- File Size: 5176 KB
- Print Length: 343 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 158855029X
- Publisher: Puffin (February 3, 2011)
- Publication Date: February 3, 2011
- Sold by: PEN UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004NNULN6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,434,990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Frankenstein (The Originals) Kindle Edition
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- Length: 343 pages
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From the Author
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a novel written in epistolary form, documenting a fictional correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his siste, Margaret Walton Saville. Walton is failed writer and captain who sets out to explore the North Ple and expand his scientific kowledge in hopes of achieving fame. Durng the voyage, the cre spots a dog saled driven by a gigantic fiture.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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There is no question of the madness, inherent in what Frankenstein did, nor is there any way to justify the lack of humility that he shows in seeking his goals. That he is driven is obvious, but the fact that he is also maddened to the point that he goes against the very laws of nature in his quest to achieve what he perceives as glory. This is the mark of a man who does not see others as equals, nor even those close to him as anything other than a means to an end.
Some might go on to claim that he is merely misguided, that he is not entirely aware of what his actions will bring, and they would not be wrong. Frankenstein is a man with a decided vision of what he wants and how to go about it. He seeks knowledge as the divine form of humanity, and in doing so comes upon an idea that seems inspired. What he does not take into account is the morality of his actions, nor the inherent consequences of disturbing a uniquely devastating and unknown force.
While the character of Frankenstein is by no means alone in the horror genre, he is perhaps one of the more unique individuals in that he does not seek to repress or change anything, but to simply create. Worse than this, his eccentricities are often seen as a normal drive to succeed and prove whatever point he is attempting to make. In other words, he appears as he is, a normal human being, not a raging homicidal maniac, nor a recluse that feels the need to hide away from others to perform his ongoing experiments. Granted he is not open to most about his nightly trips to the graveyard, unlike such figures as Dr. Moreau, Dr. Jekyll, or even Griffin, the Invisible Man. His madness runs a great deal deeper and as such is not as visible.
This is perhaps the worst kind of madness, the type that exists far enough below the surface and does not emerge until it is needed or summoned. In going forth with his experiments, Frankenstein unveiled the madness within as he went about his dark and macabre tasks, seeking the spark of divinity that helped to breathe life into inanimate flesh. That he would think of such a thing allows the reader to believe that he is in a way unhinged, to begin with, unable to discern that what he is attempting to do is seen as forbidden for a good reason. It is only upon finishing his project and eventually bringing it to life that he realizes his error, and in doing so is too late to stop the madness that has escaped to manifest itself in new flesh.
There is no mistake about it, the madness that spurred Frankenstein is transferred as though by the same current that brought life to his creature, transferring the scientist’s insanity to the beast in a manner that, like its creator, remains hidden until later. Through several renderings in film, popular literature, and even comic books and other such forms of entertainment, the legend of Frankenstein and his monster have permeated popular culture, spreading the unseen madness of the scientist to the masses in a manner that has become almost comical in many ways. Throughout the years, since its publication, Frankenstein has, in fact, become less of a presence and more of a legend, the unseen creator behind the creature that has terrorized movie screens and television programs for decades. In truth, the popularity of the monster has largely masked the madness of its creator.
It is reasonable to think that the affable nature of the monster has made it possible to look past the obvious shortcomings of its creator, thereby relegating Frankenstein, the man, to a place that is comfortably removed from the popular legend. In accepting such a role, the mad scientist could quietly slip into legend. One example has been depicted in at least one popular series written by famed author Dean Koontz. Within the pages, he writes, “Frankenstein is no less mad, no less determined to see his vision develop into reality, but has drastically changed gears in the attitudes he displays towards his creations.” In this rendering of Frankenstein, the scientist has achieved his goal, that of limited immortality, and has done so through the use of his creation.
