Before even even ordering Mary Shelley’s gothic classic Frankenstein fromt the Vanderbilt bookstore, I had several preconceived notions about the book and its characters. The most prominent of these ideas revolved around Dr. Frankenstein himself. I had imagined him as a sort of mad scientist, driven to create a new life out of loneliness.

This image of Dr. Frankenstein as portrayed by Gene Wilder in the 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein permeated my thoughts about the novel. I saw the character as a man driven into madness by loneliness. As I read however, I learned that Dr. Frankenstein was not driven by madness or loneliness but by a thirst for knowledge.

Another notion I had before actually reading the novel was that it wasn’t actually scary or terrifying in any way. I saw the story as something meant to frighten small children on halloween, nothing that an adult would fear.  However, after reading parts of the novel i have come to realize just how terrifying the underlying ideas within the novel really are. Dr. Frankenstein isnt simply a mad man, he repreesents an entire of sector of enlightenment thinking. His attitude embodies a purely scientific view that sees humans as merely collections of moving parts that form a machine . A view that discounts the soul and all other immaterial parts of human life.