Our Journey has ended.

It’s been an eventful few months, and I’m certain our readers are questioning why our seemingly constant flown the goal of what our blog was meant to achieve. What started out as a project for a literature course has evolved into a melting pot of creativity. We absolutely drained the Frankenstein novel and extracted as much information from it as we could. We then posted our findings and ideas to this very blog.

However, our project has come to an end. It has been a very fun experience and the Frankenblog team and I are absolutely grateful to have had so many readers follow our journey into the classic Gothic-Horror novel. I would like to thank you for sticking with us until the end of this project and interacting with us by providing helpful insight and ideas to add to our posts.

Finally, I would like to personally thank the entirety of the Frankenblog team for their efforts. We have produced content that went far beyond our own expectations, and have learned quite a lot. We managed to conjure up blog posts from seemingly absurd notions from the novel as we tested the boundaries of our creativity and imagination. It’s been a wild ride.

So to our dearest readers, thank you for your dedication to our little project.

Sincerely,

Thomas & the Frankenblog Team.

Frankenstein Automata: How Shelley’s Monster serves as a warning for Artificial Intelligence.

As technology develops far beyond our wildest dreams, one must take into consideration the ethics of certain advancements. Artificial intelligence has been on the minds of every software and computer engineer for the better part of 40 years, and has been pondered by philosophers, scientists, and science-fiction authors for well over 200 years.

Assuming humanity is indeed capable of “playing God” and creating the spark of life, the ethics of the situation must be closely analysed and taken with extreme caution. The Frankenstein Monster serves as Artificial Intelligence in the flesh, as it surpasses humanity in nearly every aspect, and given the opportunity, would annihilate the human race due to our fearful nature.

According the article “Rage against the AI machine”, humanity must automatically integrate AI robots into society to ensure their cooperation as well as our survival. This however only functions under the assumption that artificial intelligence functions as well as harbors the same emotions as humans, much like the Frankenstein Monster.

Source & Further Reading:

http://www.paconsulting.com/insights/rage-against-the-ai-machine/

Shockingly Disappointing: A review of “Victor Frankenstein”

Directed by Paul McGuigan in 2015 and starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, the film Victor Frankenstein is a movie adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic-horror novel Frankenstein. The film acts as a type of prequel to the tale of Frankenstein depicting the origins of the Igor character.

For a spiritual prequel, however, it does not follow the source material whatsoever, with the only similarities being in the names of the characters.

To summarize the plot (Spoiler alert), Igor is rescued from being a circus slave by none other than Victor Frankenstein, a student at a medical school. Frankenstein discovers that Igor has a talent for performing surgery. Both characters team up and conduct a multitude of experiments that eventually lead to them creating the Frankenstein Monster, and ultimately destroy it.

While as an independent work, this film could be considered a decent work, it is simply the fact that it twists the classic Frankenstein in such a way that is inconsistent with the characters. The movie introduces a plethora of characters that mean absolutely nothing to the plot. This makes the whole viewing experience seem uneventful.

In short, this film is decent enough to watch, though it is best not to analyze it too deeply. Doing so will reveal continuity failures and inconsistency much to the detriment of the viewer’s experience.

The Conception of the Igor character.


Many are familiar with the hunchbacked assistant of Doctor Victor Frankenstein known as Igor, however most people fail to realize that he was not part of the original novel. Indeed, Igor was not even present in the widely successful 1931 film Frankenstein. The original hunchback assistant of the infamous doctor was named Fritz, who unfortunately met his demise at the hands of the Monster after tormenting it with a flaming torch. Sequels of the film, notably Son of Frankenstein, featured a character named Igor, though he was neither hunchbacked nor a lab assistant but rather a blacksmith.

The confusion behind Igor’s role as a hunchbacked assistant may come from the 1953 adaptation of the classic horror film House of Wax. In this movie, the museum curator’s assistant was named Igor, though he was not hunchbacked, but rather deaf and mute.

