Mary Shelley was an English travel writer, short story writer, novelist, essayist, biographer and dramatist. She also edited her husband’s (Percy Bysshe Shelley) poems and other writings after his death. She was born in August 1797 to William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Godwin was a political philosopher, and Wollstonecraft was a philosopher and a feminist. Shelley is best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein.
Frankenstein is thought to be one of the first science fiction stories, and it has elements of the Romantic Movement and the gothic novel. It tells the story of a young scientist called Victor Frankenstein, who artificially creates a living creature, but he soon regrets his decision when the creature comes to life. The idea for the story occurred when Shelley and other writers challenged each other to write the best horror story.
The novel is split into three volumes, and each volume is further split into chapters. If I’m honest, I can’t remember what happened in the first volume. The story seemed slow to start, and it wasn’t what I expected it to be — I suppose I’ve watched too many Frankenstein movies. I was expecting a mad scientist and a deadly monster. However, while the creature was deadly, Victor was a bit of a whiner.
I didn’t find the story interesting until volume three when the story picked up the pace. In this volume, Victor started to suffer mentally due to what the monster does. I could sympathise with the main character here. However, this was the only time I could connect with Victor. For the most part, I found Victor annoying and the cause of most of his problems. I also eventually felt sorry for the monster who was created and left to live in a world where he would never be accepted.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy reading the story. However, I don’t believe this is the fault of the author’s. I just don’t think this novel and style is right for me. But, I will remember how Shelley showed a character’s mental suffering because it will help me in my own writing.
Have you read any of Mary Shelley’s novels? If you have, then feel free to comment below with your recommendations.
Keep writing, folks!