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    BOOKEY Book Summary and Review

    Frankenstein Full chapter Introduction

    11. April 2023

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    Frankenstein Full chapter Introduction


    This novel is recognized as the first work of science fiction. The main character in the story is a young scientist named Frankenstein. In an obsessive project to create life, he frequents mortuaries, tombs, and slaughterhouses. From the parts of various corpses, he pieces together an eight-foot-tall monster and brings it to life. But, when the monster is animated, Frankenstein is frightened by its hideous face, and he flees. An ominous day of fear and trepidation is quickly followed by a series of appalling events. The reek of death hangs on every page of the book.


    Overview | Chapter 1

    Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock the world's first science fiction novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.


    In reality, looking at this novel through modern eyes, the science is imprecise. So, why does it still stand as the first work of science fiction?


    This is primarily due to the novel's central premise, the scientific attempt to unlock the secrets of life through experiment, leading to the creation of artificial humans. This scenario established a fundamental paradigm for later science fiction stories. These required a science-based fantasy setting and needed to include aspects such as technological devices, unknown civilizations, or scientific events. All these elements have subsequently become common features of the genre.


    Critical thinking about technology is also at the core of the novel. This type of thought has since become a key theme in science fiction. In Frankenstein, Shelly tells us that going too far with science and pursuing enquiry to the point of obsession can lead to disaster. Frankenstein, the scientist, the novel's protagonist, crosses the bridge between life and death, commanding the ability to create life. However, he lacks the strength of character to take responsibility for the life he has created. The message is that when out of control, free of the constraint, and of ethical and moral considerations, technology can eventually become a sharpened blade that harms both the scientist and humanity as a whole.


    Frankenstein is, of course, above all more a prophecy than a parable. Scientific and technological developments are Mary Shelly's concern. She speculates regarding science's development and reflects on the tension between technological capacity and human morality. Even after 200 years, her thoughts continue to serve as a warning today. The story has a timeless charm, and merits repeated reading.


    We will consider the effect of the novel from three viewpoints:


    Part One: The plot


    Part Two: The novel's artistic features


    Part Three: Probing the book's thematic complexity


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