Mary Shelley wrote this story in the beginning of the 19th century, when science was developing in an enormous speed. More and more was possible with new scientific discoveries. In fact, scientists were experimenting with bringing animals, even humans, to life using electricity. Mary Shelley, who enjoyed a great education, knew about this and wrote this book. It warns us for the other, dark side of scientific progress: if we don't combine scientific potential with our own reason and moral, bad things can arise; things we aren't prepared for... This happened to scientist Victor Frankenstein in the novel. He is obsessed by the idea of animating dead things, and without thinking about anything else, he brings a human-kind being, excisting of dead bodyparts, into life. He detests it from the moment it takes his first breath, then banishes it and calls it 'a monster'.
The story is surprisingly relevant also in our time, 200 years after. The plot says a lot about humanity in general. We create something that we then detest but do not blame ourselves, but the thing we created instead. For example, we all drive a car and complain that we are in traffic. In Mary Shelley's time, but also now, we are surpressed by the rise of big cities and industries - that we created ourselves. We don't feel free anymore because we are online night and day, 7 days a week; but seem to forget that we created this situation ourselves - by scientific developments and 'improvements'. Are those really improvements, or are we creating more and more monsters, that will eventually haunt us? Think about the global wars of the past century, think about the nuclear threats, and answer for yourself. Science is said to kill God - I think it's different: science makes us think we are gods. With one significant difference: God thought about his creation before performing it.