Archive for November, 2018


‘Regular’

By: Sandra Tzoc

2. 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.

This statement opens a door to discuss two perspectives on people with disabilities. Some  such as Victor who might think of people who are disabled as ‘ruined’ or as a ‘failure’ simply because they do not go about their lives as a ‘regular’ person. For instance, Victor might believe that a person who needs a wheelchair is inferior to someone who can walk on their two legs. This example could be used in order to explain the flaws in Victor’s reasoning and raise the question of ‘what does it mean to be a regular person?’ In addition, Elizabeth’s perspective could be altered and be used as an analogy to the idea that people who are disabled should be praised simply because they have a disability. Her indifference towards the creature past the beginning of the film could represent the indifference of the able-bodied population towards the obstacles that people with disabilities face.

Samantha Shapiro

From the comment selection, the one comment that stood out to me the most to a broader interpretation of the film was regarding Adam’s language disability and how it made him, in a sense, sub-human.

“I noticed that the “disability” portrayed in the film is “Adam’s” inability to speak and comprehend his surroundings. This is something that the doctors believed needed to be fixed. In doing so, they treated “Adam” like an animal; the scene in which they inject medicine into his body is very similar to when a veterinarian puts shots into a dog

Many elements of this viewpoint can be applied to a broader interpretation of the film, which allows for a broader look into the inner relationships within it. There’s a focus on his inability to communicate and his reduced capability of comprehension initially is seen throughout the film, especially in contrast to the inner thoughts scattered throughout the scenes. Not only this, but the doctors’ “treatment” of Adam continues a stagnant part of development for him, in perpetuating a sub-human “dog-like” standing, but also can be used as comparison with the compassion and understanding the blind, homeless Eddie initially treats Adam. Rather than treat him as sub-human, they become friends, where Eddie becomes a mentor for him.

Adam and God

 

I selected the quote that read,

” Somehow, by wanting to produce a more perfect human being, Victor and Elizabeth are admitting to disabilities of their own. A creature impervious to pain and is virtually indestructible by medical and other violent means would be a triumph to the Frankensteins- if Adam were more conventionally attractive and had a neuro-typical consciousness.”

I found the idea that the creation of Adam would be a sort of vicarious triumph for Victor and Elizabeth caused by their inadequacies as mortal human beings very compelling. Despite the physical attributes of Adam, it seems that there is almost a disappointment of the scientists in themselves following the creation of Adam because they fail to make Adam a superior intellectual being. Additionally, this idea is analogous to the creation of Adam from the story of Genesis. God created Adam in the image of himself and in an attempt to create a being highly capable both physically and mentally. After doing so, God becomes disappointed in Adam and Eve following their seemingly moral deficiencies in regard to obeying God’s rules. Perhaps the only caveat in this argument would be that God did not create Adam in an attempt to make up for his own deficiencies, yet it does seem like he sought a vicarious triumph through the creation and reproduction of human beings. Ultimately, the relationship is the same: in both cases, there are creators seeking success via creation and there are beings seeking validation from their creator.

-Steven Gonzalez

 

-David Obeso

Comment number five would be the most accurate representation of the entire 2015 “Frankenstein” film because comment number 5 talks about how Adams inability to speak and lack of perception towards the world is treated as a mistake that must be fixed and therefore carried out by treating Adam like an animal. In the film one of the most important factors that mold Adam as he grows is society. Society treats him like an animal, banishing him from civilization not through direct means but through societies preconceived notions of those the disabled and the homeless. We can see this as his friend the blind man is also marginalized and so are other groups that represent a disability. Marginalized because they are “unlike” the “normal” people of society, because in the eyes of the ignorant the disabled are malfunctioned humans not fit for a normal life.

Bernard Rose’s, “Frankenstein,” adds an additional layer to how people with disabilities are viewed even though they may have other capabilities that may be better than those around them in society. Also, how society in this case (the doctors) have complete control over Adam. Thus, can relate in the aspects of society where those that are deemed lesser or “disabled” have no control over their situation and the conditions of which society places upon them. In this scene, the doctors are trying to “end” his pain and suffering, when in reality their motives are that of selfishness. Adams creators have seen how mentality incapable and disfigured he is concluding to essentially kill him. He is no benefit to the society Frankenstein was trying to introduce him to. Similarly, ideas and constructs that society out in place only see how impaired a person with disabilities are rather than other attributes that are normal. Adam represents a perspective of how some people that have disabilities may feel and how they are treated in a society. The film brings forth what Mary Shelly mentions but does not elaborate. It expresses how Othered people are placed together those that are disabled and those that are homeless, or a combination of the two like the character Eddie. (question 3)
– Karla Garcia Barrera

I believe that number 5 is very right on. It portrays disability as lacking and as something that should be fixed in order for “Adam” to be normal. In society, beings refer to anyone with special needs as disable or abnormal rather than acknowledging that nobody is less human than anyone else. In the film, we can see he is thought as less of a human only because he does not speak or comprehend what it happening around his surroundings. This proves that there is a certain image and expectations we must follow to be considered “normal” by society.  If not, we are labeled as less humans or have less value than those who meet society’s expectations. But, why should we fix things that are beyond or control to be accepted? Why does society find a way to make humans feel less than they are? We are all humans and all lack of something. One should not be portrayed as better or less than another and should rather make it normal that not everyone requires the same needs.

