For about the 5th time in my life, I have read Frankenstein. It is an awesome book, evoking travel imagery as well as lots of emotion as Victor struggles with being God and his Creature struggles with being a creation abandoned by his creator. There’s a lot of interesting ideas in the book, and I could discuss any of them in depth, but I’m going to explore the book’s cover instead.
I purchased this book long, long ago and have often been embarassed by the cover; Frankenstein’s Creature looks like he is… well… slow. I asked other people to verify my suspicions, and many a person agreed that the creature looks like he suffers from a mental disability.
The Creature is an intellectual being born (seemingly) without (according to some philosophers) man’s innate desire to destroy. It is when he is subjected to humankind’s hard heart that he becomes a destructive force akin to a 7 foot tall Godzilla that strangles his victims instead of blowing their heads off with atomic breath. In a way, Frankenstein’s creature and Godzilla are two sides of the same coin. But I digress; I’m getting away from the cover discussion.
That said, what does this cover suggest? Aside from reflecting a scene that is a composite of the story’s events (as opposed to being a specific scene), it also seems to suggest that the Creature is not only ugly, but also not terribly bright. Does he seem like the type of guy that would say a word like “opprobrium”?
While as ugly as a ten-year old sack of mushrooms, the one thing the Creature is not is mentally insufficient. He might not be the craftiest of beasts, but he certainly isn’t lacking wits. Then, why is it that the Creature is so often portrayed as mentally inferior to the average man?
What do you think?