Frankenstein Day is on August 30 and we are celebrating with all the details surrounding this classic novel. Can you believe it’s been over 200 years since the original “Frankenstein” story was published? That’s two centuries since a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein breathed life into his very own creature — the monster! And led to countless Halloweens of young children covered in green paint with box-shaped foreheads. Let’s dive into this fun holiday!
History of Frankenstein Day
Published in 1818 by English author Mary Shelly, “Frankenstein” is considered one of the most important science fiction pieces ever written. It tells the tale of a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein who is fascinated with the creation of life. He conducts an experiment where, using a variety of human parts, he is able to bring life to a creature, which would later be known as ‘the monster.’ The story then follows Victor and the monster’s tumultuous connection, as both seek the secret to peace and happiness.
The novel received mixed reviews at the time of publication. As a female writer, Mary Shelly faced challenges in gaining acceptance and reverence from some of her male counterparts. But as time passed, especially since the mid-20th century, “Frankenstein” has received generally positive reviews. It is widely considered one of the seminal works in gothic-, science-fiction-, and romantic literature.
Almost as soon as it was published, “Frankenstein” quickly lent itself to a variety of mediums. Theatres and opera houses would put on fantastic shows and musicals based on the scientist and his creature. As film and television grew in prominence throughout the 1900s, the number of “Frankenstein” adaptations multiplied.
Two iconic additions of Frankenstein lore came in the 1930s, with the movies “Bride of Frankenstein” and its sequel “Son of Frankenstein.” While some stories would stick more closely to Mary Shelly’s source material, others would take a more liberal approach, adding new layers to the Frankenstein world, including time travel, superhuman abilities, and world domination.
Frankenstein Day timeline
English author Mary Shelly releases the first edition of “Frankenstein” in the United Kingdom.
Significant changes are made to Victor Frankenstein and how he is portrayed.
The sequel to 1931’s “Frankenstein” focuses on the quest to create a romantic partner for the monster.
The Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet co-produce a ballet based on Mary Shelly’s original work.
Frankenstein Day FAQs
What other work did Mary Shelly produce?
Mary continued life as a writer and editor after the publication of “Frankenstein.” She wrote the novels “The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck” (1830), “Lodore” (1835), and “Falkner” (1837). Additionally, she edited her husband’s poems, contributed to magazines, and assembled volumes of her late father’s work.
What is the monster’s name?
The monster doesn’t actually have a name in the novel. At various times it is referred to as “the creature” or “the fiend.” Many often make the mistake of thinking the monster’s name was Frankenstein when he was actually Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.
Is Frankenstein a doctor?
This is the subject of much debate. While Victor Frankenstein is not a doctor in the original work (he is a student studying at University), over time and in future interpretations of “Frankenstein,” he is often referred to as Dr. Frankenstein.
Frankenstein Day Activities
Read the book!
Odds are you haven’t read the original since 10th-grade English class. August 30 is an excuse to crack open a classic and take yourself on a trip to the 1700s and the mind of Victor Frankenstein. At 280 pages, it’s a relatively quick read that you can finish over a few days.
Get an early start on Halloween
You still have eight weeks before Halloween and what better way to celebrate than to dress up as the monster himself? Better yet, find a friend and coordinate going together as both Victor and his monster. The two months of prep will give you plenty of time to design the perfect costume for that Halloween party.
Do some baking
Frankenstein-shaped cookies and cakes have become all the rage lately. If there is a type of sweet you love, we can guarantee there is a Frankenstein-themed recipe out there. Whether it’s ginger cookies, birthday cakes, or licorice, the internet has you covered. Dim the lights and turn on some spooky music if you really want to recreate that gothic, science fiction feel while you bake.
5 Facts About Frankenstein That Will Blow Your Mind
It’s in the blood
Mary Shelly’s Father, William Goldwin, was a prominent writer, and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a philosopher and feminist.
Dr. Frankenstein’s education
Victor attends the University of Ingolstadt where he develops an interest in science and the creation of life.
The monster’s height
This has differed over the years, but Shelly originally describes the monster as being over 11 feet tall.
The monster’s skin — green or yellow?
In popular culture, Frankenstein’s monster is normally green in color, however, in Shelly’s original work, he is actually said to have yellow skin.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
The 1970s musical was a derivative of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” — it pokes fun at horror movies from the early- and mid-1900s, while loosely including a number of characters and themes from the original novel.
Why We Love Frankenstein Day
It still resonates today
We are over 200 years since “Frankenstein” was first published and the story still resonates with people today. Whether it’s movies and graphic novels that have spawned from the original, or high school students uncovering the deeper meaning and metaphors of Shelly’s work, the story and characters live on.
Importance of female writers
Mary Shelly was able to break through with this incredible piece of literature at a time when there were very few female writers.
The fun of dressing up
The square head, green skin, bolts coming from the neck, bad haircut, and boxy suit — the monster costume has become an iconic part of Halloween and a fixture in modern horror popular culture.
Frankenstein Day dates