The madness of this version of Victor Frankenstein is well-documented, as he has become more of a monster than his creation, possessed of an intellect on par with the earliest rendering of the character and an arrogance to match. Where the story diverges, however, is in the use of fantasy that is brought to bear that Shelley did not think of perhaps, or was not aware existed in her day and age. Fantasy and the human reaction to such have changed over time as the realm of fiction has been expanded and redesigned by each new author and aspiring artist. The evolution of Frankenstein and his unstable mien have no doubt been affected by this transition, but have stayed largely the same from one author to another. Yet other renditions paint Frankenstein as a tragic character that, undone by his own misguided machinations and lack of understanding concerning the acts he had committed, seeks to remedy his sins by seeking out the monster. Each new rendition of the legend goes into its own spin concerning the psychological profile of Frankenstein, but few, if any, deviate from the madness that is inherent in his actions, or in the man. This is perhaps because by the majority of society such an act would be deemed as not only wrong but the product of a diseased and deranged mind. To call the man mad would be a kindness in truth, as the adjective does not adequately explain the inherent danger of Frankenstein’s schemes.
Brilliant as the character was, he was doomed by his own intellect and bound to traverse where wiser men would not dare to tread. The mere absence of fear in the face of the unknown was not the reason why he was considered a mad scientist. When coupled with his arrogance and determination to prove wrong the laws of science and mankind, it became more than evident that Frankenstein was more than just determined; he was in his own way crazed and unbalanced. Many would call him a revolutionary, a free-thinker amidst a sea of criticism, and in part, they would be right.
The more innovative amongst mankind’s ranks are often called mad or deranged, even when their pursuits are far more innocent and not as doomed to fail. Change in any manner is often fought against with such wild abandon that many do not see their ideas reach fruition. Those like Frankenstein, however, who are so determined that they defy the very laws of existence are often those who are not only successful but subjected to the harshest and most damning criticism imaginable. At some point and time, there are those among them who are convinced to abandon their dream through use of force, the last resort that has been used even in the legend of Frankenstein.
Born of an idea that came to her after witnessing the effect of electric shocks upon the muscles of a human body, Mary Shelley began to develop a strange fascination over whether or not the applied current could possibly serve to reanimate flesh that was long since dead. Fortunately for the world, she did not become a product of her imagination, but in her simple observance, she soon gave birth to one of the most controversial and popular stories ever written. The words that would eventually come to describe the man and his monster were inspired by dreams and visions that Shelley experienced after the ordeal, a grisly tableau that painted a picture of the pale, wide-eyed doctor and the shrouded form atop the operating table. This image is what has been seen in countless renditions of the legend, and still holds true today in several modern films that have taken up the task of recreating the legend.
Despite the plight of the mad scientist, however, many versions of the story have attempted to humanize Frankenstein in such a manner that he appears more the hapless victim than a scheming madman. While he is indeed the victim of his own creation, he is still very much responsible not only for its grotesque and hated form but also the actions it eventually commits. After being rejected by its creator the creature flees and is chased from the village by a frightened mob that sees it as little more than a horrid, unclean thing. It is only when the creature learns to speak and eventually approaches its creator again that the reader gets the sense that maybe this time Frankenstein will show his worth.
The reader is thus disappointed and not entirely surprised when Frankenstein, utterly disgusted at his own failure, rejects the creature yet again and thinks only of his own reputation should he acquiesce to the creature’s request for a mate. Not wanting to be responsible for a new breed of monsters, Frankenstein refuses the request in one version, and after going through with the process in other versions, he destroys the second monster, thereby ensuring the creature’s swift and horrible vengeance. There is no thought as to what the creature will do after it has been denied so forcefully, nor whether it will bother him anew. Instead, Frankenstein, in his arrogance and delusions, considers the matter solved. Only when he begins to lose those closest to him does he truly understand his mistake.
The story of Frankenstein provides the basis for many different studies, not the least of which are analytical and behavioral in nature. A complex character in his own right, he is a quandary of sorts in that he attempts to be a good man, a loving husband, and a good friend to those who know him best, but to any and all others, he is an oddity. His arrogance and intellect often keep him well above and away from those who would otherwise seek to be his equal, and his drive towards whatever goal he desires makes him seem almost manic. In attempting to pin down the character of Frankenstein, it can almost be stated that he is the worst type of monster, which is one that appears as a man but does not think like one.
