Now that Frankenstein has started narrating his own story, his character isn’t what I was expecting. All I really had to go on before this were TV references to the re-animation scene in the movie, where he just looked like a mad scientist, but knew there’d probably be more complexities to him in the book. He does seem a lot nicer though. Even after being plucked out of a certain death situation and still obsessed enough to continue into the cold climate, he’s a very polite guest on the ship, and finally gives the captain to someone to talk to.
Frankenstein’s family history is a very interesting one. His father was also really wrapped up in his work from a young age, but eventually decided he wanted a family before it was too late. He sounds like a more successful version of Frankenstein because first of all, he worked in politics instead of raising the dead and also knew when to ease off on the career. Frankenstein obviously didn’t do the second part soon enough and now has to spend the rest of the story worrying about what his quest for knowledge has created.
I also never knew that he was going to marry his cousin. The 1831 version of the book changes it to her simply being an orphan taken into the family, but I’ve got the original where she’s the daughter of Frankenstein’s late aunt on his father’s side. In both versions she’s brought to live at the house because Frankenstein’s mother, Caroline, plans to have them marry in the future. I think that’s supposed to connect to the monsters creation in that they both defy what’s really supposed to happen. The monster was originally a bunch of dead parts who’s fate should’ve been to stay in the ground, because most people in the story are on the same page about undoing death being a bad idea, and being planned since childhood, Frankenstein’s fate should’ve been to marry Elizabeth (his cousin).
Frankenstein takes an interest in biology at a young age and reads a lot of older literature on the subject, which his professors later told him gave very inaccurate views on how things work and fantastic promises of what could be achieved. This probably played a large part in his attempts at things like reanimation since the writers of those books didn’t see any limits, where as the modern biologists had set up clear rules what was and wasn’t possible. Since Frankenstein had no mental restrictions like low expectations, he never stopped trying. In his mind it was like climbing a mountain, very difficult, but there is a top to be reached if he just tries hard enough.