In one word: Staggering
Cannonball Read Bingo: Hot
I will never recover from the origins of this book. That Mary Shelley started writing it to tell a spooky story on a rainy day AT THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN is staggering. And that this story has stood the test of time and become such a classic and revisited tale, so much so that I’m re-reading this book that I read when I was 13 because my kid is now reading it at 13? Astounding. So to label this in the “hot” category for my bingo card seemed like a no-brainer, since its popularity has never waned. (Also, I liked that “hot” references the misconception that the monster is afraid of fire, as he is in so many of the retellings but not in the book. Heh).
I’m not going to rehash what has been rehashed ad nauseum, but I will share my cheeky observations of Dr. Frankenstein. He is frustrating and narrow-minded. Boiled down, this story is a journey following a man who is incapable of dealing with the very obvious and very foreseen consequences of his actions.
So in a way, my choice of staggering refers not only to the brilliance of Shelley creating one of the most well-known modern monster myths, but of what Frankenstein does for practically the whole novel, stagger around, wide-eyed, taking no responsibility.
- Step One: Be consumed by the ability to create life.
- Step Two: Create said life.
- Step Three: Immediately freak out OH NO. WHAT HAVE I DONE? And run away.
- Step Four: Wring hands and lament what I’ve done as the monster tries and fails to assimilate into a culture that doesn’t want him and the bodies pile up.
The doctor isn’t a very sympathetic character, but then, he isn’t supposed to be. This story is horrifying, thoughtful, and cleverly crafted and I hope that my kid gets to experience it with his kid someday.