Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A note for Indian readers on Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

While I'll post on the novel separately - probably a series of posts, given its influence - here is a word of caution for Indian readers. Story has a couple of passages that will likely rub the wrong way:

  1. "slothful Asiatics" contrasted with "the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians".
  2. "His design was to visit India, in the belief that he had in his knowledge of its various languages, and in the views he had taken of its society, the means of materially assisting the progress of European colonization".

    What this character is doing is a socially honorable thing, & seems to have author's sympathy.