Frankenstein it’s an epistolary novel written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. It can be considered as one of the first science-fiction novels.
In the novel there’s Robert Walton that writes letters to his sister Margaret. In some of these letters he tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a man that finds during his exploration in the North Pole.
Victor is obsessed with scientific studies and so he gets to bring to life a creature, made of dead human bodies parts. His previous excitement about the experiment turns to fear when Victor sees what he has made and his reaction terrifies the creature too, which runs away.
After discovering the death of his brother, Victor decides to look for his fugitive creation and when he finds it, this one starts to tell to Victor about the fear, loneliness and rejection that has felt. So Victor decides to create a female companion to “the monster”, but he quickly changes his mind and destroys this second creature for fear of how dangerous could have become.
That’s now that the creature becomes a monster. In fact, full of anger, begins to put in act his revenge against his creator: he kills Victor’s best friend, Henry and then Victor’s future wife, also causing indirectly Victor’s father death.
At the end also Victor dies and the “monster” disappears.
The main themes are:
- the dangerous side of knowledge, in fact Victor’s thirst of knowledge and excessive
curiosity lead him to tragic situations that he can’t manage;
- the creation of living beings, there’s an evident bond between Victor and Prometheus, the titan that created human kind, according to greek mythology. Furthermore both Victor and Prometheus made the mistake of ignore the rules, one by deciding to go beyond Nature limits and the other by stealing fire from Gods;
- the monstrosity, that’s faced with the presence of a monster, but real monstrosity can be seen in the way with which Victor and other people treat the creature, making win the prejudices and considering only its appearance. So the immoral behavior of people that’s the exact cause of the conversion of an harmless creature to a dangerous monster.