Hail Mary Shelley!Mary Shelley winks

& Exercise Untried

Resources of Mind
with Frankenstein
                             first published April 21, 1999 &  resurrected January 25, 2002
Introduction Frankenstein Exercise, What's new etc.
What there is to fear
New Frankenstein Questions

Victor Frankenstein and the monster* Mary Shelley
created still live, and the real horror is yet to come.
    The design and purpose of this famous horror fiction have
been seriously underrated for more than 180 years. Important
opportunities to better understand and respond to a common
and frequently harmful disorder are missed because the tools
and demonstrations Shelley provides are ignored. Our business
is to advertise the considerable unrecognized value to humanity
that comes with the understanding of human conflict that Mary
Shelley designed her frightening novel to develop. The many
discrepancies or inconsistencies in the novel, which have been
dismissed as errors or ignored as though unimportant, are not
errors at all, but are design elements vital to the purpose proposed
in the preface.*
     The ways that the novel may be read differ so greatly that it
is almost as though it is a book that can be read twice for the first
time. The horror fiction or gothic tale reads front to back. The
real horror and monsters appear as the book is read back to front
and they will not go away. If you have read Frankenstein, here
you may begin to see how differently it reads, when the preface is
used to guide our understanding of  the novel's design. Just click
on the Frankenstein Exercise link below for a new way of reading
the book at this site that can be useful and truly satisfying.
                                                                         Updated September 5, 2004
[Informal Student Help Page]
[Frankenstein Exercise]          [kitchen door] < a full & detailed menu
[Frankenstein Tour]
[It is true]
[Chronology  & Historical Context]
[Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein]       [Contact]
[Playing God in Frankenstein]
[Monster Conflict]
[Clash of Minds - Exploring Shelley's Machinery]
[To a Candid World - The Vitebsk story]
[To a Candid World - Keys to Understanding Frankenstein]

        What there is to fear from

                  Mary Shelley's

      exercise of untried resources of mind

   In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein,
Mary Shelley refers to the machinery of a story. The 1818
preface identifies several purposes the author has in mind
and suggests that readers may have some difficulty with the
novel as a result. If we examine the novel as though it
were a machine and the preface as though it were an owner's
manual, many odd features of the novel make sense. Some parts
of the novel we hardly notice or that don't make sense on the
first reading are vital and, when set in motion, transform the
book entirely.
In a way, Frankenstein is rather like the Trojan Horse. It is
impressive, entertaining, fascinating, yet it is designed to be
more than that. There is a surprise inside and a hint in the
author's dedication as to what the surprise is. To some the
surprise will be a horror. Mary Shelley dedicated Frankenstein
to her father, William Godwin, who believed that the object of
education is properly to prepare a generation capable of saving
the human race.