Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Frankenstein: technicalities

Frankenstein is framed as a series of letters written by an explorer named Walton. Within Walton's narrative is the narrative of Frankenstein, whom Walton meets and saves during his expedition. Within Frankenstein's narrative is Frankenstein's monster's narrative, as the creature tells his creator about his experiences. So there are 3 narrators, but there's a narrative in a narrative in a narrative.
The monster is the central point in Frankenstein's life, the peak, the highest achievement, the realisation of his dreams, the marker, the thing that changes everything about his life.
Frankenstein is the actualisation of Walton's hope for a kindred spirit, the embodiment of the glorious spirit he wishes to have, the man that has an impact on Walton's life.
There are parallels between Frankenstein and his monster: both are left alone, without a guide, to learn and discover everything by themselves, which leads to disastrous consequences. As I see in the appendix, Mary Shelley makes the family non-scientific in the 1831 version, whereas in the 1818 version, the father knows about science but, upon seeing his son absorbed in Renaissance books, says they are trash without elaborating on his comment and explaining everything for Frankenstein. In other words, the father's more at fault in the 1818 version.
There are parallels and similarities between Frankenstein and Walton, made more explicit in the 1831 version. They are 2 kinds of scientists who both are willing to sacrifice everything for their work, without regard for consequences.


I've finished reading Frankenstein. Powerful, wonderful book. Should I read other books by Mary Shelley, I wonder. 

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