Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

I grew up watching Frankenstein (the monster), along with Dracula and the Wolfman, on TV, but Mary Shelley's novel is, beyond a tale of horror, a literary work where the narrative and themes are as important as the plot. The framed narrative allows the reader to understand Dr. Frankenstein's worldviews as well as those of Captain Walton and the monster. We can compare Captain Walton Dr. Frankenstein and see their similar ambitions and sense of adventure in conquering nature and we can contrast their final decisions. Then, we can contrast the monster's outer monstrosity with Dr. Frankenstein's inner one. Perhaps it is fitting that we refer to the monster as Frankenstein; in a sense Dr. Frankenstein is a monster.

Shelley, through the story, warns against the danger of pursuing knowledge, the possible disaster from abusing that understanding, and specifically scientific knowledge, to satisfy one's ambitions. In this sense, Frankenstein is a typical science fiction.

The Frankenstein Monster

That Shelley wrote this compelling novel when she was eighteen testifies to her imagination and literary power. Frankenstein, perhaps the first science fiction, is a literary classic that sheds light into the nature of humanity.

Mary Shelley

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