The similarities between Gothic horror films at the time all took inspiration from the classic Frankenstein movie, and over decades morphed an idea of the original source material which was separate from the novel.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.scifiscripts.com/cartoon/nightmare.txt

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2517033/Daniel-Radcliffe-set-Igor-new-Frankenstein-movie.html

http://screencrush.com/daniel-radcliffe-frankenstein-igor/

https://web.archive.org/web/20090206230249/http://hyel.thedanamark.net/trumpets/dwinfo/dictionary/igors.htm

How Norse Mythology Influenced the Frankenstein Novel

While writing Frankenstein, Shelley drew inspiration (intentionally or not) from the vast repertoire of Norse Mythology. There are many parallels between the characters found within the novel, notably Frankenstein and his Monster. It could be argued that Frankenstein’s Monster is an adaptation of Loki, the Norse Jötunn god of Mischief, and Frankenstein is an adaptation of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder. Through extensive analysis, it is apparent that the climax of the story is very similar to the events leading to the Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse, all the way down to symbolic representations.

Firstly, it is important to understand the general context of the Ragnarok. In this case, a specific part of it is observed: when Thor ventures into Niflheim, an icebound wasteland, home to all the evil creatures conspiring towards the end of the world. Symbolically, Frankenstein resembles Thor as he is associated with lightning, adventurousness (through scientific exploits and breaking boundaries). The Monster, represents Loki, as he is quite similar to a Jötunn (Ice Giants) in terms of physique. His actions also resemble Loki as they are meant to cause chaos and lead to the demise of the Hero (Frankenstein).

Upon reaching the arctic wasteland in pursuit of the Monster, Frankenstein’s means of transportation (Sled-Dogs) fails him. This could be interpreted as a representation of Fenrir, Loki’s wolf son, being the first obstacle in his quest. Frankenstein then finds shelter on an expedition ship, thus conquering the sea, which could be interpreted as Jörmungandr (the Sea-Serpent). Unfortunately, as Jörmungandr’s poison kills Thor after the battle, the frostbite and illness claim Frankenstein.

The Monster, now in his solitude, is punished for his crimes in a similar fashion as Loki. The Norse Trickster God was bound by chains for eternity, where poison is dripped onto his head. His wife is there to collect the poison in a bowl before it damages Loki, but when she leaves to empty said bowl, Loki is left to writhe in pain as the poison drips onto him. Similarly, the Monster is left to writhe in agony as the absence of his wife renders him unable to mitigate the emotional pain caused by eternal loneliness.
Sources:

https://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/joe/article/download/234/307

http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-aesir-gods-and-goddesses/loki/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenrir

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki

Frankenstein’s Monster: An Archetypal Lover

To understand the content of this post, one must first understand the context and basic concepts of Jungian Archetypal Psychology. Carl Jung was a famous psychologist who believed that the human psyche follows archetypal patterns, and that personality could be predicted according to said archetypes. While the number of archetypes increases as we delve deeper into more specific psychological characteristics, for the sake of simplicity, this analysis will focus on the 12 major archetypes.

These 12 archetypes are divided into three sets of 4; The Ego, the Soul, and the Self. This gives a general understanding of where the interests of each archetype lie. It is important to note that one person may have an amalgam of different archetypal characteristics, however there is always one dominant one. It is also important to understand that the given archetype of a person may change after a life-changing event has occurred, as is the case for Frankenstein’s Monster.

From what is described in the beginning of the novel, where the Monster is introduced and has a chance to re-tell its experiences, readers can clearly see that, initially, it is not evil. Given the desires that drive the Monster, it is clear that he belongs to the Lover archetype. The Lover aims a sense of intimacy and belonging with others, and does so through passion, admiration, and selflessness. This is clearly visible when the Monster assists the family of peasants in their daily struggles. Completely altruistic in being, the creature merely wishes to be of assistance. However, the Monster’s personality directly clashes with his physical appearance. Though he has perfect white teeth and flowing black hair, his eyes remain pale and dead, which is a permanent barrier to his sense of inclusion.

After facing colossal rejection from the object of his admiration, the Monster’s personality consumes itself in chaos. His passion degenerates to rage, self-loathing, and vengeance. All the positive aspects of the Lover are warped into their negative counterparts. This follows the typical symbolism of the “Son eating the Father”, as is represented in Oedipus, as well as numerous myths throughout history. This leads to both the demise of the Father (Frankenstein) as well as Son (the Monster). The creature becomes essentially the antithesis of his own being.

Sources:

http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html