This is the two hundredth anniversary of Mary Shell’s Frankenstein. This story has been interpreted in so many different ways, and portrayed differently in dozens of movies, that we often lose the thread that this was written strictly as a horror story.
Mary, her lover Percy Shelly and John Polidori, while visiting Lord Byron, decided to have a competition to see who could produce the best horror story. Mary produced Frankenstein while John Polidori produced The Vampyre – the basis for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
In the book, ‘The monster’ is not some stumbling halfwit with a killer instinct, but an intelligent creature alone and out of place in a cruel and intolerant world.
Scholars continually dissect the story and try to attribute their own interpretation as the meaning that Mary Shelly intended (check out YouTube.)
Any story that has remained a popular icon for two hundred years has to be considered a classic. The word Frankenstein in now in our lexicon and the story firmly rooted in our culture.
The real depth to Mary’s story is that it illustrates so many human frailties, it can reach each of us on a personal level.
There are many analogies that can be made to the story: a creation of man - that loses control of his creation and takes on a life of its own.
My favorite representation of ‘the monster’ occurs in Penny Dreadful – available on Netflix.
You might want to make this one of the books on your bucket list.