Feeling For Frankenstein

This is how ignorant I was about Frankenstein: I didn’t know it was the name of the doctor, not the monster, until I read the book. Last night.

“What kind of cultural literacy is that?” I ask you. (A sorely lacking one, in the horror department.)

Poor Frankenstein monster. Created out of selfish desire, and then completely abandoned by his maker.

Poor Frankenstein monster. When he goes out and observes a beautiful family, both son and daughter attending to their blind father, he tells himself that he can find a way into their hearts if he goes through the father first. Which does not turn out to be at all true. In horror, the family flees their rented farm. Even though their poverty is extreme they feel it is better to leave their garden and hut than face the monster again.

Our appreciation of others so heavily hinges upon external images. Like it or not, admit it or not, isn’t your first impression of someone based on appearance?

Shunned at every turn, Frankenstein gives birth to revenge. Like Dracula, he is an elusive evil, turning up when least expected in the most remote parts of the world. He is unable to be vanquished.

But, my heart bleeds for him. He was misunderstood. He was abandoned. He had no father and mother. No family to call his own.

Is there any more real horror story than that?

12 thoughts on “Feeling For Frankenstein

  1. I didn't know that Frankenstein wasn't the monster either until I read this one :p This is one of my favorite books and you share my same sentiments. One of the genius things about this novel is how the monster is not the true monster of the novel. It really was such a sad story! I felt for the monster so much…poor monster 😦


  2. Chris! You said it perfectly! All those paragraphs I wrote, and I could have said it succinctly like you did in this ONE sentence: The monster is not the true monster of the novel. Brilliant! And, that leads me to the whole other side of parenting, when you leave your child flaws you yourself have. Accidently, of course. Thoughts for another post on another day.


  3. Now I have to read it- you and Mrs. Chili both posted about it and my curiosity is piqued. I think I DID know that it was the name of the doctor, but only because of the Mel Brooks movie "Young Frankenstein". ("It's Franken STEEn")


  4. I was listening to a wonderful program on Radio Australia last night…they were debating the authorship of "Frankenstein". Many experts believe that 19-year old Mary could not have been the author and credit Percy Shelley for writing it instead. I haven't read "Frankenstein", I might have to pick it up next year around this time.


  5. I think Mary Shelley very definitely wrote it – it's all about birth, abandonment and creation. Gertrude Stein, I think, had a lit crit piece on this on Arts & Letters Daily, awhile back.Wasn't the doctor a selfish cad? Wanted to smack him most of the book.


  6. mrs. T, now I'll have to go see what Chili wrote. Thanks for the heads up. My husband loves Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks did create some funny movies. I like them funnier rather than scarier, myself.Lotus Reads, I would have liked to catch that radio program. I often wonder about the authenticity of some authors (most particularly, the doubt some have of Shakespeare). But, I'm certainly no expert.Carrie, the doctor was awful! He almost deserved to lose everyone in his family because of his cruel abandonment. There's no way he could have lived and the story be so successful, I think. Your words of 'birth, abandonment and creation' make me think more deeply of the novel's complications. Which I'm sure is partly why it's become so famous.


  7. I also thought Frankenstein was the monster until I first read it.My heart bleed for the creature as well. He did horrible things, but I couldn't help but to feel sorry for him, for his loneliness, for his abandonment. Lovely review!


  8. cj, so tragic! I had no idea the depth of emotion in this book, because the films (and characterization of Frankenstein even in comic type books) do not lend themselves to understanding how sad he was.Nymeth, I felt sad too. He's actually a character closer to reality than not, unfortunately. Thanks for liking the review.


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