"Monster" explained:

Don't assume that we are saying that the being Victor
Frankenstein creates in the tale he tells Walton is the monster
we are saying is real. It isn't. The monster we are saying is
real is the "hideous progeny" that in 1831 Mary Shelley "bid
go forth and prosper". The monster is the book itself, which is
capable of doing far more than inspiring thrilling motion pictures
where characters such as Victor Frankenstein live. The plays,
the first of which appeared five years after the novel was first
published, as well as the motion pictures familiar to us today,
lack the unusual capability that Shelley gave her novel. In fact,
few novels are capable of doing what Frankenstein, or The
Modern Prometheus can do.
What the novel is doing now, and has been doing for nearly two
centuries, it does very well. It exposes a pattern of error common
to us all, which we record, not realizing that, like Victor, at some
point we will be confronted with and haunted by what we have
done. Some examples of this unusual work the novel does are
shown at this site. The resemblance of the stories of real individuals
or groups in real life to Victor Frankenstein's story can be
remarkable. In one example the host of a nationally broadcast book
club discussion actually creates a horrible figure of a man by
taking parts of two very different dead men's lives and combining
them. The host, in his excitement, produces a very powerful prejudice
against the man to whom Mary Shelley dedicated Frankenstein. The
host has no idea what he has done, but there is a record of it, and
the preface to Frankenstein specifically mentions what he has
done as wrong. When that moment is revisited it is also noticed
that two scholars, who are  authorities on this very subject and on
whom the host relies for accuracy, help to create the monster and
make it real in the minds of listeners. So, when we say that Victor
Frankenstein is alive, we mean that the kind of havoc he does in
the novel is done by people who think themselves to be incapable
of resembling Victor. In this regard it is important to note that the
name Victor Frankenstein is introduced in different places in the
two editions of the novel, indicating how unimportant it may be
to the action. [Return to main page asterisk]