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 night. 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 more believable. 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 Victor’s family. 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 17