After reading the Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany: A New Series of the “The Scots Magazine”2, the review of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein was very intriguing. Even though this site did not have an author or author credentials, the information in the review is very informative. The thesis is to the point and has a very descriptive point of view held by the critic. The author describes Frankenstein as having a destiny to fulfill that was greater than what his creator had planned for him. In the thesis, the author points out how, “He is destined, however, to obtain more power, but not from the alchemists, of the futility of whose speculations he soon became convinced, but whose wild conceptions continued to give his mind a strong peculiar bias” (EdinburghMagazineReview.com). The critic seems to suggest that even though the alchemist created Frankenstein to investigate the principle of life, Frankenstein was destined to cause harm to others.
Throughout the story Mary Shelley illustrates how Frankenstein acknowledges his feelings of rage and revenge. He knows that his appearance isn’t the only part of him that people must fear. His thoughts of evil vengeance against those who loved him most finally led Frankenstein to confess to the alchemist his deepest horrors that plagued his heart. He fell apart crying,”-Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were
those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself their shrieks and misery” (Shelley). This part of the story portrays the image of Frankenstein being conscious of his pleasure in wanting to destroy those closest to him. However, the feeling that comes from reading the story is one of sorrow and hurt and Shelley seemed to provoke a feeling of guilt, but understanding. With the feeling of rage that consumed him, guilt cried out through his fears. The author seemed to want readers to fall in love with Frankenstein, but she also seemed to want readers to know why the characters should have feared him.
Although the Edinburgh Magazine points out how Frankenstein was his own worst enemy from the time of his creation, the image that many readers may take from the novel is that he felt guilt for being pleasured by the thought of wanting to hurt his loved ones. Throughout the story, Frankenstein was portrayed as a conscious thinking man with a soul, who had bad thoughts and had to fight the evil horrors that began consuming him completely. He had fears that his deepest pleasurable thoughts would take over and he would give in to his fantasies of causing harm to others. The most evil side of Frankenstein finally took over when he killed his beloved wife, Elizabeth, according to the Edinburgh Magazine Review. “Frankenstein, alive only to vengeance, now pursues the fiend over the world, –and it was in this chace that he had got into the neighborhood of the North Pole” (EdinburghMagazineReview.com). The review points out what the author has been trying to get the readers to acknowledge throughout the entire story; Frankenstein was destined to be a killer. His swaying feelings about killing others held on to him so tight that his fears that kept him bound emotionally from others.
Even with the confession of his true destiny, the alchemist seemed to be in shock about how such anger and evil could exist in one being. The Edinburgh Review was completely detailed about the critique of the story, especially with capturing each emotion. Sorrow seemed to fill the pages so that readers could capture the anger and the pleasure as well as the fear and the pain of feeling vengeful and alone. Although the critique only touched certain parts of the story, it seems to pull readers in with the need of knowing if Frankenstein would finally give in to his deepest, darkest desires. His portrayal of being a creature that everyone feared was finally realized when he confessed and accepted the love of his destiny. Shelley gave readers the image of Frankenstein having a heart and soul while falling in love and then getting married, but the desire to be a fiend of the world embraced his soul. However, even though the critic of Edinburgh Magazine Review seemed to truly enjoy Frankenstein, the review seems to suggest that he should have never been created, because his heart was of anger and rage.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 2011. 11 Mar. 1818 http://www.readbookonline.net
Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany: A New Series of “The Scots Magazine.” Review of Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus (1818). http://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/chronologies/mschronology/reviews/emrev.html