Frankenstein and Unreliable Narrators

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Unreliable Narrators In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dr Frankenstein’s monster is possibly one of the most iconic characters of all time, but so few have actually read the original book from which he came. Often do we see him portrayed at the hulking, 8 foot-tall greenish grey brut with a flat head and bolts in his neck. Add some Doc Martins, a tattered black suit and some stitches here and there and you’ve got yourself a pretty accurate depiction. Past that, there is almost nothing that we can definitively know actually occurred. Since the entire text, is a retelling by Captain Walton, the actual events could be quite different, a result of a real life game of telephone. On top of that, we’re basing the entire store on an account from a very possibly drunken sailor. But more importantly is the psychological state of the monster himself. Often speculated to be Autistic (or suffering from symptoms very similar to Autism), if this assessment is true, or he simply possesses characteristics of a person with Autism, this could prove to render many of his interpretations invalid. In The Fall of the House of Usher, starting on the first page, there is evidence that there is something a bit off about the narrator (and all the characters for that matter) that leads us to believe that he may not be the most dependable of narrators. The entirety of Frankenstein is told from a second hand account, as a retelling following Dr Frankenstein’s account of the creation and life of his monster (for lack of any other handle to Captain Walton while aboard a ship bound for the North Pole. To make matters worse, the text isn’t from the tongue of Walton, but from letters Walton pens to his sister. Almost immediately, we’re separated from the story by 2 degrees, and 3 possible facets of change the story could have: Frankenstein’s story to Walton, Walton’s interpretation, and Walton’s
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