Victor and Elizabeth view their creation in different ways. In a way they serve as stand-ins for how science tends to view people with disabilities. On the one hand, Elizabeth, people with disabilities are still able to feel and should be viewed with compassion. They should be cared for. On the other hand, Victor, represents viewing people with disabilities as lesser, as failed by-products, that need to be taken care of.

The second comment can serve as the structure for a longer and engaging paper. By close reading the ableist dynamics in the movie through its primary antagonists Victor and Elizabeth, we are able to examine the nuances between these polar stances. The comment already has a structure, first examine the compassion that Elizabeth gives and feels is expected of her.¬† There is a multitude of ways to approach close reading the two (in a way that emphasises the subtle or unsubtle abelist tones), but perhaps for the sake of time we shall read them in the context of the dynamics between masculinity, feminity, and parentage. Elizabeth’s sympathy is feminized and is immediately interpreted as a mother figure, she is immediately accused of coddling him and being too sensitive. And yet, by infantilizing the newborn creature, she is also dehumanizing him and making him into his disability. We could also look at another female figure in the movie, Wanda, who is immediately offended when she is seen as the only option for Adam to experience sex for the first time. Meanwhile Victor not only represents the eugenic’s obession with “health” but, he assumes the role of the cold father figure. His own sensibilities restrict him and mold his indifference.

 

Maria Nguyen-Cruz