He is a visionary, yet he is a blasphemous fool. He proves that he is a genius, but his actions denote a horrid, uncaring intelligence that knows little to nothing of real compassion. His works are ground-breaking and push the limits of known science, but carry absolutely no humility nor caution. Frankenstein is the monster that hides in the background as his creation wreaks havoc, the madman who inadvertently releases his own wickedness upon the world.
While his creation was an unthinking brute, the creature eventually became an educated, free-thinking individual. Its only sin was to be born to a world that would hate and revile it, seeking its destruction more because of its differences than because of who had created it. A madman is an individual that can hide amongst the monsters and mortal beings alike. For Victor Frankenstein, there is no shortage of madness, nor is there any hiding the truth behind the genius. But not all monsters and madmen are so easy to find, as they hide behind the guise of normalcy.
Top international reviews
An intelligent and ambitious young student indulges a moment of thoughtless scientific passion and creates life. Horrified at his creation, Victor Frankenstein shuns the creature and attempts to discard it from his life and thoughts. The creature, however, is lost in an unkind world and seeks affection, and upon rejection then seeks revenge.
STUDENT NOTES (5/5)
+ Although many reviewers note The York Notes version usefulness at GCSE, I found in instrumental at helping me receive an A* at A-Level as well:
a) The (character, theme and quotation) analysis is brilliant, clear and precise.
b) The exam questions, key quotations and chapter summaries were invaluable
c) The responses to the text, both modern and those from Shelley's contemporaries are invaluable (especially the feminist and psychoanalytical essays).
+ Both main characters are easy to empathise with despite being completely at heads – both Victor (the ambitious scientist who realises his overreach and attempts to redeem himself) and the monster (whose fragile psyche is birthed from rejection)
+ The original, but nevertheless still one of the most remarkable science fiction stories ever written, its relevance persists today as scientific discovery journeys further than before into ethical ambiguity (GM food, AI, cloning) and discrimination still exists in all its forms.
+ Typically Romantic and beautifully descriptive prose, particularly regarding the natural world.
- The book begins very slowly with excessive detail, and the epistolary form makes it hard to convey any sense of suspense. But if you persist despite this you will be drawn in to Shelley's world.
So for the first time we can read this class novel as Mary originally intended. It's somewhat shorter, and faster paced than the finished book, as was published in 1818. In fact, Percy revised the draft quite considerably - crossing out many words, altering sentence structure, and adding some 5,000 words to the manuscript. Here we can plainly see the differences between the early manuscript and the final publication.
The editor of this volume, Charles Robinson, provides a 20 page introduction, exploring the differences between the two versions.
This book is nicely presented, on good quality paper. If you're interested in the development of the Frankenstein novel, you'll appreciate this book.
The monster comes back to haunt Frankenstein and shower misery upon him with devious and murderous means of close relatives. Frankenstein is caught up in a battle of his own conscience as the ghoulish giant monster blackmails him for his own contentment and happiness. This story is a fabulous masterpiece. I am so pleased I read this.
The Last Days of Thunder Child: Victorian Britain in chaos!
From letter 2 "...do now not be alarmed for my protection or if I ought to come lower back to you as worn and woeful because of the "Ancient Mariner" We think lower back means to return!
Also from letter 2 " I dare no longer anticipate such fulfillment, yet I can not endure to look on the reverse of the photo" Photo, really?
It is as if someone has translated this book into another language and then it has been translated back to English from the, possibly, not so good translation or may be it has been put through google translate twice!
From letter 3 "...however it's miles the peak of summer season, and despite the fact that no longer so heat as in England, the southern gales, which blow us in a timely fashion in the direction of the ones seashores which I so ardently preference to attain...." WHAT?
