"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

This time, inspired by the dark academia aesthetic, I decided to read a classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, an 1818 gothic horror novel with science fiction elements.

Victor Frankenstein, a young ambitious man "deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge", discovers how to create life. Having found so astonishing a power placed within his hands, he makes a human being, and, as if that was not enough, he makes it of a gigantic stature - about eight feet in height. But the moment he has finished his creation and makes it come alive, everything in his life starts falling apart piece by piece.

The thing that stuck out the most while reading Frankenstein was the complex and eloquent language. For me, a non-native English speaker, this made reading slightly more difficult, for I had to stop and look up some words (good thing I was reading an ebook), but it was beautiful.

"So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."

What I loved about this book was that it made me understand and sympathise with all sides of the story. In many instances, the fate of the monster created by Frankenstein almost caused me to tear up. He was alone, forsaken by his creator and excluded from society. Feared and despised because of his monstrous deformity, he longed for love but did not receive it. Misery made him a fiend.

"Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous."

The edition that I read also contained information about the life of the author, Mary Shelley. I didn't read it all but I found out a rather strange fact. One of the characters who died in the novel was Victor's younger brother William. And, according to an endnote, "William was also the name of the Shelleys’ first son, who was born in January 1816 (before Mary began Frankenstein) and died in 1819, after the novel was published". It is almost as if the novel foreshadowed its author's future.

So was this a dark academia novel? Absolutely. The characters' thirst for knowledge and understanding, the themes of life and death, human nature, love, passion, and depression explored in Frankenstein, as well as the novel being a classic, made it a perfect dark academia (and academia in general) read, and the best thing is - no cults, romanticised murder or perversion involved.

I would recommend this book for the one who is content with something more complex and difficult than the easy-to-read modern YA fiction and would like to read something of less fun and more of a philosophical nature, something that makes you think about life's most important themes.


Populāras ziņas