Have you ever noticed that Victor Frankenstein seems a bit whiny? Perhaps a tad querulous and fretful? Self-absorbed and self-pitying? Peevish? Petulant? Plaintive? Given to kvetching, moaning, bitching, and complaining?
You’re not alone. Whether you’re in a book club, school class, or special collections library, it’s impossible not to notice that he repeats words like “wretched” and “miserable” consistently throughout the novel. It’s easy to attribute Victor’s constant complaining to immaturity or hubris, but in Mary Shelley’s introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, she says that her intention really was to to create a character who could not escape the horrors of his own accomplishment.* As a humorous addition to the FrankenBlog, we have created the Twitter account @whinypantsfrank, which places images of the “whiniest” passages from Shelley’s novel alongside humorous Tweets that highlight Victor’s misery. Click here to follow Whiny Frankenstein!
*See Mary Shelley’s 1831 introduction in Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus / Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ; edited by D.L. Macdonald & Kathleen Scherf. Ontario: Broadview Press, 1999), page 357. [Eaton copy here]