I am now buying another edition and will start again.
I can overlook the overblown style `... and her countenance expressed all those bad qualities which often characterise that class.' ` .. very soon, will death extinguish these throbbings, and relieve me from the mighty weight of anguish that bears me to the dust; ' That is presumably a feature of the period.
- the dear lady has not the least idea of any scientific field. Putting together the ca. 80 kilos of organic material for a human being seems to involve simply `chemical instruments'. (Oh, please!)
- Victor creates his creature, which then disappears from the lab and V. seems to be totally unconcerned about where it is/ what it is doing for two years. Instead, we get a description of the landscape.
- Creature observes a family in a woodland cottage and in less than a year manages to pick up quite erudite speech, writing and an encyclopedia knowledge.
- Creature kills V's brother and a girl is blamed, tried, accused and hanged. V is distraught during the trial but then pootles off with no further concern (until he starts listing the murders).
- V is on a boat at night and drifts off to sleep with the gentle swell. By morning he is in Ireland. He started off on the Orkney islands. (That's pretty good going!!) etc.
I had heard years ago the reason why Mary Shelly wrote this novel - she lived in a time of rapid technological development and this felt like a force let loose on the world, out of man's control. I can understand the novel on that level and feel that this interpretation is more than valid in our times. Whether it really was the case for Shelly I actually doubt - she wrote the book decades before the Industrial Revolution.
I would add to that - it starts with man playing God without even thinking the development through.
What is also very clear from the novel and an idea/ message that I am firmly convinced of:
- rejection generates fear which generates agression.
The creature tells V. that several times but V. can't see it. This chain is also very evident in our society.
This superb little hardcover book by Macmillan is one of their extensive Collector’s Library series. They are small, feather-light and easy to stow in a handbag on your travels, but they are also very pretty and well made, with duck-egg blue covers, gilded page edges and a satin ribbon marker. This makes them ideal for holidays, and then for keeping afterwards.
This quite short book has become the inspiration for one of the most famous, recognisable and enduring film subjects in the history of cinema. Given this indisputable set of facts, there are so many things about the book which are a surprise.
Firstly, the book was written a long time ago, in 1816-1817, and was published in 1818. This makes it pretty ground-breaking, given its subject matter. Also, considering the early date of writing, the geographical scope of the book is fascinating, with action taking place in Switzerland, Germany, England, the Orkneys, Ireland, St Petersburgh and the Arctic Circle. And the beautiful, detailed descriptions of these places sound authentic, suggesting that the writer was well-travelled, had visited a fair proportion of the locations, and knew some well.
Thirdly, the author was a woman. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was married to one of England’s greatest romantic poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and was also the daughter of famous parents: they were philosophers, and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft was a groundbreaking feminist. She was well (though largely informally) educated, and other women were also publishing fabulous novels by then (Jane Austen died in 1817), but nevertheless, there is a world of difference between Austen’s gloriously sharp witty romances, and the deeply dark world of ‘Frankenstein’. In addition, Mary was just 18, when she began composing ‘Frankenstein’.
Another surprise, to anyone who knows the films, is that the novel is different, more complex and certainly darker. The iconic 1931 film for example, could be said to be based loosely on the book. The Monster too, (and remember the basic error so often made: the SCIENTIST is Frankenstein, NOT the Monster), is a much more interesting, complex and bleakly-imagined invention than the film versions over the years.
This book represents a truly amazing feat of imagination and horror. The structure, as well as the story, is complex, with Victor Frankenstein telling his story in the first person, recounted in letters also written by ‘I’, Captain Robert Walton writing to his sister. The language is flowery, but highly evocative and descriptive, and chilling. Read it if you dare!
It is quite ironic that on first publication in 1818 this didn’t meet with a rush of buyers, and was belittled quite a bit by the critics, the story only really taking off with the third edition in 1831, where Mary had made a number of revisions. Nowadays this text, the original 1818 version is preferred by scholars and others as it carries more of the original spirit and intent of the tale.
