The story of Frankincense has been told in many ways, through novels, movies and campfire stories. Mary Shelley version is by far the best one have read yet. Shelley does such a wonderful job describing situations and subtlety hinting at women’s roles throughout the novel. Frankincense is a novel I personally did not enjoy because of the eerie context, and what time period it was placed in. Mary Shelley did an excellent job writing Frankincense because of the descriptive language that is used, along with the foreshadowing that she inserts throughout the novel. The story of
Frankincense is told through letters that are sent from an explorer named Robert Walton to his sister Margaret Seville. Robert Walton is on a mission sailing to the North Pole when he comes across a traveler in a sledge near the ice blocks, who happens to be Victor Frankincense. As time goes on, Victor shares his story with Walton on how he created such a monster. Victor explains about his home life, and that he leaves his home in Geneva to attend college at the University of Inconstant. When Victor first decides to go to Inconstant, he is interested in studying natural philosophy, but soon after he witches his studies to the sciences.
He learns about the human body, and is influenced one day to discover the secret of life. Victor spends a lot of time in his apartment; building this new form of life he has come up with. It was a stormy night when Victor’s creation came to life. He is startled with the appearance of this monster, that Victor tries to sleep, almost hoping the monster was not real. Unfortunately, the monster standing over him with its grotesque smile woke up Victor, and Victor runs out of the apartment to take a nightly walk.
As time passes, Victor decides to return back home to Geneva as he caught news that his brother, William, had been murdered, and the town thinks it may have been a girl by the name of Justine Morris. Once Victor returns, he goes to the spot of his brother’s tragic death, and Victor sees the monster lurking and is immediately convinced that his ugly creation killed his brother. Justine confesses to the murder of William and is soon executed. Victor starts to feel a wave of guilt rushed over him, as he knows that it was the monster he created that killed his brother.
As time goes, Victor grows sick ND tosses around the idea of committing suicide. His father attempts to cheer up him and Elizabeth by taking them to the family home in Believe. Victor wanders off to Montmartre, trying to find clarity through everything. Instead, he finds the monster in the area, and it begs Victor to listen to its life story. He explains about seeing humans and learning to read and write and speak. The monster then confesses to Victor about killing his younger brother, showing it as revenge on making it lonely. Victor put off making the monster a partner, which enrages the monster.
It swears that it will kill off Victor’s whole family, and it worries Victor. Months later, the monster does kill all of his family and Victor wants revenge, which is how he ends up running into Robert Walton. Walton picks up Victor, as he looks extremely sick and unhealthy. Wallow’s crew states that they Want to head back toward England and get out of the ice, but Victor claims that it would be glory and honor to hunt down the monster and kill it. Days later, Victor dies and Walton makes the decision to sail back to England. His crew agrees, they break free from the CE and set sail.
While on the boat, Walton hears a noise coming from the area of Victor’s dead body, and it is the monster standing over him, saddened by his creator’s death. Throughout Frankincense, Mary Shelley used very descriptive language that made the reader feel like they were taking part in the novel. Personally, I was not a fan of the novel because of the language used and setting of the whole novel. Frankincense had a dark demeanor throughout the novel, which in a way was very depressing to me. The way Mary Shelley describes the monster is repulsing and makes it seem worse Han I could ever imagine.
Her descriptive language was hard to follow, leaving me with many questions on what that word means, looking up many new words. Many people that Victor loved died, which was very tragic, especially since the monster he created was responsible for it. The fact that Mary Shelley was able to put together such an excellent story in her era was amazing, since women really did not have a prominent role in society during Romanticism time period. Mary Shelley described the role women played during the Industrial Revolution so well through her women characters.
In edition, Mary Shelley inserted many foreshadows throughout the novel to give the reader a hint to what will happen later in the novel. By adding in sentences such as “the fatal impulse that led to my ruin”(41 ) and “livid with the hue of death”(59) foreshadow the deaths of Victor, his family, and his loved ones. The foreshadows that are written in the novel do not ruin the ending of Frankincense, as they are very subtlety placed in the text. Mary Shelley does an incredible job placing and describing each death of Victor’s family and friends, leaving hints that the monster does each killing, then ramming someone new for the crime.
During the book, I thought that it was interesting how Victor Frankincense went back on his promise to the monster and stopped creating a partner for it. “Have not suffered enough, tattoo seek to increase my 102). Victor clearly knew that the monster was feeling extremely lonely and was even threatened by the monster. How could Victor know the risks that he was up against if he did not follow through with his side of the deal, and not finish the partner for the monster. His decision ended up putting all of his friends and family in trouble, and giving the monster a greater reason to get revenge on Victor.
It all ended terribly also, leaving Victor alone to hunt down the monster. I felt that it was powerful for the monster to kill everyone, sticking to his promise that it told Victor, showing that the monster was one hundred percent serious. This novel changed my view on the Industrial Revolution, showing the bad side of creating new inventions, displaying that not all technology and new knowledge was good. The monster was scary and grotesque, representing the bad parts of the Industrial Revolution, such as bad working conditions, slums ND cities.
It also showed that these repulsive conditions would come back and spread diseases, killing many people like how Frankincense killed Victors family and friends. The knowledge that Victor acquired while attending college also shows that knowledge can be extremely powerful and curiosity can be the death to a person. Victor proves that, and he does eventually die from being sick. While reading Frankincense, I learned that you could never escape something negative you have done, as the memory will always be with you forever. Things from the past build who you are, or they can break you own in Victors case.
His creation of the monster wound up being the demise of him and his family. Being cautious of the choices made in life, trying to make the best out of everything one has. The novel Frankincense, by Mary Shelley, is ultimately about the creation of a monster and the adventure of its creator, who is Victor Frankincense. The monster ends up being the demise of Victor, killing him and many others throughout the novel. This novel made me change my view on history, showing me that not everything that was revolutionized in the Industrial Revolution was good.
For instance, the monster that Victor Frankincense created was not a positive invention; it was actually an evil invention. Mary Shelley did and excellent job writing this novel, for her being a woman and how little women took part during the Industrial Revolution and the Romanticism period. She uses so many tools in her work so that the reader can actually feel like they are part of the novel. I personally did not like the novel too much, as the words and demeanor of the book were hard to read for me. Feel that this book is well written, but it is just not a book that I would ever pick up to read if I saw it on a shelf.