Type: Review
Pages: 8 | Words: 2129
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Frankenstein movie was created in 1931 through directorship of James Whale. It was about formation of a monster in the laboratory from body parts of people who had recently died. The monster became uncontrollable and went killing residents in the town. As a result, residents in the town decided to join hands and kill the monster. They found the monster just about to exterminate Frankenstein, but he escaped and the people torched the structure down with the monster in it. The monster has been subjected to harsh treatment by Frankenstein, its creator and society in general. The relationship between the creature, Frankenstein and the immediate environment has been used to illustrate religious views, neglect and loneliness, flaws of humankind, gay tendencies among other social struggles. The creature tries to look for ways of gaining acceptance by humankind through learning their language. However, the creature is disappointed since all this does is to make him aware of his abnormalities.

The story starts out with Captain Robert Walton writing to his sister about the weather in St. Petersburg. He is a sea captain, and he is preparing for a big voyage to the Arctic, where he hopes something extraordinary and purposeful awaits him. As his letters continue, it becomes clear that Walton is seriouslypoetic and he wants a like-minded best friend because pouring out his heart in well-composed letters to his sister is just not doing justice to the extent of his feelings. Walton’s loneliness does not last for too long because his crew soon discovers a dying man floating on a big piece of ice. As the man, Victor, is nursed back to health, he admits to Walton that he has been in the Arctic chasing another person, or rather a “demon” as he calls him. Then Victor begins to share his long, tragic story with the captain. Time passed, and Victor learned how to give life to inanimate biological objects. He cobbled an eight-foot-tall body together, ran an electric current and some other stuff through it, and brought the ugly creature to life. No sooner does his pet project come to life, than Victor runs away from it in disgust.

The creature in Mary’s book has been used to describe a varied number of social struggles and ideas. Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his monster are all orphans, motherless creatures. Each of them is longing and searching for connection: the struggle against isolation is central to each repetitive story. As in a dream, all of the figures in Frankenstein appear to represent some psychical piece of Shelley. The story, continually told in the first person, keeps the reader always closely linked to the character. At times, it is not clear exactly who is speaking this leaves the reader uncertain about the boundaries separating these characters from one another and Shelley herself (Barbara 7). At one of the climaxes of the story, the creature confronts Victor and talks to him for the first time. The creature has been through a lot of painful encounters with human beings. Most of these encounters began with trying to do something kind and ended with doing something destructive. He wants Victor to make him a companion so he can live happily ever after with her in the wilderness, but his plans for a monster wedding do not ever come to fruition because Victor sabotages the effort. 

The creature’ in Mary Shelley’s book is also used to illustrate some religious views. The act of creation is attributed to God alone. Most people agree that no one on earth can be said to possess the ability to create another living being in any way other than procreation. A question thus arises almost naturally of at what point the tool assumes an identity separate from its creator or owner, at what point it acquires autonomy. At what point does the creature have the right to assert independence, to exercise choice, to create in its own right? The creature’ thus raises rich and complex possibilities for those who see themselves as creations, as God’s creatures or as Nature’s, and also as potential creators (even if “only” as parents). Are human beings unique in their prerogative to think of themselves both as creatures and as creators? Are we the only creations with authority to create? To question the dark side of the parable that rises from technology, in what sense are we tools of the universe, employed or discarded without consultation, without freedom? It was the fear aroused by these resonant speculations, an echoing awe that Mary Shelley sought in her story; Frankenstein (Thomas 6).

The creature is also used to represent neglect. Most people work so hard to build something, only to neglect it once it fails to meet their expectations. This thus leads to considerable sorrow especially when it is people, who emotional, involved. Dr Frankenstein can be quoted saying, “no human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence.” With these lessons behind him, it seems strange that Dr. Frankenstein can extend no such care to his own creation. He fails because he misconceives his primary relationship with the monster. When he discovers the secret of life (“animation”) Frankenstein sees himself as a surrogate providence. Having penetrated “the deepest mysteries of creation”, he imagines his creatures’ gratitude flowing his way rather than recognizing his obligations toward them. Frankenstein can create, but he cannot nourish. His instant, self-indulgent, petulant rejection of the monster confirms the catastrophe. After two years of work putting the creature together, he finally gives it life. Exhausted, he has a dream in which his fiancée turns into his dead mother in her shroud (a precious moment for psychoanalytic dispositions as suggesting the incestuous interaction between desire and death) and awakes to find his creature staring at him.

The creature further represents evil in the world. Evil in the bookis stranded in the perception of creation: Frankenstein’s dual metaphoric role is as God the Creator as well as Satan the demolisher of God’s creation. The monster fills the multiple roles of tumbled Adam and Satan take vengeance on the God who evicted him, as well as a victim of situations beyond a person’s control.

The flaws of mankind are clearly seen in victor’s creation. Victor is a significantly flawed creator whose recklessness and short sightedness yield a creature that has no alternative but to become evil. Shelley proposes through her description of Victor Frankenstein that it is God’s consequent lack of attention in His Creation that has laid the foundation for human iniquity.

