Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mary Shelley - Frankenstein

I suffered quite a bit from having to read this book. I found the rationale behind most of the plot points to be unconvincing and often downright morally corrupt. Furthermore, the language was irritating in a way that I have encountered before in literature from the 1800's but I found even more irksome than the other texts of its day. The long convoluted language and the rambling paragraphs that conclude with the final and solely useful sentences drove me crazy, and I was thrilled to finally finish it.
The entire analogy of an inventor (who claims to be blameless but is completely responsible for having entered into this without due thought, and then does not take responsibility soon enough to make a difference) reminds me so completely of some current leaders who enter into serious events lightly without due consideration, and create a monster that follows them around for the rest of their lives.

I was struck by the absurdity of the notion that the inventor could think himself blameless in this case. Secondly, I do not understand why he did not simply lure his monster in with the promise of a female and shoot him to death or trap and destroy him in some similar fashion, and I was struck- as always- by the 19th century conventions of fainting, madness, mental ills and general emotional and mental weakness that (presumably) causes complete collapse and inability to function on any level, and generally results in completely physical breakdown and illness. Also, why would he not have realized that the monster which is clearly clever would not kill Elizabeth instead of attack himself? And why did he allow his entire family to be targeted?

It is ridiculous to assume that in his "madness" he did not consider this creature to be despicable until after it is brought to life. I realize that this parallels many human flaws but it is still absurd and insane to presume that anyone, no matter how infatuated with their own genius, would be so enamoured by the science that they would ignore the basic tenet that a hideous inanimate creature becomes a hideous animate creature.

Essentially, I was disgusted at the repeated claim that Victor felt guiltless, and although he did endeavor to do the right thing (although I feel that the creature deserved either destruction or the creation of a mate rather than being condemned to exist in his wretched desire) I fail to see his merits, aside from his genius and perhaps his eloquence. The best intentions in the world mean nothing when the actions are so far the opposite.
The tragedy is that although Victor deserved everything he got, his sweet loved ones did not. They were the ones to suffer and lose their lives for what he did, and that alone is unfortunate. I have absolutely no pity for anyone who creates life or even a situation- deliberately- without trying to consider the consequences. Whether it is childbirth, getting a doberman or dropping a bomb, it is the responsibility of the one who is acting to ensure that they prevent all possible heartache and trouble from occurring.