When first written by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s Monster was an intelligent, eloquent, and even sympathetic-in-some-lights character. The character underwent an evolution in popular culture to become an easily recognizable horror monster – a big, green, lumbering, incapable of speech or intelligence brute. Recently though, there has been a shift back to depicting Frankenstein’s monster as a misunderstood character who is equal to humans with emotions, intelligent thought, and a desire to belong. Why and how has this evolution has happened?
Covering the movies, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein may prove helpful. – J.D. Jankowski3 years ago
I like this idea. It might be interesting to approach it through the scope of the ever-evolving social stigmas/beliefs surrounding mental health, trauma, and/or identity. More so than in generations past, modern society tends to discuss such issues more openly, and therefore, modern readers may feel more inclined to identify with monster and less inclined to demonize him. Of course, the focus will need to be narrowed (mental health, trauma, and identity are all huge topics to tackle), but these are just some ideas to consider. – JCBohn3 years ago
What do you think of Victor Frankenstein and his monster? I have always believed that the death of his mother caused him to go mad. His creation of the monster was his ill attempt at trying to resurrect a being so that the same method may be used on his mother. I have heard that he may have been mad since childhood and the death of his mother catapulted him into his obsession with creation.
I just re-read Frankenstein in my English class this semester and I must say, the connection you made between the monster and his mother is something that has shooketh my perspective on the book. I never looked at the experiment this way but it makes sense and gives Frankenstein some purpose. It is clear to me that the monster is more Victor, less his creation. – Kiranpreet Sandhu6 years ago
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has always been a book I over examine. I made the same connection with the death of Victor's mother and his growing insanity, however I usually took an extra step further. The monster would open a door of possibilities for Victory. As you pointed out, he could use the same for his mother. I think that Victor also wanted to make something he could maintain, control and have as a companion for ever. He could replace body parts as they decay and he could keep it living for all time. His mother died and that made Victor realize that everyone, including his love, will eventually die. A manufactured monster? Could be his friend, companion even a lover for ages to come. – MoonKat6 years ago
There are many ways the Creature in the 1994 film "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein" is different from it’s original, classic incarnation from 1931 in "Frankenstein." One example is, obviously, the Creature talks in the remake. What effects do these changes have on the film? Are we more sympathetic to the Creature in the remake or the original film? What relationship does it have to the book?
Hi, I recommend you talk about how much the 1994 version is based on the basic outline and some of the elements of the book by Shelley (which is one of the best books ever created, in my opinion). – SeanGadus7 years ago
Look at the difference between classic and modern gothic and the kinds of thematic shifts that have taken place there. Monsters used to be something used as a scapegoat, pinning our fears onto anything 'Other'. Nowadays, the monsters are often more sympathetic creations, and our fears are turned inwards. – TomWadsworth7 years ago
Do an in depth investigation of the adaptations of Frankenstein to film. How has the monster been adapted from the novel into modern day? What does the monster say about society or about humanity in general? Or better yet, what inferences can be made in the relationship between Frankenstein and the monster, and the consequences of our desires to be like God/creators? This should make connections between the original Mary Shelley work, the various film adaptations, and possibly the recent Frankenstein film.
Most have worked off the iconography of the 1930s film for the sake of style and historically established recognition (think of all the cartoons that use the monster, and the movie "Van Helsing.") While only a few films, tv movies, and mini-series have represented the monster and the doctor in a more traditional sense, and a more "realistic" sense, with a creature made from stitched skin, mismatched organs, and slightly dead tissue, rather than a green man with a flat top and bolts in his neck. – Jonathan Leiter8 years ago
Since insight into her own psychological connections are the genesis of Mary Shelley's story, it shouldn't be difficult to find contemporary connections to today's world, where so many of us have lost our moral compasses and robots will soon rule. When she was trying so hard to think of a ghost story to offer to the group, including Polidori, Byron, and P. Shelley, in that rainy summer in 1816, it took her many nights before she realized she had the vision already haunting her in her head. – awestcot8 years ago
Just a tip: the most recent adapter of Shelley's work called the original novel "dull as dishwater." – Kristian Wilson8 years ago
Perhaps a look at the movie Young Frankenstein would be a useful contribution. – JDJankowski8 years ago
I love the idea. One thing that always struck me was, in the novel, the monster talked, while the majority of film adaptations he does not talk.
Another point that could be explored, one of the themes of the novel is the contrast between Victor and the creation, in other words it seemed ironic that Victor was monstrous and the monster was human in quality. I don't recall this being illuminated in any of the movies.
I read the novel with the expectations of a good classic horror, richly surprised that it was quite a philosophical novel about what it means to be human. Frankenstein is never portrayed as a 'thinker' film, but always a 'monster movie'. Hope this gives some possible directions. – DrTestani8 years ago
Often up for debate is the length to which artists should take their creative liberties and change source material. Much more often do we see people groan that "they changed too much" from the book rather than cheer over entertaining additions or the omission of bores. However, it seems only a rather small community is devoted to the notion of a true-to-the-pages Frankenstein adaptation, likely due in part to the difficult reading level of the book and the pure hold on popular culture grasped by the 1931 film adaptation. At this point, to omit the hunchbacked Igor in place of the dear friend Henry Clerval, or to morph the dim-witted grunts of the monster into the articulate glibness of the original, or even to insist that the monster itself is not named Frankenstein is simply a path-dependency problem. Modern society is far too used to that which they already know for a truly loyal adaptation to be made and to be profitable. – draketj988 years ago
While most adaptations of Frankenstein have been unfaithful to the text, there are so many works that have been influenced by the novel. Ex Machina (2015) has been one such example and worth analyzing. – Moonrattle8 years ago