As I finish reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I realized that the book takes a unique format. There are many times in the novel where characters are looking back on their lives and telling stories about what happened. There are also many letters being written that explains what is happening at the moment. This puts the audience on a more personal level with the characters like Walton or Victor Frankenstein himself. We are able to empathize with Frankenstein when things go wrong or with Walton when he faces trouble too. Furthermore, the monster even talks about his life to Frankenstein for several chapters.
Let’s focus on Frankenstein’s story however, since it takes up the majority of the novel. Frankenstein is telling Walton what has happened in his life that has him in such a fragile state. He gives background on his family, the story of the creation of the monster, and the harm that the monster did to him. As he recounts his tale, he is able to include insight that he knew only after thinking about what has happened. He was able to include his opinion on the events only because they’ve already happened and he already knew what the results were. Because Shelley uses this format, we aren’t limited to an unbiased story but of one that includes insight and opinion.
In How I met your Mother, Ted is telling his children his life story and his journey to finding true love. Along the way, Ted talks about great things that has happened and unfortunate ones. He also, elaborates on his good friends Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin. However, because this follows a similar format to Frankenstein, Ted also includes his opinions and insight. He adds comments like, “that wasn’t a good idea” or “She isn’t the one” because he’s speaking from the future and knows what happened as a result of those decisions.
How I Met your Mother and Frankenstein have very different story lines but are connected because of the retrospection that plays such a huge role in both. Retrospection is a universal idea that everyone will experience many times in their lifetimes. Retrospection is the cause for regret and spawns happy memories. through retrospection, mankind has made much progress.