The story beings in the northern ice caps with Robert Walton, a young man seeking adventure in the uncharted areas of the world. His trip is interrupted when the boat he sails on comes upon a strange man stranded all alone in the ice caps needing assistance.
This man is Doctor Viktor Frankenstein, who proceeds to tell Walton an almost incomprehensible story about his journey to recreate human life. The result of this journey, is Frankenstein's monster.
The beauty of Frankenstein is just how human Frankenstein's monster really is. He is a man who desires love and companionship. In his early years of being he seeks friendship and family. He wants people's approval and notice in order that he can become the man that he feels that he is.
He is then deeply wounded by the sudden and cruel realisation that he is fated to a life of nameless isolation, where he will only ever be met with abhorrence and rejection. His grief and despair at this realisation force him to seek the assistance of the man that he himself despises, his creator, Viktor Frankenstein.
Sadly, when he finds that even this avenue cannot bring him relief from his pitiful situation he dedicates his life to destroying his creator, hoping to find peace but only to discover that his destructive acts cannot satisfy his all too human desires.
Because of this, it is the nameless monster created by Frankenstein that holds our sympathy, despite his murderous acts. Frankenstein himself becomes a selfish figure that having achieved his desired outcome, refuses to take responsibility for the life that he has created. He suffers for this undoubtedly, but it is his creation that you cannot help but feel fascinated by and feel pity for.
It is incredible to think that at the age of 18 Shelley was able to write such a book; a book that so accurately captures the depths of human nature and feeling.
Not only this, but Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus played a significant role in the development of the horror genre, as well as having an important place in romantic and gothic literature, and to a lesser extent science fiction as well.
This is a classic in the true sense of the word, and a book that I recommend to everyone with a love of literature.
Have you read this book? How did you feel about Doctor Frankenstein himself? Did you think that he did the right thing is failing to assist his creation or did he fail to responsibility for his actions?