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Frankenstein

(3 syl.). A young student, who made a soulless monster out of fragments of men picked up from churchyards and dissecting-rooms, and endued it with life by galvanism. The tale, written by Mrs. Shelley, shows how the creature longed for sympathy, but was shunned by everyone. It was only animal life, a parody on the creature man, powerful for evil, and the instrument of dreadful retribution on the student, who usurped the prerogative of the Creator.

“The Southern Confederacy will be the soulless monster of Frankenstein.” —Charles Sumner.

Mrs. Shelley, unfortunately, has given no name to her monster, and therefore he is not unfrequently called “Frankenstein” when alluded to. This, of course, is an error, but Frankenstein's monster is a clumsy substitute.

“I believe it would be impossible to control the Frankenstein we should have ourselves created.” —Sir John Lubbock (a speech, 1886).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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