As Robert Walton writes to his sister as he starts his voyage to the North Pole he little expects to find someone such as Victor Frankenstein traversing the icy vastness. As Victor is taken aboard the ship he recounts his tale to Walton, one that is tragic in scope. Victor uses his knowledge as we all know to create life, but as can happen so often he has little thought of what the consequences can be, especially as he loathes his creation. What follows is a game of cat and mouse between creator and created as they are both hell-bent on the destruction of the other.
Taking in the troubles that science can cause unabated this also explores human emotions, both good and bad where something strange and different can cause hate. There is also murder and revenge here, as well as thoughts on suicide, making this quite poignant. As you read this tale you don’t actually hate Victor for what he has created, or indeed the monster that has been given life, as this shows us our own inhumanities and how our perceptions can cause problems. Still relevant to us today we can see in this tale such warnings as the rise of Hitler and fascism as well as racism and science with no ethics or morals.
In all this is a wonderful piece of gothic literature, and arguably the first proper modern science fiction tale, as this doesn’t fall into fantasy, or as sci-fi had been used up unto then as allegory.
"Frankenstein" é o resultado de uma aposta entre uma inglesinha de 19 anos e Lord Byron. Ambos foram desafiados a inventar uma história de terror e Mary Shelley criou um clássico do gênero gótico, enquanto que o manuscrito do afamado poeta ficou relegado ao esquecimento.
Na verdade, o livro é uma tocante narrativa sobre o preconceito e a solidão, cabendo ao leitor refletir sobre quem é realmente o monstro nessa história. Escrito entre 1816 e 1817, foi publicado no ano seguinte e revisado pela autora na terceira edição, considerada a definitiva e usada como base para traduções.
Pouca gente sabe que seu título original é "Frankenstein ou o Moderno Prometeu", pois assim como esse titã foi punido por Zeus, quando revelou o segredo do fogo à humanidade, seu protagonista, o jovem cientista Viktor Frankenstein, também recebeu seu castigo ao descobrir o mistério da criação da vida que é de natureza divina. Aliás, o conflito entre o avanço da ciência e religião é um dos enfoques narrativos.
Uma confusão frequente é adotar Frankenstein, o sobrenome do criador, como o nome da criatura que sequer é mencionado. Também não há qualquer referência que ela seja produto da mutilação de cadáveres ou mesmo que veio à vida através de um raio.
Tais controvérsias foram introduzidas através das inúmeras adaptações sofridas pela obra nem sempre fidedignas. A própria aparência do monstro descrita no livro é singularmente diferente da imagem atual: sua pele é amarela ao invés de esverdeada e seus cabelos curtos com aquela "cômica" franjinha, na verdade, são lisos e compridos.
Finalmente, em 1994, foi lançada um filme homônimo, dirigido por Kenneth Branagh com ele no papel do cientista e Robert De Niro como a criatura. É a adaptação muito próxima do original e, sem duvida, merece atenção.
I was very disappointed with the quality of the cover. The imprint is of poor quality: shallow and blurred, without the definition pictured. It started to wear off from the spine from a single reading, and just removing the manufacturer's label really damaged the embossing. Really annoying as you really are paying for a beautiful collector's item book cover (the novel is free on Kindle). I wouldn't buy Penguine Clothbound again, and certainly not as a gift.
That Mary Shelley was herself pregnant at the time she wrote this adds another layer to this rich story of creator/progeny where the `father' is horrified by the `child' he has created. But this is also a book which engages with questions about innate `human' nature vs. nurture, and the extent to which we are created by our social and cultural environments.
That the `creature' itself is well-read and comes to understand its own creation, existence and desires through Milton's Paradise Lost is only one of the complexities of this book; and the increasing mutual identification between Frankenstein and his creation turns the expected hierarchy of man and 'monster' on its head.
So it's certainly possible to simply read this as a chilling tale of gothic horror - but an interesting number of themes put to work here foreshadow Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin, and Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.