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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

“Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves.”

Can you trust yourself to know someone? even after they have shown you who they are are?

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White is a retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein but this time as experienced by Elizabeth. The story as you would expect is dark, although paradoxical in bringing to light the darkest corners of the human mind. We all love someone that we cannot imagine losing but at what point do we go too far in holding onto them? Is it when we hurt them? other people? or ourselves? In the case of Victor he ends up doing all of this. However, Victor's insanity is something that he is born with, not created by fear. Hence, we cannot feel an ounce of empathy for him. Elizabeth knows Victor's nature from the start, but she refuses to acknowledge it as that would mean her being sent back home where she is not welcome. However, despite Elizabeth being manipulative and calculative, we can sympathize with her when compared to Victor. Love blinds Elizabeth whereas power blinds Victor.

" I sought to puncture Heaven and instead discovered Hell"

We often experience the same set of event from different people as well from the same person as they become more willing and ready to see the truth. As the story progresses you experience Elizabeth's descent, slowly facing the reality she had known all along but refused to accept. The story portrays perfectly how in some instances we block out what we see whether the reason being love or to protect our own selves.

As we realize that Victor's monster is not really a monster but a victim, we understand that ironically the monster has more humanity than Victor himself. A monster who struggles against his creation but is also able to do the right thing. Whereas Victor does not care about his creation but only in defeating death, no matter the cost.

Kiersten White’s interpretation of Elizabeth's character and her relationship with Victor. I enjoyed her descriptions of the gloomy weather mirroring the nature of events taking place. It definitely puts you in the mood of impending doom and of unnatural happenings that did not belong in this world.

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