2010 09 09 Mary Victoria Author Interview

After relating the story of the monster to Walton, Victor, still weak from the pursuit and the agony of his life, passes away. The monster comes on board the ship, sees that he has finally ended Victor’s life, and tells Walton that he intends to die also. As the narrative ends, the creature disappears into the distance and the darkness. A brief synopsis of a novel tends to highlight the plot and disregard the style of the writing and the many scenes from the book that are not directly relevant to the main plot.


Thus, the above summary of Frankenstein seems to imply that the book has a strong central plot which emphasizes its elements of horror. That is not, in fact, the case. Shelley writes in the style of her era, employing unfamiliar words, inserting literary references into the novel that may escape even the most knowledgeable of readers and writing in long and complex sentences. Much of the novel is spent with the internal thoughts of the characters and the anguish they are suffering, rather than on action sequences. Between the important plot moments, Shelley digresses with details of trips taken by the characters, family histories and literary allusions.


The horror elements of Frankenstein are seemingly deliberately downplayed by Shelley, especially for those who come to the novel after the films. The reader learns little about how Victor amassed the materials for his creature, other than a brief mention of visits to the charnel houses, dissecting rooms and slaughter houses. Victor gives no explanation as to how he created the creature and there is no significant laboratory scene showing how Victor breathed life into his creation.