On Beginning Frankenstein

North Pole scenery

Image via Wikipedia

  • I did not realize it was an epistolary novel, told in a series of journal entries and letters from different characters to each other.   It’s also not the same character throughout–one exchange leads to the next and then so on, so that the letters are somewhat nested inside each other.  This is not a form you see as often in modern fiction, so more boundary-pushing for me as a reader.
  • The opening scenes, on a ship frozen amidst icebergs en route to the North Pole, seeing the giant glide across the ice in his sledge and quickly vanish, his creator appearing only too late to catch him? Chilling, no pun intended, and the ice motif seems to be present as the novel progresses as well.
  • I was surprised that the monster has already been created by the fourth chapter–my cinematic experiences suggested more of a build-up, I think, with “mad scientist in his laboratory” scenes aplenty.
  • This is also a much more poignant and articulate “monster” than the green guy with bolts in the side of his head.  Frightening, too.  Listen to him talk to his creator: “If you comply with my conditions, I will leave you and them in peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends.”  Yikes, indeed.
  • This would be a great novel to teach in conjunction with a unit on the Bible and then one on Paradise Lost , which I’m sure has been done before, but would make for an interesting semester.  I know, I know, this isn’t my teaching blog, but I suppose it’s inevitable for these thoughts to creep in.

So far, I’m seven chapters and ninety pages in.  I’m planning another progress-post, and then a review-style post once I’ve finished, but since this is a new project for me, I’m still testing out what feels best.


1 Comment

Filed under Books I Should Have Read in High School, Gothic Reading Challenge

One response to “On Beginning Frankenstein

  1. Pingback: Review: Frankenstein | Jackie Is Reading…..

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