Frankenstein is a student of natural philosophy in Geneva. He builds a creature in the semblance of a man and gives it life. The creature is repeatedly rejected by those who see it, but the monster proves intelligent, and later highly articulate. Receiving no love, the creature becomes embittered. Frankenstein deserts his creation but then agrees to make a mate for the monster. A wave of remorse makes him destroy the female. The lone creature swears revenge. He kills Frankenstein's bride on their wedding night. The scientist becomes mad, but recovers and chases the creature across the world. The two confront each other in the icy Arctic wastes.
I went along to a local library to watch Chris Grayling (quite famous academic) give a lecture on Frankenstein, the first 200 years. It turned out the lecture was being streamed from the British Library and projected onto a screen. I am not sure I could not have watched it at home on YouTube, but I suppose it saves me a bit of bandwidth on my bill. The lecture was schedule for 90 minutes, which had me worried, but actually it was very interesting. He even made his answers to some of the rubbish questions his audience asked him quite interesting. Anyway, some of the points I thought were interesting: When it was first published it cost 16 shillings and 6 pence, which would be about £85 in today's money, so expensive. Mary Shelley had difficulty finding a publisher. Eventually it was published by Lackington, who specialised on books on the occult. There were only about 450 odd first edition books available to public (I wondered if Pip from Great Expectations was reading one when Magwich came up to meet him). Mary and Percy Shelley were both vegetarians. There have been suggestions that Percy Shelley did a lot of the writing. Chris Grayling said he'd examined the manuscripts and said Percy had done a 'blue pencil job' (whatever that means), that he'd corrected the grammar. About 4000+ words were his, but Grayling described it only as 'close editing'. The book took a little while to take off, but by the late 1820's, there were about 15 stage versions in London and Paris. Right from the first stage versions, the monster is changed from an over-talkative, sensitive soul to a dumb brute. An idiot assistant was introduced, and a lot more paraphernalia was added to the lab. Mary Shelley wrote a second edition of Frankenstein in 1832. Certain parts of the original were abridged, and I think she added the galvanization aspects (electricity) for bring the creature to life. Mary Shelley somehow knew the curriculum and what life was like for a student at Ingolstadt University. According to Grayling, Sir Walter Scott recognised the book was a new genre for which there was no name to describe. Later it would be called Science Fiction. Mary Shelly never made a lot of money out of the book. She sold the rights for the first edition for about £45, and the second edition for about £55.
I think the writer Shelley had a wild imagination. When I first started reading the novel, I thought this book is boring because I did not understand who Walton was? How did Walton knew about the creator? before Victor mention to the class.
As I read along, I find the story of Frankenstein very intriguing. I cannot imagine the creator of Frankenstein is a women with such intrigued imagination. Why do great novel always starts so boring?
As the story progresses, it seems that Victor and Frankenstein are similar. Do you think that the monster was a manifestation of Victorís state of mind?
Frankenstein draws parallels to Mary Shelly, such as a motherís death from childbirth and not having any formal education. Do you think Mary saw herself in writing Frankenstein?
Do you believe that if the monster had a family that loved him and cared for him it would have prevented tragedy from occuring? Also, should Frankenstein have taken more responsibility for the monster since he is the creator? Let me know your thoughts!
I am reading Frankenstein for an literature class I am currently taking and for this post I am choosing to both summarize letters 1-4 in the beginning of the novel; after readinfg my summary I would like to discuss some of the themes that one may see in the beginning of this novel. In the beginning of the novel we meet Robert Walton, a sea captain who is on a journey to find a passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He writes many letters to his sister in London in named Mrs. Saville. This journey is something that he talked/ dreamed about for many years and now that he gets to do it, he is very happy and since none of his other dreams have manifested themselves he feels as though this must be successful. The writer of the letters is happy that this dream of his will allow for him to satisfy an 'ardent curiosity" since he will be setting foot on another part of the world that someone hasn't been on yet. To prepare for the trip Walton takes practice trips to Russia and as he takes this practice trip one of the things on his mind is that he doesn't have a friend who will be able to maintain the disappointment that he will feel if the trip doesn't go as he plans. As it begins, the journey is going well but then in the middle of the ocean they see a sleigh that is being pulled by dogs which then disappears; then the next day there is another sleigh and the person on this sleigh then boards the ship nearly frozen. Walton comes to find out that the person is out looking for someone who ran from him (which happens to be the person from the first sleigh); as Walton spends more time with him he comes to find out how unhappy this person is and that at some point he had the same dreams as Walton but had to abandon them. For me, I see the development of a heroic theme beginning. Walter is going on an expedition to discover something that is unknown to man to the point he is willing to risk his life just to do this. What are some other themes that you all see developing in letters 1-4? Let's chat!
Does the monster's expressiveness and persuasiveness make it easier for readers to sympathize with him? Why do most movie versions present the monster as mute or inarticulate?
Who do you think was more of a monster, Victor or his new creation?
Hi! I'm just curious what exactly was the color of Frankenstein's monster? Was it blue or black? Thanks
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