This weekend, while in blizzard-induced lockdown, I read Frankenstein, which I somehow made it out of high school without ever being assigned. Frankenstein has reminded me of something that I often forget when reading so much young adult lit: reading can be hard and slow. I can rip through most YA books really fast. I sit with Frankenstein for what feels like hours and only get through fifteen pages.
Frankenstein has been a surprising and huge hit. I have loved every word of it, even the parts where the remarkably articulate monster waxes poetic. But, as with many books, I have frequently found myself shouting at Victor Frankenstein because he is a total moron, the same way you shout at people in horror movies not to go in that closet.
It got me thinking about the other fictional characters I would like to give a good talking to. And since Valentine’s Day is coming up and everybody’s writing cards anyway, I thought I’d send a few of my own.
Dear Jay Gatsby
No. You cannot repeat the past. And you are playing jump rope with the line between romantic and restraining order. Ask yourself this question: did I buy a million dollar house to impress a girl I am now too scared to talk to? If the answer is yes (and it is), you need to stop. Maybe friend Daisy on facebook. Friending an ex is universal language for wanting to get back together. Also, you do not have to go swimming just because you haven’t used the pool all fall and you feel like you need to. DO NOT GO SWIMMING, JAY!
Dear Elizabeth Bennet,
Oh my lanta, YOU LIKE HIM! You are TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH HIM! How are you the ONLY PERSON WHO DOES NOT KNOW THIS?!
Dear Mr. Rochester,
First you have a kid with a random opera singer. Then you have been stringing along Blanche Ingram to make the girl you actually like jealous, you drove your wife crazy and then locked her in an attic, and you have been mentally abusing Jane since you met her. You are basically a terrible person. And oh man, I love you for it you beautiful bastard.
Just man up and kill him. It has been like three and a half hours.
Dear Amy March,
Sweetheart, I know you are feeling left out, but burning Jo’s manuscript is not a proportional response. A little part of me dies every time I read this bit. I really cannot imagine anything worse a person could do. With like major exceptions like genocide and becoming a politician.
Dear Holden Caufield
Dear Victor Frankenstein
So you’ve been working for like six years to reanimate this corpse. Do not be so surprised when it actually works. You should have been prepared for this, instead of totally losing it and running away when he comes alive. Because frankly, that was a terrible response. Also, if you were so freaked out by the way he looks, maybe you shouldn’t have made him so freaky looking to begin with.
Feel free to leave your own letters to fictional characters in comments!