The creature is also used to represent sexual immorality. This fact is clear throughout Shelley’s novel and its description of the sexual relationship between the Creature and Victor. The language used to describe the making of the Creature by Victor in the novel suggests masturbation. Victor describes how he uses his ‘profane fingers’ in a ‘solitary chamber’ where he keeps his ‘workshop of filthy creation’, and he complains that his ‘heart often sickened at the work of my hands’. These masturbatory elements also suggest homosexual fantasies. The endeavour of Frankenstein to create life on his own and then prevent his monster from mating suggests, if only by default, a homoerotic tension which underlies the incestuous bond. His creation of ‘a being like myself hints at both masturbatory and homosexual desires which the scientist attempts to sanctify with the reproduction of another being. The homosexual dimension of the relationship existing between Victor and the creature is undoubtedly clear. Victor’s sense of persecution represents the fearful, phantasmal rejection by recasting of an original homosexual desire, and then it would make sense to think of [Frankenstein]as embodying strongly homophobic mechanisms.

The monster also represents the desire to learn. The monster’s self-analysis follows his learning the skill of language. The monster’s longing to master verbal language result from the aspiration to be acknowledged and loved by humankind inasmuch as he sees command of language as a royal road to the family’s disregard for his deformity. Acquiring language, however, becomes for him a combination of pain and joy, in that the more he masters verbal language, the more awareness he gains, and the clearer his awareness of his abnormality and his lonely life. The monster depends on the art of language to fulfil the desire for the illusory; the faultless forms of the De Laceys. The monster later painfully finds out that language has contextualized wish as lack and is not capable of providing a way to kill lack and fulfil desire (Shun 225).

Just like any film based on a book has major differences between the book and the movie, James Whale’s work was no different. There are major differences between the book and the film than there are similarities. Most of these differences were exhibited in the monster itself. The movie producer implanted changes to the story, which gave it a better flow (Berardinelli).

This movie has events that are quite different from those in the book. Most of the features in the film are totally different from the way they were presented in the book. For instance, one of the most outstanding differences was on how the monster grew wild and killed everyone as he wished. It is also found that the monster was given an abnormal brain. The most probable reason as to why the monster was killing people was because he had an atypical brain, not necessarily that he hated people (LeFevre). In Shelley’s book, the monster’s behavior resulted from a well calculated decision he made after he was abandoned and mistreated because of his inhuman nature. However, the creature’s wild and inhuman nature in the movie resulted from a defective brain that Fritz gave to him. Nevertheless, the monster is also found to empathize with Maria, and in fact he went ahead to save her from drowning, although he did not succeed (Berardinelli). This event depicted a human aspect in the monster.

Also, the main character in the movie is bears different names from the one in the book. Although the protagonist in both cases is Dr. Frankenstein, he is named as Victor in the book and Henry in the movie. Nevertheless, the book and the movie depict the same story on creation of the monster, although the film gives it in a more detailed manner (Berardinelli). Another difference is found when the monster intends to kill Elizabeth. In the book, the creature kills Elizabeth just before she gets married. However, in the movie, Elizabeth managed to escape from the attack and the people colluded to murder the monster (HALL). According to the book, Frankenstein’s father died after he realized that his son’s fiancée was killed. Afterwards, Frankenstein hunted the creature to kill it for the damage it had caused. He however died from a disease while in a boat to North Pole. Upon learning about Frankenstein’s death, the creature decided to head to North Pole and kill himself, although we are not told whether he actually did so.

The film helped to bring out an artistic aspect of the scene in which the main character bound power of the lightning to cause his creature gain life in a much better way than in the book. The book illustrated how Frankenstein did this in seclusion, but in the film, he was in the company of Fritz and his fiancée. As a matter of fact, the book gave only an obscure description of the process of creating the monster but the film gave an explicit illustration of this process. The film gave rich details of how the process of creating the monster was done (Berardinelli). The audience is shown how the protagonist exhumed recently dead bodies and extracted their body parts to form a new creature. The creature was later brought to life through an enormous release of electricity energy from a lightning bolt.

Another difference is seen in the elocution of the monster’s speech. In Shelley’s novel, the monster learns how to speak early modern English, something that he attained through his experience in reading classic literature (Berardinelli). However, in James Whale’s film, the monster is completely speechless although he is heard grunting.

As mentioned earlier on, the creature’s hostility in the book is owed to the way in which he was neglected by humans who alleged him of inhumane behavior. However, in the film, his hostility is a result of Frankenstein’s mistake of providing him with a defective brain. The monster was not expected to behave less differently because the creator had made it have an imperfect brain. Therefore, I concur with the argument that the creature was forsaken by the main character in the film. He was abandoned by his creator out of his unpleasant look. He therefore fights back and causes havoc in the city, and ends up taking almost everything he that Frankenstein had.

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