Frankenstein, a masterpiece written by Mary Shelley, is a novel about a beast. A combines novel of romantic and goth genres, Frankenstein is a story that has a lot of symbolism in it. The novel was written in 1818, turned into a movie, and had helped create the Universal Studio’s monster as we know him today.
The way the book, Frankenstein, was written creates a horror/nightmare image in the reader’s head as Shelley and a group of friends stayed in a castle during a horrific thunderstorm. Each of the members were challenged to write a ghost story.
Shelley had a dream which turned into one of the greatest horror based novels of all time. Shelly wrote down her dream and with a few tweaks beat the others in telling one of the greatest ghost stories ever. This experiment with the dead novel possesses a lot of symbols which we’ll discuss.
Fire, in the novel, is a symbol of protection as well as defense. We all know that fire can warm us up on cold days, but also burn us when we get too close to it. Fire, as a defense mechanism, is seen as a form of early day weapon.
The monster, Adam, can also be argued as the Biblical figure who was the first man on earth therefore it can be said that there are religious undertones within the novel. Adam, who was created by Doctor Frankenstein was seen as an alien, a monster who was misunderstood from the beginning.
The doctor in the novel, Frankenstein, is a known symbol of God since he was responsible for the creation of the monster. Although he used the limbs and other body parts of thieves, he had create something that eventually came alive.
The monster, Adam, due to being put together out of the limbs and other body parts of thieves and murders, can be a symbol of evil making him Satan. Evil and control are very prevalent in the novel, Frankenstein.
There is an innocence regarding the monster that makes the reader feel bad for him. He is simple yet very destructive. We regard him as being childlike, but he possesses the strength of man who eventually has to be destroyed.
There is a combination of beauty and terror in Frankenstein. There is something beautiful about something so innocent, It’s almost like it’s at its purest form, but the terror aspect comes through as the reader changes his emotions regarding the monster after it kills and terrorizes the village.
Exploration and a sense of journey are symbols in the book. Before the monster is destroyed, he goes on a journey to find himself and who he turns out to be. His journey ends up becoming a wild exploration that eventually meets his demise.
We have all gone through the pain of having to go on our own self-journeys to find out who we really are. We do this through various meetings, relationships, and careers. Eventually when we find out, we are often forced to take the next steps.
The symbolism of the dead is something that intrigues each and everyone of us. For most of us, we fear death as it is foreign. We don’t know where we go when we die or even if there’s some point if resurrection.
This can also go back to biblical times when Jesus passes away. He died and then resurrected from the dead. Is the monster seen the same way? Some scholars can argue this point. We know that zombies are not real, but Adam could have been the first mention of one in a novel.
The spark that brings Adam to life is an early mention of electricity. Of course electricity is derived out of lightning, but it is also something which powers each of us or makes us run away from it. That “spark” can be the conception of life or pure energy.
Fear is another emotion that Frankenstein uncovers. Fear is a well known symbol in horror/gothic novels that creates a reaction with most readers because fear is usually associated with the dark and unknown. We fear the things we do not know, especially monsters and death.
Frankenstein is one of the most dramatic and scariest novels of all time. The novel still holds up today as it did centuries ago. It carries many different symbols which makes it more than just a ghost story. It is an interesting read that keeps its readers intrigued. To this day, there is still no other novel like it!