Aquila Children's Magazine The Electric Issue - Page 17
Yet he is not really evil. Once he learns more
about human life, culture and ideals, he
returns to Victor and begs him to make him
happy and good by creating a companion
for him. For a while, Victor sets to work again,
this time in a remote part of Scotland. But he
hates the task. Fearing that his second
creation might only make matters worse, he
destroys it before it is complete. In revenge
for this, when Victor gets married, the
monster kills his bride on their wedding
In the end, the monster flees north to the
Arctic. Heartbroken, Victor pursues him
there, determined to get rid of him once and
for all. But the chase wears him out. He is
picked up, sick and exhausted, by an
ice-bound ship on an Arctic expedition.
Before he dies, Victor tells the captain all that
has happened. Captain Walton in turn tells
his sister (and us) about it in his letters home.
Framing the story like this makes it seem
scaring ourselves with them now! Yet it
asks serious questions. How far should
scientists go in experimenting with the
organisms that we call ‘the building blocks
of life’? Then, should Victor have denied
the role of a woman in creating life?
Indeed, is it the role of women to create
life? Also, having put himself in the
position of both father and mother to the
monster, should he not have taken
responsibility for him? As for society as a
whole: why was Victor’s creation treated
differently from the start, just because of
how he looked?
In his last letter, Captain Walton reports
that the monster managed to reach the
ship on an ice-raft. He mourned over
Frankenstein’s body, and lamented his
own wretched life before disappearing
again forever. On a happier note, Captain
Walton now listens to his crew and agrees
to discontinue his risky expedition. It will
be better to return safely to England than
risk everything for fame – as Frankenstein
once did, with such miserable results!
Victor is even more successful than Aldini.
He manages to ‘infuse the spark of being
into the lifeless thing’ he has assembled. But
this remarkable success brings him none of
the fame a nd gratitude he had expected.
Instead, his life becomes a kind of nightmare
too. The young scientist tries to get away,
especially when the huge figure tries to
smile, and stretches out its hand to him.
Lonely and undirected, the monster turns
violent and starts venting his anger on
As well as being an early example of science
fiction, Frankenstein is clearly a horror or
Gothic story, of the kind that was
particularly popular then – we still enjoy