Few days ago, during dinner with friends not schooled in literary studies, and after several readings of Frankenstein, I was confronted with an unprecedented question:
“If Victor wants to find the principle of life and defy death”, asked my friend, “why doesn’t he infuse life into a dead body instead of putting himself through the gut-churning business of collecting dead body parts and stitching them together?”
Indeed, I thought, he would defy death if he brought the dead back to life, just like scientists such as Luigi Galvani’s nephew were experimenting with dead animals and humans. This would have been the solution to his impatience, which was the reason behind his choice of big body parts to accelerate the assemblage and the creation of a human that literally stood out and scared people out of their wits by his sheer size.
Why wasn’t a beautiful dead body enough for Victor Frankenstein?
I wonder what you’d have answered … – E.S
Wordsworth tells us:
Though absent long,These forms of beauty have not been to meAs is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the dinOf towns and cities, I have owed to them,In hours of weariness, sensations sweet”Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, ll 24 – 28
Then let winged Fancy wanderThrough the thought still spread beyond her:Open wide the mind’s cage-door,She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.To Fancy, ll 5-8
[Fancy] will bring, in spite of frost,Beauties that the earth hath lost;She will bring thee, all together,All delights of summer weather;All the buds and bells of MayTo Fancy, ll 29-33