I first read Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein, when I was in high school. At the time, I was far more concerned with the television show Gossip Girl and the hot guy I was crushing on then I was with engrossing myself in Mary Shelley’s timeless work. However, as I opened Frankenstein a second time this afternoon, I found myself getting pulled into the story and looking upon the pages with a new appreciation and perspective.
The first volume of Frankenstein, although it can be a bit slow in some sections, is quite beautiful and well approached. We follow Victor Frankenstein’s intellectual journey as he starts a new life for himself in Ingolstadt. Back in high school, I was immediately bored by all of the backstory, descriptions of his family life, voyage to Ingolstadt and so forth. Now, I understand and can appreciate this thorough and thoughtful style of story telling. Every project has a beginning; volume one is the beginning of Victor’s infamous monster venture. The process of his self discovery and documented recollection of his inspiration is relatable. I am a fiction writer; I can relate to having moments of inspiration and enthusiastically soaking in knowledge from various experiences, college courses and professors.
Volume one also demonstrates Shelley’s exceptional talent as a writer. She knows that the best and most successful works of fiction have highly developed characters, people in which readers can connect to, sympathize with and root for. She develops various characters, such as Victor and Elizabeth, so that the story will not be appealing solely on the plot content. She understands the importance of engaging her audience in all areas of fiction writing; plot, characterization, setting and theme.