Part 2: A Trend Setter for Science-Fiction

“Frankenstein is considered as one of the most subversive attacks on modern science.”

During the 19th century, Shelley published one of the most important works science fiction ever created. To do so, she spent a considerable amount of time on researches for her novel. She based her book on scientific theories, travels and places from several authors. Thus, she had an impressive reading list that included important works at this period as the work of extreme accounts of polar exploration in George Anson’s 1748 Voyage Round the World; the distinction between alchemy and chemistry in Davy’s 1812 Elements of Chemical Philosophy; the new concepts of brain development explored in Lawrence’s physiological lectures; and she encountered the psychology of guilt and abandonment; in John Milton’s 1667 Paradise Lost. All these works were the predecessors that help Shelley to push this genre to a new level. Moreover, she based the places of her book on several actual loci. For example, she inspired the location for the central confrontation between Victor Frankenstein and The Creature with the Mont Blanc, which is an important scene in the novel.
Another important reason Frankenstein is considered as one of the first real work of Sci-Fi is that she was one of the first to be able to create a story that was futuristic at the time compared with the scientific resources that she had. However, she was still able to include several human characteristics that everyone could relate to them. Thus, she had an incredible sense of creativity and created a story that included future issues that can happen in the future even though she did not have actual knowledge about these probable situations. It is quite impressive because Shelley started to write Frankenstein when she was only a teenager, which demonstrates that she had an outstanding mind.
Finally, Shelley’s work has influence society throughout different decades, which makes her one of the most influential Sci-Fi authors of all time. Even nowadays we can see similar patterns of Frankenstein in several novels and movies that has astonishing sales on the chart. We can say that Shelley has set the rules and standards for not only her generation but also for future generations that still nowadays view her work as a pioneer in this genre.

Credits: http://www.bachelorandmaster.com/britishandamericanfiction/frankenstein-as-a-science-fiction.html#.WQuj1dLyuUk
http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/stable.htm
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v535/n7613/full/535490a.html
Advertisements

The Monster’s Creation: A Different Presentation

As we all know, the 1931 Frankenstein movie is an horror and Science Fiction classic. It is also being considered as one of the best movie of all time, genres for genres.

The creation of the monster and the “It’s alive! It’s alive!” line are pure classics that will still be instilled in pop culture for a long time. The line itself was ranked as the 49th greatest movie quote in american cinema history.


Here is a movie clip of the creation of the monster:

After looking at this scene, which presentation of the creation you prefer? Is the passage of the novel more powerful than this classic scene? Let us know in the comments!

Video credit: Movieclips.

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.

Epic Quotes from Frankenstein, What Could they Mean??

No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence. We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families, I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted the development of filial love.”

-Frankenstein, Chapter 2

Could there be a different meaning behind Frankenstein’s childhood? One that contrasts directly with his creation? Victor’s childhood life was distinguished by his parents who cared and loved for him. In a sense, the monster’s “childhood” if we may, antitheses with his own.


One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race.”

-Walton, Letter 4

Here Robert is writing to his sister about how important his goals are. Could he possibly be saying that it’s ok of if a man dies in the name of science as long as he fulfills his principles of scientific achievements? Walton is starting to go some-what mad. Is there possibly a foreshadowing effect?

 


When night came again I found, with pleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that the discovery of this element was useful to me in my food, for I found some of the offals that the travellers had left had been roasted, and tasted much more savoury than the berries I gathered from the trees. I tried, therefore, to dress my food in the same manner, placing it on the live embers. I found that the berries were spoiled by this operation, and the nuts and roots much improved.”

Just like his creator, is he attempting to comprehend the existence of acquiring scientific results by repeated, varied attempts which are continued until success?

-The Monster, Chapter 11


Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.”

The Monster, Chapter 16

The phrase “The spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed” ressembles a lot like a disapproval of people having babies, mainly taking into account that the word “wanton” is used when defining excessive sexual activity, which in the past meant that the family tended to have an”immoderate” amount babies.

iceland-413703_1920

Victor Frankenstein as a Prometheus Figure

In the Note section in the beginning of Mary Shelly’s book, it mentions that the novel has the subtitle: ‘The Modern Prometheus’. After reading the book, I can definitely agree with the relevance of this subtitle.

