“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.”
A summer evening’s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine room, and a runaway imagination – fired by philosophical discussion with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life – conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.
Written in 1816, when she was only nineteen. Mary Shelley’s novel of “The Modern Prometheus” chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.
Frankenstein is often considered a book with it’s very own genre; unlike any other book of its generation, it is considered a classic and is almost always an assigned reading at some point in high school.
Its wide use of the English language and its unique way of telling the story makes it an exceptional piece of literature. However it is still a horror story and can produce unwanted feelings while reading it.
I actually read a biography about the author before I read the book and discovered that the poor girl who wrote the story of a lifetime, was beyond depressed and had a terrible life. Frankenstein captures the emotion of death so incredibly well because of everything the author experienced during her life, and because of that it is a very depressing book to read. However, for a horror story, I was surprised at how clean it was regarding language and sexual references; there were only mild, and a small amount, of profanity and there were little to no sexual terms; and when those were used they were specifically used towards marriage.
I believe that Frankenstein should be read in mid to late high-school and early college specifically for its use of excellent English; but I also believe that the reader should read about Mary Shelley’s personal life before reading her book, as it will really make them see the book in a different way than just a story. However, in my personal beliefs regarding literature, I can only give Frankenstein 3 out of 5 stars, which approves the book but just barely.
Rayleigh is a Freshman in college with a major in Accounting and long-term goal of being a CPA. She is an avid reader of all genres, and just as much of her time is spent writing as it is reading. She is the Associate Editor and Web Manager for PURSUE Magazine, in addition to posting her monthly articles on their blog. Rayleigh interns for Hartline Literary Agency where she advises authors in the best way to market their books. She is also a Social Media Manager for various businesses.
Her writing pseudonym is Rae Leigh and she is in the process of seeking publication for her Dystopian novella, Program MIRA.