“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” - Mother Teresa
This Summer, I found a used paperback copy of Mary Shelley’s original novel, Frankenstein. I’ve been a science fiction fan for years but I’d never read the book. Like most folks, though, I’d seen various film versions of the story. I was surprised by how little I knew about the story. I’ll try to give a brief synopsis.
It begins with a man named Robert Walton, who is undertaking an Arctic sea voyage. He and his crew are surprised to catch sight of a dog sled carrying a man. The following morning they discover another sled with a half-frozen man, who claims to be Victor Frankenstein of Geneva, Switzerland. He has a strange tale to tell.
The tale begins with his childhood and his fascination with “natural philosophy.” Finally, in Chapter 4, he becomes
Horrified, Frankenstein flees the scene of his experiments and when he returns the next day the creature is gone. Some time later, a letter from Frankenstein’s father informs him that his younger brother, William, has been murdered. He becomes convinced that his creation is responsible. After this, Frankenstein meets the creature in the mountains and it tells a strange tale.
The creature’s initial encounters with humans resulted in them screaming and running away. Made cautious, it found a hovel by a small cottage and began to observe its occupants, a young man and woman, and an old man. Moved by their poverty, it began to gather firewood for them secretly. Over a period of nearly a year, it learned their language. One day when the young man and woman had gone for a walk, it knocked on the door of the cottage and was welcomed by the old man, who was blind. Unfortunately, the young man and woman returned and drove the creature away. The next day, they moved away, afraid for their safety. This sequence also appears in films sometimes but not in this context. There are also no references to villagers with torches.
At the conclusion if this tale, the creature asks Frankenstein to create a mate for it so that it will no longer be lonely. At first, Frankenstein agrees but then changes his mind. Enraged, the creature vows to destroy everyone Frankenstein loves, and concludes by murdering Frankenstein’s bride, Elizabeth. Frankenstein pursues the creature, with the intention of destroying it somehow, and encounters Walton. At last, Frankenstein dies from exposure to the Arctic cold, depriving the creature of its adversary and its final revenge. The creature then casts itself adrift in the icy water to die.
In the beginning, God created beings who became monstrous in their sin, beings God should hardly be able to bear to look upon (Hab. 1:13). You and me. And yet, God didn’t forsake us but instead
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 KJV.)