Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (its full title) is on my bucket list of books to read. I haven’t read it, but so want to. Written by Mary Shelley, wife of the poet Percy Shelley, in 1818, it tells the story of Dr Frankenstein, and his monster created in a science experiment to bring life back to a body. Instead of the beautiful creature of his dream, Dr Frankenstein finds he has created a grotesque, misshapen monster. He flees from his monster, which leads it to murder his brother. After following his creature into the mountains, the creature then tells Dr Frankenstein his tale of discovering what he really was, hideous. He begs the doctor to make him mate, to allow him some happiness. The doctor reluctantly agrees. After starting work on the companion for his monster, Dr Frankenstein becomes plagued with the thought of his monster and its mate breeding a new race just like them, and destroys the mate. The monster sees and threatens the doctor’s life, and those he loves. After killing the doctor’s wife on their wedding night, the monster flees to the North Pole, where both the Doctor and his creation meet their end.
The book has been remade into films quite a few times. It was first made into numerous stage shows that retold the story of Dr Frankenstein and his monster. Others talked about the fate of the creature, and were more loosely based on the novel. There have been lots of TV shows and movies made based on the creation of the monster including The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Frankenstein: The True Story. It has been accepted into popular culture with the monster becoming the Halloween costume of choice for many children.
For those of you who have also not read the book, you may be wondering why I have just recited the entire plot, and what is the point in reading the book at all? I do read books for the story, who doesn’t? But I also read them for what I get out of them. There’s a difference from books that give you an escape from reality, and those that make you question yourself. Frankenstein is one of those books that does both. It takes questioning yourself and your existence to a completely new level, with the escapism plot line there for those who don’t want to think too hard about it. What books do you read to escape reality? What is the most thought provoking book have you read? Comment below answering either of these, or both if you want.