Frankenstein could not be more different of a novel than I imagined it to be from what I gathered of the Frankenstein monster in popular culture references. I would categorize it under philosophy not horror. It is a story of an outcast (the monster) tortured by imposed isolation. It’s a story of a creature that seeks to be loved, and in failing to find such love, fills his mind with spite, anger, and revenge.
He is a child, learning the ways of the world, full of the dueling human emotions of compassion and jealousy, of love and hatred, of decisiveness and fear.
I have always imagined the Frankenstein monster as an embodiment of evil that lurks in the shadows of society. I thought of the scientist that created him and the people he murdered as the victims. They indeed are victims, but so is the monster.
A society that defines strict boundaries on what is good and what is evil, produces outcasts that are not inherently evil but become so because of the society-imposed isolation. In my mind, this is similar to the result of Abu Ghraib “interrogations” of suspected terrorists that were completely innocent at the beginning of the process. However, because of the pro-longed torture, were convinced of the evil of the United States and thus essentially converted into terrorists.