Mary Shelley’s romantic novel first published in 1818 anonymously has been the inspiration for movie monster makers. Since the first film adaptation in 1823, Shelley’s creation has been brought to life over 50 times, not including cameo appearances. Frankenstein is the source of nightmares, but what many don’t realize is that Shelley’s novel is a classic piece of romantic literature.
You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend.
Victor Frankenstein’s experiment is told through a collection of letters and manuscript of events written by Captain Robert Walton to his sister Margaret. Walton’s account of Victors life and creation of his monster, often referred to as Frankenstein, ring to life Romanticism. Victor’s desire to explore the unknown, all of the character’s focus on individuality, the emphasis on nature as well as the individual’s surroundings are all tenets of romantic literature.
A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.
Literary movements aside, is a story filled with love and the significance of a bond between two people. Walton sets out on his voyage to the North Pole in an effort to find himself. His relationship with his sister is strong, but his desire to achieve something of importance in his life is greater. While is primarily that of a narrator, his story is the driving force of the novel. Without his quest to “change his stars,” he would never have crossed paths with the man who ultimately changed his life.
This manuscript will doubtless afford you the greatest pleasure: but to me, who know him, and who hear it from his own lips, with what interest and sympathy shall I read it in some future day!
Victor’s life, in contrast, is one filled with more than a fair share of heartache. Driven by the death of his mother, Victor throws himself into science. He undertakes the creation of a human only to be repulsed by the results. The 8′ monster with yellow eyes and skin is quickly dismissed by Victor, jumpstarting the rest of the novels series of events. The monster seek vengeance from the moment he is shunned and the speed of the novel keeps up the pace of events until the very end.
Seek happiness in tranquility, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries.
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