Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday extracts. Mary Shelley's shortage of friendship

One can imagine that, for a woman of her time and with such a vivid imagination, Mary Shelley might be a bit short on friends.   This Thursday Extract is from the start of her most famous work Frankenstein.

But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend. When I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate in my joy. If I am assailed by disappointment, no-one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I desire the company of one who could sympathise with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no-one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own.
Robert Walton. Ship's Captain.

Frankenstein Mary Shelley


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi AJ .. I've never read Frankenstein - so was surprised to read this first passage .. interesting.

She came from a feminist set up - and her mother was also of the same ilk which was very unusual for those times.

Thanks - good thursday extract .. Hilary

Sandra Davies said...

Like Hilary, I've not read Frankenstein and was surprised at how modern it felt. Also very very much liked the photograph.

Jarmara Falconer said...

The monster would have loved the internet. He could have been whoever he wanted and had as many friends to but I would have sat in the same room with him and share and cuppa and cake and asked him all the questions of the universe.

We all create monsters in our minds but close our eyes to the really important questions in life. Mary Shelley share with us those important questions in her book, and the important question is could we sit in a room with her book and face her monster without it changing our minds.

snafu said...

Mary Shelly is sometimes credited with creating the field of Science Fiction, but most significantly is the way that Science Fiction and Hollywood has used the Frankenstein theme endlessly. This has become so commonplace that the ‘Frankenstein complex’ is used to express anti-science fear of our own scientific creations taking over their masters. This often presented as bar room philosophy by someone owning the latest kind of cell phone.