The Evolution of Frankenstein's Monster: The intelligent, the brainless, and back again

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. Jankowski 2 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. – JCBohn 2 years ago

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