Frankenstein 101 Hello- I have just gotten my Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley and I was very eager to begin reading but I find that it is very difficult to get into. The writing style is not...

Frankenstein 101

Hello-

I have just gotten my Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley and I was very eager to begin reading but I find that it is very difficult to get into. The writing style is not usually how I read, and I would like some help with what is going on in the novel. I will check back in every so often to see new posts and to tell how far I have gotten and ask questions if I don't understand something.

Thank you,

Tunia329

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write16,149 answers

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Ditto to #6's suggestion of reading a summary of the chapters beforehand so that you can more easily focus upon the beauty and style of the prose.  It also is helpful to understand Mary Shelley's motives for writing the novel.  Do not hesitate to avail yourself of Enotes's summaries, character analyses, etc.

Frankenstein is truly an interesting and well-written classic.  It is one of those "frigates" of which Emily Dicksinso writes of books that carry you to new lands!

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write4,119 answers

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I really love Frankenstein, however, I find Walton's letters at the start really dry. Shelley praises the "landscapes" of what the captain sees, but we also get the sense of his obsessive behavior, which is probably the most important element of the letters...so we can draw a parallel with the way Victor acts in creating the creature. Later we see Robert Walton's willingness to sacrifice his crew for his dream, the way Victor was willing to sacrifice the safety of his family and society by releasing his creature on the world, failing to assume his responsibility. If you can scan through the letters, I think the story itself becomes much more interesting.

If you review the story's themes before you read, this information might be beneficial in helping you to understand what drives the story. I would also make sure to put yourself in the creature's place to better understand his motivations. It makes the story much more interesting when we realize that we're not quite sure who the real monster in the story is.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Great novel, and I think you find that as you begin reading you will get used to the style and the language that is used. What is important to realise first up is that a framing narrative is employed which starts off with the story of Robert Walton, who is trying to find passage to the North Pole by ship. We start off with...

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huckleberry29 | Student

I would agree that it may seem a tad boring at the beginning and you should keep reading merely for the experience of reading such a famous classic. However, I would like to warn you that "the writing style" in Frankenstein probably won't ever end up being like what you're used to reading. Respectfully, I have to criticize Shelley and say that there are numerous plot holes throughout the story and often, she just throws in random details or plot lines without any earlier preparation. Additionally, there are a lot of unrealistic details (and not in a "that's the fun of science fiction" kind of way, but in an irritatingly impossible kind of way). Also, there are times where the story starts to get quite intense, even terrifying, but then Shelley, in keeping with her poor writing, quickly moves the story elsewhere. Of course, one could argue that the very idea of how the monster is formed is quite scary, which is true. However, the scary part of all that is actually Dr. Frankenstein, the supposed protagonist, not the Monster. In short, I would have to say that the only reason Mary Shelley's Frankenstein won the "scariest story contest" among her husband and friends is by default. I assure you, if the others had entered anything into the contest, it would have been better than Shelley's entire novel. I do however respect Shelley for writing a story that has stayed famous for so long and for kicking of the literature genre of science fiction.

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