Compromise

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

COMPROMISE

The Creature wants a companion to satisfy the natural human desires that he wishes to give and receive; he requests that Frankenstein make him a companion “of the same species” (Shelley 118). At this request, Frankenstein is “bewildered, perplexed, and unable to arrange [his] ideas sufficiently to understand the full extent of his proposition” (Shelley 118). Nonetheless, the Creature is certain in himself that he knows what he needs and sees his request as only adequate to fulfill his desires, as well as Frankenstein’s. The thoughts that came to Frankenstein involved the Creature and his companion’s use of free-will. Would they truly leave mankind (and Frankenstein) at peace? Or would they continue to do odious things?

It is one thing to deal with one Creature, but a second? There is no telling what she may do. If Frankenstein could not control the first, who can assure him that the second creature will? She may want to kill as the Creature has already done. Upon such reflections, Frankenstein questions other results of creating a creature whose dispositions were not known (Shelley 138). Frankenstein realized that although the Creature promised to hide himself away from mankind, even he could not make her consent to the same promise; the two might even come to hate one another, a conclusion he arrived at knowing the Creature already hated his own appearance (Shelley 138). Another worry is if they had the ability to procreate; mankind might be threatened and their race would begin to thrive. He didn’t want to be known for “buy[ing] [h]is own peace at the price perhaps of the existence of the whole human race” (Shelley).

Influences

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

INFLUENCED BY

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was given birth by a variety of sources and influences. First and foremost was that of a dream, or more accurately, a nightmare she experienced on June 16, 1816. From our edition of Frankenstein an account of Shelley’s nightmare is written in the opening page of the introduction:

“I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion… His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away from his odious handiwork, horror-stricken … and he might sleep in the belief that the silence of the grave would quench for ever the transient existence of the hideous corpse which he had looked upon as the cradle of life. He sleeps; but he is awakened; he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains, and looking on him with yellow, watery, but speculative eyes. I opened mine in terror.”

This nightmare of Shelley’s is one of the many examples of where the influence and the idea of the novel came about. Additionally, Shelley had eloped with the poet Percy Shelley who was married at the time and was a soon-to-be father. His wife committed suicide while still pregnant – which led to Percy and Mary eventually getting married. During the years in which Frankenstein was written and eventually published, three of Mary and Percy’s children died as young children. This was no doubt an influence on Mary’s obsession with life and must have led to her desire for writing a novel relating to the creation of life. Perhaps she held guilt that Percy’s wife had killed herself. This may have been the cause for her to write about Dr. Frankenstein and The Creature both desiring a woman – Elizabeth, as in reality both Mary and Harriet desired Percy Shelley.

The novel also draws a lot of influence from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. According to the introduction of our text, Shelley alludes to the epic poem since it is a work that portrays creation, in this case the creation of Man and Man’s downward spiral (Fall of Man) due to his disobedience towards God. In Shelley’s novel, Dr. Frankenstein perhaps disobeys the Almighty by believing he can be a creator of life and go against the concept of death created by God and create a life himself. By doing so, Dr. Frankenstein is unknowingly leading himself into a downward spiral which leads to his downfall, misery and eventual death.

Additionally, the subtitle of the novel is The Modern Prometheus. Milton’s epic also deals with the Promethean theme of a character or a creature who inhibits “forbidden knowledge” or “over-reaching of boundaries”. Interestingly enough, in Shelley’s novel, I would argue that Dr. Frankenstein has more of the Promethean qualities than The Creature which would be the obvious comparison. I say this due to the fact that it is Dr. Frankenstein who tries to delve into the mysteries of life and who attempts to conduct an experiment and research that would be considered forbidden, farfetched, blasphemous and certainly as an over-reaching of a boundary.

Finally, since Paradise Lost deals with the story of Adam and Eve, it depicts a love between a man and a woman. The Creature desires nothing more than friendship, than companionship which he hopes to find in a woman – something he requests of Dr. Frankenstein. After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve must pay for their sins. Eve does so by feeling the pain of bearing a child. The Creature commits violent acts due to his lack of love and the animosity towards him. Without being explicit, Shelley references Milton’s messages and his themes from Paradise Lost  into Frankenstein.

Here is a short video on the origins of Frankenstein and the humorous depiction of The Creature in modern cinema:

INFLUENCE ON

The character of The Creature and the concept of Frankenstein has influenced other works of literature as well as a few works of cinema. The concept of the “mad scientist” is no doubt based on Victor Frankenstein’s crazy and perhaps farfetched desire to create or revive a human life. The character of the Creature has been an influence more so in television and cinema as the character of Herman Munster from The Munster is influenced by Boris Karloff’s depiction of the creature from the 1931 film Frankenstein. Recently, in the Spanish film La Piel Que Habito Antonio Banderas played an obsessed and eccentric scientist, passionate about his field, no doubt an allusion to the madness and the passion of Victor Frankenstein.

Video above is a short trailer for the discussed film La Piel Que Habito


Credits & Bibliography

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Diana Arias – Compromise Page/Parallel Lives page/Power Play page/Credits

Gabrielle Gonzalez – Romanticism/Galvanism & Scientific Discovery/Photos/Credits/Put together and finalized completed blog project for submission

Bryant Padilla – Character Breakdown/Author Page/Graphic Design/Credits

Raghav Suri – Influences Page/Shelley and Frankenstein in other works/Created Initial Blog/Credits

 

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