favorite. Like some of the classics, it gets bogged down with pretty words and the meaning can get lost. My seniors had a hard time paying attention to this book, but we did it! And like I knew they would be, they were surprised to discover that the monster's name is not Frankenstein.

I also was surprised by how much I hated Victor Frankenstein. For as much as the monster made him suffer, I could not believe how selfish he was. The monster killed his family. I get it, a bad thing, but Victor should have warned them, been upfront with the monster, something to try to preserve the lives of his nearest and dearest, but no! He was too caught up in what he had done. I think of all the main characters I have read about, I hate him the most. But good literature evokes emotions!

The monster is a monster but he was created that way and I don't mean physically. His hatred and misery are caused by others. And without a proper mentor to guide him morally or the love of a companion or father to show him compassion, what did Victor and reader expect?

I feel for the monster.

PS. Book 6 done.


  1. OMG, you are fast! I just finished reading Orwell's Animal Farm and to my dismay, it's not on Wordsworth list! Bummer!
    Anyway, I will post follow up post by the end of this month, you can link this review in that post ~

  2. Animal Farm is a great read... I love the symbolism in that book. Thanks for the feedback too!!!