Disclaimer: Some of the references in this review may spoil critical aspects of the story
Unlike one’s typical idea of pleasure, Mary Shelly’s work of Frankenstein resulted from a summer writing challenge to create a horror story. She succeeded by brilliantly portraying the consequences of a man’s obsession with his abilities and most tragically, his neglect of responsibility-terrifying, indeed. Contrary to Hollywoods characterization of Frankenstein being “the monster,” he is rather the scientist, Victor Frankenstein. Who, from an early age, becomes familiar with death and fascinated with life. Frankenstein is a man obsessed with his discoveries, and thereby haunted by his choices.
Throughout the book, the Monster and Frankenstein have extensive and profound conversations concerning meaning and the purpose of life; the Monster referencing The Sorrows of Werter, Plutarch’s Lives, and Paradise Lost. Even going so far as to relate his (the Monster’s) own life to that of Adam’s; searching for but being unsuccessful in finding a mate. Honestly, I experienced an unexpected sympathy towards his misfortunes; as a yearning for hopeful meaning in a world of hopeless circumstances is all nature and good to seek and understand.
Remember that this is a horror, so as to my recommendation of the book, I would only do so on the condition that one has not recently experienced loss, as there are thoroughly grotesque circumstances surrounding death. Thus I would further advice avoiding the convenience of reading at night (as I regret making this stubborn choice on more than one occasion).
Overall, Frankenstein is a curiously enthralling tale on the consequences of the abuse of ability, riddled with the inquiries and reflections on the meaning of life and love.