Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein was written in a story writing competition by Mary Shelley In 1818. This novel is regarded as one of the pioneering work of Mary and also a cornerstone in the literary development of science fiction. Except being first science fiction, it is also one Gothic novel where a monster is created with the help of scientific experiment and the horrible form of monster frightens and creates a sense of havoc and fear in the reader time and again.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The subtitle of the novel is the modern Prometheus.  Prometheus is a   messenger in Greek mythology. He went against the god and tried to be like god but he was punished. In the same parallel way Victor is a modern Prometheus. He tries to take over the role of god and woman.  He creates a monster in a scientific laboratory with dead body parts. But the horrible and hideous creature cannot get success to draw his creator’s attention towards him. So full of anguished the monster starts killing all his relatives, making him quite alone as himself. He suffers whole life till his last breathe.

The novel is written in a unique narrative style, i.e. Chinese box style. There are three first person narratives. The novel starts with the letter written by Walton to his sister, which is commonly known as an epistolary style. Then the narrative is taken by Victor, who tells his ambitious dream and its terrific consequence. Later the narrative is taken up by the monster who in detail shares his loneliness in human society and their cruel behavior towards him and he further persuades Victor, his creator, to make a mate for him. Again the narrative is carried further by Victor and ultimately Walton takes the final narratives.

The novel has a modern feature. The end is open. One can interpret the ending in any way they like. At the end the monster says that it will end its life and  springs out from there. But no traces are there further to justify its end. Walton too on Victor’s request promises to end his dangerous journey, but his return to the land is not mentioned. In this way the novel carries some modern qualities too.