Frankenstein by Mary Shelley contains a variety of themes, many of which are religious – the fallen angel, the fall of man, Adam’s relationship to God. It’s also about the innate nature of humanity. Are we born good or bad? When and how does evil arise?
Frankenstein’s monster was a vegan, living on roots and berries in the woods. At first, he performed unseen good deeds for people. He never claimed any credit or reward for his acts of kindness. He was an innocent, benevolent creature until he was repeatedly shunned and reviled due to his ugly appearance.
At one point, he approaches a blind cottager and has a conversation. (btw the guttural groans of the monster we see in the movies is an imaginary add-on) From the monster’s accent, the cottager assumes that he is talking with a local man. The creature gains hope that he might, at last, be accepted.
It all goes wrong when the cottager’s family returns. They are shocked and horrified by the creature’s hideous appearance. It’s at this point that he becomes a ‘monster’, swearing revenge against his creator and taking life.
One thing that strikes me – at the end of the story, the creature vows to commit suicide on a funeral pyre at the North Pole.
But did he?
Could he be there still?
Mary Shelley’s genre changing story is available on Youtube. listen here