Books Good, Fire BAD! The Education of a Monster

Boris Karloff as the Monster in Universal Film’s Frankenstien

During his stay in the shack near the De Lacey’s cottage the Monster came across four books that would enlighten him and show the reader the learning of the Monster step by step. The first book was Volney’s Ruins of Empires. This book “…gave [the monster] an insight into the manners, government, and religions of the different nations of the earth.” (Shelly 147) It also gave insight of the origins of humanity. Volney’s book was also a favorite of Sun Ra’s. See post: Sun Ra’s Reading List. The second book that the Monster came across was a volume of Plutarch’s Lives. This book “ taught [the Monster] high thoughts; [Plutarch] elevated [the Monster] above the wretched sphere of [his] own reflection, to admire and love the heroes of past ages.” (Shelly 156) The book also expanded the Monster’s horizons to the political. The third book the Monster read was the Sorrows of Werter by Goethe. This enlightened him on the domestic world. The last book that the Monster read was Paradise Lost by Milton. This book introduced him to the cosmic world. Through this book he learned the most about himself and his creator. He was able to compare himself to the characters of Adam, Eve and Satan. The Monster also takes on the tone and erudite vocabulary of Milton, “putting on the ritz” as the Mel Brooks Monster sang in Young Frankenstien. With all of this newly acquired knowledge, the Monster was able to better understand his surroundings and the interactions that took place in them. Now if he could only find a good woman Monster, move to South America and raise vegetables, it would be Monster Utopia. The Monster.mp3

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