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Creating a Monster


Though many popular movies and plays depict the story of Frankenstein, one misconception about the tale’s horrifying main character persists— most people today still continue to believe Frankenstein is his name. Although, those who have read Mary Shelley’s original novel know that this is an erroneous name: “Frankenstein” is not the name of the monster, but rather the name of the doctor who created him, Dr. Frankenstein. In the novel, the monster is only identified as “demon,” “fiend,” or “creature,” referencing the first man as recounted by the Bible, although he later refers to himself as Adam.


Mary Shelley's most famous book stemmed from a dream she had while traveling through Germany in the 1810s. On her journey, she passed by an old building called Frankenstein Castle, the castle had once been the home of an experimenting alchemist. She found the name of the castle intriguing. She was further inspired while discussing occult subjects with a group of friends and writers, including Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, in Switzerland, where she would set much of the story. These discussions may have been the impetus for Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Lord Byron was the more famous writer in the group and perhaps helped to bring about the book’s eventual publication.


At the time of its publication, Frankenstein was almost universally reviled by critics. Audiences however loved it, ensuring its continuous publication and widespread cultural importance. Today, Frankenstein is considered one of the first science fiction novels, although it borrows many elements from earlier traditions, such as the Gothic and the Romantic. However, the story seems to have taken on a life of its own: few people can accurately identify the novel’s characters.


Nevertheless, the debate over the monster’s proper name showed how impassioned the public still is about Shelleys work, which speak to larger issues of life and the dangers of creation more powerful than other similar books. Children should stay away. Whether the monster is known as Frankenstein or Adam, he still has the power to terrify kids. [ ]

Directions: Choose the option for the underlined portion that best expresses the idea in standard written English and that is most consistent with the style and tone of the passage. If the original version is correct, select NO CHANGE. If there is a question provided, choose the best answer to the question.

On her journey, she passed by an old building called Frankenstein Castle, the castle had once been the home of an experimenting alchemist. 


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