Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, may have originated as a challenge among friends to tell the best ghost story, but over the years, it has developed into an iconic piece of literature with a tremendous and lasting effect on society. Movies, television series, cartoons, comic books, plays, novels, bands, music, scientific experiments, and even food products have been impacted by the concept of the “mad scientist” and his creation. As a tribute to the success of the novel, Frankenstein’s monster is ranked sixth in the book The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived.
One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the universality of the themes incorporated into the novel by its author, Mary Shelley. Although the book was written 200 years ago, the issues and topics presented resonate today perhaps even more so than they did in the 19th century. One such topic relevant today is that of revenge.
Throughout the novel, Victor and the monster feel revenge. The monster seeks revenge once he is abandoned by his creator, Victor, and the De Lacey family. Victor seeks revenge desperately on his monster shortly after he is created. So much anger and feeling revenge eventually leads the two into being incredibly sad and mournful which destroys every bit of happiness they ever had.
The monster is convinced that Victor is the reason for his loneliness and disapproval of humans. The feelings of anger overcame him and often had the monster questioning why he was created and he did not know what he did to deserve that life. “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” Shelley pg 124. These feelings are what caused the monster to want revenge on Victor for making him feel so unwanted.