Frankenstein’s unique place in the Canon relates much with what it has engendered. Widely transformed and appropriated in popular culture, Frankenstein, a story of transgressed creation, followed by vengeful destruction has also brought forth unruly blood of high culture imaginative and interpretive offspring. When discussions regarding nationalism, feminism, the family and radicalism trace their routes to the same parent-text as countless plays, novels, political cartoons, films, and comic books, the source takes on archetype aspect. Honestly, the adaptability and suggestiveness of Shelley’s story may make it be called a metaphor of people’s cultural rises. Frankenstein is a modern myth that has tactfully embraced some of the dominant and most pressing issues in modern society. One modern cultural crisis and historical problem interpreted by Shelley in her story are that of British imperial slavery and its implications. Published during a period when the economics and morality of West Indian slavery were subjects of fierce public discussions, the story trades substantially in positions and images related to that debate and more specifically with West Indian imperialism. While the book can be dated back to different movements against slavery of its past, Frankenstein also digs into some later texts regarding the modern legacy of West Indian colonialism and slavery.
The vexed discussion of who was responsible for the humiliations and sufferings of the creature, creator and innocent others presented in Frankenstein is often displaced by scholars to questions of multiple intellectual, social and political settings in which Shelley authored her story and victor created his monster. The French revolution is only an example of the many developments the novel has examined. As quoted in the story, “I found myself similar yet at the same time strangely unlike to the beings concerning whom I read and to whose conversation I was a listener. I sympathized with and partly understood them, but I was unformed in mind; I was dependent on none and related to none. The path of my departure was free, and there was none to lament my annihilation. My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.”