I thoroughly enjoyed Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes for many of the reasons that I liked Jack London’s Martin Eden.
They are both books with a simple plot that is deceptively deep. Burroughs tackles so many issues: nurture vs. nature, love and lust, the balance between making one’s own choices and following societal norms, the process of self-education, how that education enables one to climb the social ladder to an extent, and how one, upon finding himself in the higher class, might feel more lonely than when he was excluded from it, etc. This barely scratches the surface.
The stories of these two men share commonalities with Frankenstein’s monster, and I want to reread Frankenstein so the monster can become a stronger voice in the conversation I’m having inside my head about these themes.
I’ll write more as I hash out the details and refine the epiphanies I’ve had. For now, if you haven’t read Tarzan, and my spoilers didn’t turn you off to the idea, grab a copy and read or listen. I highly recommend it.