Book Report on "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
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The book entitled Frankenstein orthe modern Prometheus wasauthored and completed by Mary Shelley in May of 1817 and was anonymously published by House of Harding, Mavor & Jones in 1st of January 1818 in London. The book was dedicated to the philosopher William Godwin who was the author’s father. This book was published in accordance to the standard ‘triple Decker’ format that was chart eristic of 19th century’s first editions. The second edition of the book Frankenstein was published in August of 1823. There have been numerous edition of this book and several changes have been introduced in to it.
However, but in general terms the 1818 edition of the book has found admiration from many scholars because its argued that the 1818 text preserves the spirit of Shelley’s original publication. This book report will be based on the Frankenstein the 1992 edition which was published by penguin classics and contains two hundred and sixty one pages. I decided to read this book because it’s on my required reading list which forms a significant part of my literary class studies (Freedman, 67).
The book Frankenstein reception was initially unfavorable and this is attributed to the compounded confusion that emanated from speculations regarding the identity of the author as it was initially anonymously published. Despite the impressive work done on the book especially on the high idea of the genius and happy power of expression by the author some readers as revealed by the quarterly review termed it as ‘a tissue of horrible and disgusting absurdity’. On the other hand the book the achieved and almost immediate polarity as it became widely known through melodramatic theatrical adaptations for instance the in the production of Presumption and The fate of Frankenstein by Richard Brinsley in 1823 and French translation 1821 by Jules Saladin. Despite the books initial dismissals the book Frankenstein has received a positive reception during the mid-20th century and it has been praised by some of the major critics like Harold Bloom and Goldberg who have since praised it for its ‘moral and aesthetic’ relevance. Today, the novel is one of the popular for feministic and psychoanalytic criticism and it is therefore considered as a landmark work of gothic and romantic literature as well as in science fiction (Forry, 85).
The novel begins with letter of captain Walton addressed to his sister and its in these letters that serve to forming the framework of the story whereby Walton tell stories to his sister about the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster. Walton is set out to exploring North Pole and his ship gets trapped in frozen water. It’s during this time that the crew of the ship notices a giant man in a distance on dogsled and an hour later they find him sick around the ship and they boarded him. While aboard Walton is told a story by Frankenstein regarding the price of pursuing glory at any cost.
Frankenstein was then given a chance to grow in a perfectly gentle and loving Swiss family and has a young boy he got an obsession on studying of old and outdated theories pertaining to what gives the spark of life. While in college Frankenstein created his own ‘perfect’ human from scavenged body parts. The monster came to life but Frankenstein was disgusted by the creatures’ hideousness and ugliness prompting him to run away from it.
Sooner than later Henry Clerval joined Frankenstein in college and ended up nursing him from exhaustion that resulted from his secretive efforts to create a perfect human life. After his recovery Frankenstein recovered from many months of illness; he studied language while the monster wondered around in look for friendship and after numerous harsh encounters with humans the monster he decides to live in isolation in a cottage near a family where he learns and becomes educated through observation. After accepting that he was different from human beings, the monster seeks friendship from Victor’s family and he was rejected prompting him to avenge against his creator resulting to the death of Victor’s younger brother.
After Frankenstein learns of his brother demise he pays a visit to the murder scene where he sees the monster and becomes connived that he was responsible for the crime and becomes disturbed by making a monster who has led to many havoc and as a result he moves to the mountains in search for peace but the monsters approaches to convince him to making for him a female companion. Frankenstein was convinced and set on to create another monster but near completion he wasn’t ready to create another monster that could cause more havoc and thus stopped. This led to the monster revenge which resulted to death of Clerval.
After Frankenstein married Elizabeth, the monster killed her and the grief from her death killed Frankenstein father. Through all these chaotic experiences Frankenstein vows to pursue and kill the monster and in his mission he ends up in North Pole where he meets Walton ship wrecked. Before they left North Pole Frankenstein passed on and the monster came to mourn his creator’s death and it’s during this time that he explains to Walton and his crew the reasons for his vengeance against Frankenstein. Finally the monster reveals to Walton about his plans to head to North Pole and destroy itself and then leaped from the ship in to the ice-raft and was born away by the waves.
The novel Frankenstein is a science-fiction story that was set in Europe in the early 1790’s and tells of a story of victor Frankenstein and his monster. Some of the places where the novel was set include Geneva in Switzerland which is the home of the Frankenstein’s family and its here where victor grew up and also returned to after finishing his college and also after the creation of the monster. In addition to that the murders of Justine and William in the novel also happen in areas around Geneva. Another place traced in the book is Ingolstadt in Germany where Victor undertook his college. Also it is in this place that Victor created the monster in his laboratory and thus this place serves as the city of the monster awakening.
Other place sin the novel Frankenstein includes the following: Chamounix, a place where Frankenstein traveled to in order to escape his depression and guilt and it’s also the place where the monster approached him to convince him to make a female companion for the monster. Also it’s in areas around Chamounix that the monster lived in an ice cave. More over, Victor also spends a lot of his time in hut in Orkney Islands in Scotland while making the female companion for the monster. Finally North Pole is also mentioned in the novel and this is the destination for Robert Walton, his ship as well as Victor and the monster. Walton is bound to North Pole and its here where he expects to explore in the expectations that he gains glory of his discovery as well as to uncover secrets of the earth. Victor also trails the monster to North Pole in an attempt to destroying it (Baldick, 134).
The character Victor Frankenstein is suffering from ‘god’s complex’ because his is obsessed with creating a ‘perfect’ human life and his ambition comes with a high cost where as he tries to control his surroundings ,life and individuals his actions result to pain as well as serve to leading to his eventual mortal destruction.
This book is a very adventurous book that touches on human character especially given the fact that is written in first person thus draws the audiences sympathy. The book is very compelling and stimulating as the author allows her readers to empathize with her characters. I therefore recommend that people read it.