‘the conundrums of the human condition’

frankensteinElizabeth Kostova writes in the Introduction to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that ‘the darkness in Frankenstein is not one of creaking doors and castle crypts but of the conundrums of the human condition: were we brought into this beautiful world only to make mistakes and suffer from them? The greatest torment the Frankenstein monster experiences in his anguished, undead life is loneliness, and it drives him to his most terrible deeds. In other words, the horror of the Frankenstein monster is not that he’s alien, but that he is Victor’s double, his conscience–and ours. He is our worst self, but also our most needy, most vulnerable incarnation, set adrift. Enduring monsters … are those who are nearly human…, those denied real humanity by their inability to put the past behind them.’ xxxviii

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