10 Oct

How Well Do You Know Frankenstein?

Where are all our Halloween-lovers? 👻🎃

It’s finally the month for horror movies, pumpkin-flavoured everything (we see you, Starbucks), and of course, nightmare-inducing novels. 

One of our favourites is none other than Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a beloved tale that has terrified and awed readers for years. And with good reason! Its two central tragedies—the dangers of playing “God” and societal rejection—are still relevant today. 

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Source: http://po.st/PSJA1e

But outside of pop culture, how much about this gothic sci-fi tale do you really know? 

 

Frankenstein was born out of a ghost story competition 

It was the summer of 1816, and like any other teenager (yes, Mary Shelley was only 18 when she wrote Frankenstein), Mary Shelley was excited to spend her summer in Switzerland with some friends. 

Unfortunately, instead of enjoying the outdoors, they were forced to remain in their summer house due to inclement weather. To pass the time, they decided to write horror stories.

Shelley’s story was inspired by a nightmare she had —in it, she described seeing a “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”. 

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Source: https://gph.is/1TzAryT

 

Frankenstein is NOT the name of the monster 

It’s ok, we don’t blame you if you got it wrong. Years of pop culture have led to the spread of misinformation. 

But, it’s 2019 and fake news has to stop, so educate yourselves: Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster. 

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Source: https://gph.is/17iPKGt

In fact, the monster is never named. He is referred to as “monster”, “creature”, “demon” and “it”.  

 

Frankenstein is the real monster 

Think about it: the monster never asked to be born. 

Yet instead of being guided and given love, he is shunned by Frankenstein, hated on, rejected by society, and not even given a name. Even so, we are able to see some compassion in him.

While living near a family of cottagers, the creature demonstrates his own kindness by stopping his consumption of the family’s food when he sees that they often go hungry. He also secretly helps them out by hauling wood to their cottage. 

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Source: https://gph.is/2MqlMNL

The same cannot be said of Frankenstein, who not only has an unnatural obsession with playing God, but also cruelly rejects his own creation and abandons him. 

“I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?”

– The monster 

 

How many of these facts did you actually know? Discover more about this horror sci-fi classic by borrowing the book. And if you’d like to spook yourself even more, head on down to our Halloween library tour, Night at the Library! 👻