From Charlotte Gordon’s introduction to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: The 1818 Text:
…Ultimately, the absence of strong women holds the key to Frankenstein’s main themes. When women are not allowed to have a voice, or to play important roles in society, Mary implies, loss ensues. Unchecked male ambition will lead to destruction, injustice, and devastation.
Frankenstein is the story of one man’s obsession with the creation of life, and his subsequent abandonment of his creation. It is a study of guilt and innocence, creativity and destruction. But it is also a cautionary tale. By fearing the stranger, by abusing the vulnerable and the outcast, society creates its own monsters.
Back in 1984, the main premise seemed — even to me — fairly outrageous. Would I be able to persuade readers that the United States had suffered a coup that had transformed an erstwhile liberal democracy into a literal-minded theocratic dictatorship? In the book, the Constitution and Congress are no longer: The Republic of Gilead is built on a foundation of the 17th-century Puritan roots that have always lain beneath the modern-day America we thought we knew.
I will admit NT made my life easier in some respects. I found myself doing less remembering (names of utilities, command arguments, syntax) and more recognizing (solution components associated with check boxes, radio buttons, and pull-downs). I spent much less time typing. Certainly my right hand spent much more time herding the mouse around the desktop. But after a few months I started to get a tired, desolate feeling, akin to the fatigue I feel after too much channel surfing or videogaming: too much time spent reacting, not enough spent in active analysis and expression.