Thursday, October 20, 2011

An open letter to Mary Shelley

Dear Mary Shelley,

Let me begin by saying that yes, I do realise you have been dead for quite some time now. However, I feel the need to take issue with you on the grounds that it has only recently come to my attention that your classic novel Frankenstein is, in my opinion, not very good at all.

I am a student, and I had to read Frankenstein for my English Literature class. It took me four months to make my way to the end of your ‘masterpiece.’ I found that each time I picked it up I would read a few pages, then genuinely lose the will to live and have to go do something else for a while.

You see, Ms Shelley, I too would like to be a writer. When I finished your novel, I couldn’t help but think ‘I can do better than that.’ The idea of plot is quite often missing, replaced by page after page of fanciful descriptions of mountains and rivers and trees. I’m quite lazy, but you, my dear, take the cake.
‘So how did Victor Frankenstein create his monster?’ your readers may very well ask. And your response? ‘Hey look, some more scenery!’

At no point in your novel do you ever explain what the monster was made of, how it was made, or how Victor brought it to life. Even at the end of the novel when another character flat out asks Victor how he made the monster, you dance around the issue with this piece of waffle (that I‘m confident the copyright has expired on…):
“‘Are you mad, my friend?’ said he; ‘or wither does your senseless curiosity lead you? Would you also create for yourself and the world a demonical enemy? Peace, peace! learn my miseries, and do not seek to increase your own.’” Or in other words: ‘I dunno. Leave me alone. I’m dying. Shut up.’

Ok, so maybe I’m a couple of years older than you were when you wrote it. Maybe you were just young and naive. The thing is, were you still alive today, I know how you would respond to my grievances: ‘Well Lauren, you see *insert long winded description of a lake here*.’

Also, I’ve seen portraits of you, and you were weird looking.


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