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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.

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Mary Shelley

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” was published in 1818. Its author, Mary Shelley, was just 19 years old when she finished writing the novel — an impressive feat for someone so young, especially given the enormous literary and cultural impact the book would go on to have. Equally impressive is the nuanced nature of the novel, especially when it comes to the figure of Frankenstein’s monster. Depending on one’s perspective, the monster can be viewed as both protagonist and antagonist: a complex, sensitive, and articulate creation who yearns to share his life with another being such as himself. Rejected and abhorred by everyone — including his creator, the scientist Victor Frankenstein — he seeks revenge. The monster tells Frankenstein he has become fearless, with nothing left to lose, and that this fearlessness makes him strong. Although our personal obstacles may not be as daunting as those faced by Frankenstein’s monster, we can still unearth boundless strength and agency within ourselves when we learn to live beyond the borders of our fears.

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Fill in the blank: "The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and ___." - David Foster Wallace
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