 

Dalia Ulloa

Putting Down the Dog

I thought the fifth comment offered potential for a broader interpretation of the scene in the film. While I saw how the Creature was treated like an animal, I hadn’t made the connection as to how this treatment was more than just the fact that he isn’t a perfect human but can’t express himself like a regular person would. The post make the connection of being mute or verbally impaired with being reduced to a primitive or animal state that must be taught and trained in order to be corrected, like a dog or any other trainable beast. I think this post also alludes to how, because of this disability to communicate with the scientists, like how animals cannot verbally communicate with humans, enables the scientists to train the Creature, there is also the potential to manipulate the disabled Creature for their own benefit. The Creature is being domesticated like an for their inability to properly speak his pains and confusion with the scientists and having their freedom stripped from them as they are tool to fulfill the wishes of its owner. Since he proves to be deficient attempts are made to put him down like “put[ting] shots into a dog.”

– Wendy Gutierrez

Us vs. Them

I believe that option #4, in the list of choices is the one that I would be able to elaborate on.

The initial premise is so good – there is an acute awareness of the Frankenstein’s owns disabilities as humans – but it’s not at the forefront and it very much should be. The way they treat Adam throughout the film showcases a lot of the biases in relation to the disabled community. However, by not fostering their creation (the way Elizabeth wanted to) they leave room for everyone else to make their own biases against their creation as well and they leave him vulnerable to judgement. For example, when Wanda is introduced and sees the creature her reaction is to ask “Are you sick? Is it contagious? Were you born this way?” similar questions that are often asked to the disabled community. I would argue that one of the major points in the film and the novel is to call out and address societies habit of “othering” things they don’t know. We are in a constant battle of us and them and the Creature (Adam) unfortunately was a them – much like society does to the disabled community even today.

Maricruz Rivas

 

The Clash of Disability Models

By Isaac Gallegos R.

“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.”

I chose the 2nd observation (quoted above) because I think the observation made, regarding the contrasting perspectives of the scientific community and their opinions on disability, can be built upon and investigated. When reading Parker’s chapter on Disability Studies, we learn that the two most prominent models are the “social disability model” and the “personal disability model”. And as the person observed, Victor Frankenstein aligns more with the personal disability model (therefore looking at a single individual and blaming their “alter-ability” for the challenges they face) and Elizabeth being a closer representation of the “social disability model” (and therefore seeing how society helps construct the obstacle rather than just the disability).

This observation can be built upon and observed throughout the whole movie and can be beneficial in Disability Studies, one can even say that the roles of Victor and Elizabeth can be a metaphor on the struggle between the different perspectives on disability (within our society and scientific communities). And with Elizabeth’s murder at the hands of Victor, it can further highlight the dominance of the “personal disability model”, and the prevalence of individuals with disabilities being blamed for the obstacles that they face in our society.  With this, it helps us understand that we need to integrate more inclusive infrastructure and be more open-minded when it comes to disability.

4. Somehow, by wanting to produce a more perfect human being, Victor and Elizabeth are admitting to disabilities of their own. A creature impervious to pain and is virtually indestructible by medical and other violent means would be a triumph to the Frankensteins- if Adam were more conventionally attractive and had a neuro-typical consciousness.

I chose the fourth comment because it captures some of the thoughts that I had while watching the film. Ultimately the reason the Creature was easily discarded and allowed to run is because it’s a failure in the eyes of the Frankensteins. Their vision of a beautiful super human are shattered when his body starts to develop its infection. The fact they could not cure this infection and would rather just dispose of him and start over suggests that in the end he was nothing more than an experiment. One of many until they achieved their perfect superhuman. Throughout the film there are many instances where the Creature proves it is superior to other humans and yet what others fixate on his physical imperfection. Wanda says the Creature is nice but ultimately not worthy of a “free pity fuck” which perhaps would not have been the case if the Creature had still been conventionally attractive like he was at the beginning of the film. Another scene that shows how essential his physical attractiveness was is the scene in the chamber between the Creature, the Frankensteins, and the second creature. The Frankensteins say it’s him but better and the only visible difference is that this second creature is not physically deformed.  Lastly, the scene where Victor refuses to admit the Creature is conscious because he is not displaying a “normal” mental development shows how the Frankensteins had a certain expectation that the Creature did not meet and thus failed to be everything he should be. What the Frankensteins achieved was incredible but they diminished it themselves by deciding that the physical imperfection and the slow learning of the Creature were signs of failure.

By Diana Lara