Saturday, February 19, 2011
Book Review: Frankenstein
It's probably been over 20 years since the last time I read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I have to say that I am more astonished now than I was in my 20s that Shelley was just a teenager when she wrote this. A teenager!
I can't imagine anyone doesn't know the plot of Frankenstein, although usually people refer to the monster itself as Frankenstein. While a university student, Victor Frankenstein discovers how to make life by raiding the graveyard and making a man out of corpses. He is horrified by the creature he has built and abandons him. The creature, who starts as a dumb animal, manages to educate himself by spying on a family, and eventually he seeks revenge on Frankenstein.
This novel takes me back to my days as an English major in college, reading sweeping tales with poetic and often challenging language. Makes me ponder why I surrender so easily and regularly to today's novels, with predominately limited vocabulary. Are we that dumbed down?
I am going to be teaching Frankenstein for a British Lit class next year, so I'll be previewing movie versions too. I was disappointed to see that 1994 version is rated "R," as that one sounds like the most accurate rendering.