Frankenstein

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By: Mary Shelley

A classic tale of creation, life, death, and morality – just because you can do it, should you? This should be required reading for all scientists, especially ones that deal closely with highly sensitive subjects, such as cloning, stem cells, and research.

I remember being intimidated by this book when I was much younger (in my early teens). But the theme and fact that this was written by a woman so scientifically, so distinctly, makes me keep coming back. I have read this book a number of times since then, and every time I find something new and intriguing, wanting to make me come back and read it again.

For example – who of you has seen the last scene of Blade Runner, the cult classic film based on Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The soliloquy by Frankenstein’s creation and Roy are so similar, even though they are spoken with different words, and to different individuals, the words are meant in both cases to be for their pursuer – Frankenstein and Deckard, respectively. (If the link above is broken, copy and paste this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kPocPwXzdM – I do not have any connection to this account, it was simply the first one that showed what I wanted.)

Mary Shelley gets into her characters’ heads. She knows why they act the way they do, and she gives us only glimpses of their motives. As natural human beings, Victor and the creation make some well-thought-out decisions, and some rash and irresponsible decisions. It is what makes them human, and this tale so chilling – it could have happened. Being unreasonable comes with the territory, and these two occupy a very large territory.

As mentioned, I have read this book a number of times before, and have written essays (some popular, some very much criticized due to their content, rather than technical content) on this book. If I remember, I will link those essays here, so that you can read them as well.

So, while I think Mary Shelley wrote run-on sentences and was a bit too wordy at times, she wrote a masterpiece that has continued to inspire creation, and does not beg explanations, but gives them instead.

 

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