It's really no shock to anyone that music is an important part of writing to many authors. Many post playlists for their novels and, as a reader, I enjoy listening to them and trying to figure out how the songs fit. It can be tone or lyrics.
But sometimes a random song strikes me as something that relates to a book. There could be just one lyric that fits with a story or character relationship. But somehow the song always reminds me of the story. So that's what these posts are going to be about.
Music Monday - August 27: "Show Me How to Live" by Audioslave - The Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
I heard this song on the radio on my way to work before I left home and when I heard it all I could think of was Frankenstein. It's another obvious choice. I'd actually have a hard time believing that this song wasn't written with the novel in mind.
"And with the early dawn moving right along, I couldn't buy an eye-full of sleep. And in the aching night under satellites, I was not received. Built with stolen parts, a telephone in my heart, someone get me a priest to put my mind to bed. This ringing in my head, is this a cure or is this a disease?"
This is a lot of the monster's confusion. His brain is always going, trying to figure things out and he's never really sure if what he's experiencing is what everyone else is. Is it the "right" way to react? He's never really accepted. When he thinks he's finally found it with the old man the old man's family chases him away. He is also quite literally "built with stolen parts."
"And in the after birth, on the quiet earth, let the stains remind you, you thought you made a man. You better think again, before my role defines you."
This is most definitely the monster's vengeful state. The monster wants Victor to remember what he's done and wants him held accountable. If Victor was not going to treat him like a man than the creature was not going to pretend to be a man. He would be as savage as Victor thought him to be. And he makes sure that everything in Victor's world centers around his actions. The creature makes sure that his actions define Victor.
"Nail in my hand, from my creator. You gave me life, now show me how to live. Nail in my hand, from my creator. You gave me life, now show me how to live.
And in your waiting hands, I will land, and roll out of my skin. And in your final hours I will stand, Ready to begin? Ready to begin? Ready to begin? Ready to begin?"
This is what it all comes down to. The creature just wanted Victor to take him in, father him. He wanted to know how the world worked, what it meant to live. This is his driving force, figuring out what it meant to be alive. The last bit about standing in the final hours is definitely the end of the book. The creature shows up at Victor's end.
Everything about this song screams Frankenstein. Not just bits and pieces, though it was the chorus that made me initially consider it. The whole thing. The confusion, the desire to learn, the anger. It's all how the monster grows and changes throughout the book.
The song and characters/plot belong to Audioslave and Mary Shelley respectively. Yay them!
There you have Music Monday's return. Huzzah! I hope my life is together enough to continue but I did just start my first Boston job! Barista...yay?
Anyway, what do you loves think of "Show Me How to Live" and Frankenstein?
Until next time!