Shelley's novel opens with several letters written by the storyteller, Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England as Walton himself is on a grand voyage to the end of the earth. The series of letters sets the stage for introducing Victor Frankenstein who Walton meets during his voyage. And then, the rest of the book recounts Frankenstein's story of his life. I was especially glued to Shelley's vivid descriptions of locales, the changing seasons, how the characters looked and their emotions at different parts of the story. The writing was so colorful that it was better than watching a movie. Shelley's story also depicted the sensibilities of the age, especially the differing natures and primary pursuits of various countries and peoples in Europe and England. It portrayed the importance that some individuals put on science and other intellectual pursuits while others choose to occupy themselves primarily with commerce and the accumulation of wealth. Shelley depicted the interplay of good and bad in human character and very successfully did so. Personally, my realization was that there is always reason why people do certain things and that this reason is primarily good in the view of the person acting on the reason. Before I read the original text of Frankenstein, I had very many misconceptions about the story. I had thought Frankenstein was the monster, or Victor Frankenstein was a mad scientist, or that a Mrs. Frankenstein actually came into being. All this was probably brought on by the different stories I heard on the same subject. I never thought that I would consider Frankenstein a literary masterpiece that has made it become a classic. Actually reading the novel has of course changed all that.
It was quite easy for me to get a copy of Frankenstein because it was available in the Project Gutenberg collection. A remarkable novel such as what Mary Shelley has written over 200 years ago can now be easily accessed, read, dissected, analyzed or merely perused for enjoyment. The Gutenberg collection has over 3 million titles and over 25,000 of these are freely accessible. Indeed, in this age of computers it is quite marvelous to be able to look back at somebody's work from hundreds of years ago, learn from it and get inspired by it.
Who is Victor Frankenstein (Reflective Essay)
It is amazing to realize that Victor Frankenstein, the character created by Mary Shelley in her famous novel some 200 years ago may well be any one of us, today. Shelley may have over dramatized the pursuits of Frankenstein in her book but the character of Victor, his aspirations, his focused pursuit of objectives, his joys and sorrows are as human as they were then as they are now.
Victor, at the story's opening is from a family with means. But as he relates the story of his parents, it was not so in the past, rather a series of ups and downs in terms of economic well-being. That initial story already depicts human histories that are true