“The beginning is always today.”
Mary Shelley

 

People don’t always realise that Frankenstein is not the name of a monster but the mad scientist who created the monster. In the late 1770s, Doctor Victor Frankenstein starts a series of dangerous experiments: he steals parts from dead bodies, secretly puts them together and uses electricity to bring them back to life. Unfortunately the result is not the beautiful new life form he was hoping for but a deformed, repulsive monster. This creature is feared and rejected by everyone he meets because of his terrible appearance. The monster is extremely lonely and understands that his life is useless. In revenge he kills the scientist’s family and, in a moment of desperation he kills himself too.

Frankenstein was written in 1818 when its author, Mary Shelley, was only 18 years old, and published two years later. It is one of the very first science fiction novels and asks many questions about the ethical use of scientific experimentation. Victor Frankenstein is ambitious, he tries to control nature and his desire for knowledge and power has dramatic and dangerous results. They show what happens when man tries to interfere with nature.

There have been many films based on the novel or inspired by its story; from the first 15 minute silent film (1910) to the American horror The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and the comedy Young Frankenstein (1974).

Frankenstein Day is celebrated on August 30th as its author, Mary Shelley, was born on this day, 1797.