Friday, July 20, 2012

The Lorien Legacies and Frankenstein

Hello all! I hope you're having a wonderful (and book filled) summer.

So far my readings this summer have included I am Number Four, The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

I was greatly impressed with the Lorien Legacies books and they were very different from what I thought they were going to be. I am eagerly looking forward to the release of the third book. The world the author created has been a lot of fun to read about and I hope that you consider looking into them.

However, I wish to comment a bit more on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Most people know some form of Frankenstein and Frankenstein's monster, either from movies or old school pop culture references, but I have found in my reading (I am not quite finished, but that is irrelevant) that Shelley's monster is far more terrifying to me than any depictions I have seen elsewhere.

Frankenstein's monster is often depicted as the brute man who moans and walks with straight legs, arms outstretched. He often has two metal knobs on either side of his face that are usually the reason for his existence. I am sure you all have the right picture in your mind.

Shelley's Frankenstein's monster is so much more terrifying than that. He is educated. He walks normally. He can speak. He knows exactly what he's doing when he threatens Frankenstein, and he reveals a desire to be a good monster. Granted, he is still abhorrently ugly and does not fit in to human society, but that isn't as terrifying as the idea that he has higher level thinking skills and can talk, plan, and plot.

As a writer, I have often created characters that I would never want to meet in real life. I am continuously reassured by the knowledge that even though I created this character, it is only in my mind and does not exist outside of it. Frankenstein took a creation and an idea in his mind and made it real, and has had to watch his creation turn on him in the most grotesque way.

In essence, Frankenstein played God. He created a being and then sent it out into the world. The parallels drawn between Frankenstein and God and Frankenstein and a parent are very interesting and I think the concerns and ideas expressed ring true for many parents and many creators. Whether it's a writing or a child, we (the creators/parents) worry about how it will turn out, and what kind of impact it will have on the world. And we desire for our work or our child to do well in the world. And we fear that it/he/she won't do well.

And that notion that Shelley addresses is what makes her Frankenstein's Monster more terrifying than the standard moaning and weird-walking monsters propagated in pop-culture and various spin-offs of the tale.

So if you've never read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I recommend it. The prose is a little difficult to get into at first, but it does have a regular flow that you can pick up on after the first chapter or so.

What has everyone else been reading this summer?

1 comment:

  1. Well fine, like I needed more books for my reading list!