The first time I read Mary Shelley's gothic masterpiece I was on Winter Break in my second year at university. I was familiar with the story - everyone is - and thought it would behove me to get some readings done for my English Literature Survey course while on Christmas Holiday.
Now I fortunately make a tradition to reacquaint myself with Mary Shelley's finest work every Christmas. Why you might wonder would I subject myself to reading the dreariest of literary works during the most festive of seasons. Contrast is my answer to the question you might ask. Contrast; because without ugliness how do we know what is beautiful. How can we relish flowers and waterfalls if not for insects and excrement? How are we to know the light without the existence of the darkness? And how are we to treasure people and places if not for pain and heartache? Mary Shelley may leave you in a heaping mess of tears and screams but that only makes hugs more meaningful and the festivities more festive. And ever since I never shy away from dark literature because I remember the perspective and understanding it may offer me.