Just like Prometheus in Greek mythology, Victor Frankenstein does something no one else dared to do. For Prometheus it was giving the human race the secrets of fire. For Frankenstein it was creating life out of death. They both thought to achieve their purposes for the sake of the development and betterment of humanity and both their creations brought them suffering. This suffering comes from Zeus for Prometheus in the form of being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten by an eagle every day. For Frankenstein, it could be said to be worse as it is his whole project, his own creation, that makes him suffer. His creature destroys him by ruining his family and murdering his friends and family members but the creature also ends up being the death of him.

Frakenblog Quiz: How well do you know Frankenstein?

Quiz

  1. How do Elizabeth Lavenza and Victor Frankenstein meet in the original (1818) version of the text?

 

a) They are brother and sister.

b)They are best friends.

c)They are cousins.

d)They used to date.

 

  1. What happens when Victor takes Henry to the university?

 

a) Victor fantasies about Elizabeth.

b)Victor sees the monster he has created.

c)They fight each other

d)Talk of the sciences worsens Victor’s illness.

 

  1. What does Victor’s father hope to do by going to Belrive?

 

a) Help Victor and Elizabeth fall in love

b)Get away from religious oppression

c)Improve Victor’s moods

d) Become familiar with new culture

 

  1. What surprises Victor on the glacier?

 

a) The appearance of the monster

b)A ghost

c)His culpability about Justine’s death

d)The resurfacing of his illness

 

  1. What text does the monster find the most influential?

 

a)The Bible

b)Milton’s Paradise Lost

c)Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy

 

6.What does the monster beg Victor to do?

a) Put an end to his existence

b)Ask God for his mercy

c)Overlook all that he has revealed
d)Build him a friend

 

answers

Answers:

  1. c)
  2. d)
  3. c)
  4. a)
  5. b)
  6. d)

Inspired by http://www.sparknotes.com

Who is at fault?

Who is more at fault: Victor Frankenstein or the Monster?

This is a question that the story leaves the reader with. On one side, we can say that Victor Frankenstein is irresponsible for what he did. Also, he had no real reason to create a monster, except out of scientific curiosity. Also, Victor is careless with his family, which they basically all die throughout the story.

On the other hand, we can say that the monster clearly overreacts throughout the story. Of course, some bad happen to him, but it is certainly not a reason to kill. The monster is therefore more at fault on this point.

Success and Failure in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein is a man who has been successful throughout his life. His plan to create a man was at first a crazy idea. Success and failure are both very present during his life. Victor’s creation of the monster was both a success and a failure. It was a success because he was able to create a being out of a lab. This being which he created was brilliant, he had dreamed about creating a man and had worked so hard to achieve this. Once Victor had created the monster he regretted it right away, saying, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” (Shelley 35) He created a monster who was so dreadful that he could not even look at it without disgust. He had failed to create a being who could adapt to the human world, the monster he had created was too strong, too ugly, too frightening to be accepted by any human. This is where failure took over the success of creating this being which he so longed for. He had created a being who did no good and who killed Victor’s family. In the end, his creation was only a failure to his life because his own hands were the creator of the killer of his family.

Milton’s Paradise Lost

 

As said in one of our previous posts, Milton’s Paradise Lost plays as a religious figure in Frankenstein, but there is way more to it.

As soon as Victor Frankenstein made his monster, he left. That made the monster unable to live in society (unable to read, talk, or even understand thirst and hunger). Over time, the monster learns to read English. He finds a book called Paradise Lost and reads it.

Paradise Lost is indeed a book that gives a religious aspect to the book, as it talks about Adam and Eve in a more extended way. It is interesting to consider that the monster reads it. This is a pretty complicated book to read. Most of us humans would have difficulties reading it, but the monster reads it anyway. Paradise Lost is a very thick novel.

The book Paradise Lost was written in 1667, and Frankenstein in 1818, which represents a difference of over one and a half century.

There is an ironic part as Paradise Lost talks about how the first humans came to life in such a random way, just like Frankenstein’s monster.

 

Frankenblog Official Survey!

Have you ever wondered which character you were from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Here is your chance! Take 2 minutes of your time to discover if you are the beast who killed people with his own hands. Be careful, you might not like what you find out.

Official Frankenstein Survey