Tag Archive: creation


The Doctor is in the House

“Good night Dr Frankenstein.” Victor Frankenstein looked up absently. “Ah good night Margaret, take care in that storm. Drive safely, dear.” “Of course Doctor. You take care too.” Victor smiled tightly and nodded. He bent his head as the gaggle of nurses bustled down the corridor. Snippets of their hushed whispers floated towards him. “Such a serious young man.” “Works far too hard, always overtime.” Victor scoffed quietly as he waited for their footsteps to fade. Work indeed, he thought mockingly. When he was sure the nurses had left, Victor methodically gathered up his papers, shuffling them crisply. He daintily picked up his pens and tucked them precisely into his lab coat. Finally ready, he gave a cursory glance around the deserted hospital office, warily checking for any stragglers. Satisfied, he moved to the main desk and expertly lifted a trap panel. Eyes glinting, he reached in and pulled out a large rustic key that was quite incongruous with the modern hospital interior. He quickly walked out of the office with his step light and eager. As he strode down the polished linoleum corridor, he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a window. He paused uncertainly. Victor did not quite recognise himself. He remembered himself as a slight youth, always neatly groomed with a pleasant albeit nervous demeanour. The face that stared back was that of a gaunt man, unshaven with a manic gleam in his eye. His usually meticulous hair was tousled and quite honestly he thought, he looked deranged.

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Giving himself a shake, he started out of his reverie. He had more important matters to attend to. Traversing down a musty stairwell, he navigated through the pitch black till he came to a steel door. Swiping his doctor’s credentials, the heavy door chimed merrily and swung open. Victor ducked through the steel frame familiarly and deftly pulled the key from his pocket, slotting it easily through the next door in line. This door was less willing. After jiggling the key roughly and cursing roundly, the door reluctantly gave way. Still scowling, he walked gingerly into the darkness and groped for a tiny switch on the wall. As the hum of fluorescence began and light flooded the room, Victor couldn’t help the thrill of excitement that shot through him. He gazed intently at a table in the middle of the dank room. There lay his most wondrous creation. Circling around the table, his breath stopped. Magnificent. The best parts. The perfect human. Victor marvelled at his ingenuity. The hospital morgue had been the perfect place. He had browsed countless corpses, picking and choosing as if he were at the butcher for the choicest cuts. This thigh. This lady’s eyes. His kidneys. It had all yielded this. He stroked the lax brow affectionately. “ Soon my child.” He whispered lovingly. Grasping two clamps, he attached them firmly to his crowning glory. He stared intently at the being, his hand poised over the life-giving switch. Smirking, he permitted himself a one liner, “Time of life: 10.21pm” He flipped the switch and gasped. The body convulsed horribly, spasming and contorting unnaturally as blue shots of lightening ran through the cables. Victor hurriedly switched off the current. He stood perfectly still, his heart in his mouth. Nothing. Victor tore his gaze away from the lifeless form as angry tears sprang to his eyes. “No.” he whispered brokenly. He turned away and began shuffling dejectedly out of the room. There would be time enough tomorrow to clear his wretched failure. Behind him, the table creaked softly. Victor froze, the hairs on his neck standing erect. He turned his head slowly and from the corner of his eye he saw it. A huge, towering mass hulked over the table. They locked gazes for the first time, Creator and Creature. In that moment Victor felt a dread he had never known. Regret, horror and disgust all rose up from the depths of his being and threatened to overcome him. The Creature stared back, a mean intelligence in its hazy eyes. It straightened uncertainly to it s full form. Victor watched in sheer terror as it unfolded it powerful limbs. “You, you…” he stuttered. “Live.” The Creature smiled triumphantly, his dark eyes holding Victor’s pale ones. The world spun around Victor Frankenstein he rushed into the encroaching oblivion.Unknown-2Review

To the Publisher,

In the crafting of this piece, I chose to mimic the scene where Frankenstein first creates the monster. I chose the setting of a hospital because it was realistic and fit in quite well with the themes of science and medicine. I also felt that portraying Victor as a doctor was a good fit because his knowledge of the human body would be expansive and would justify his abnormal interest in the human body. As to the writing style, I tried to add a more modern tone to piece whilst keeping the formality that Shelley employs. The point of this piece was to retell a classic scene with a more present day twist, whilst still trying to retain the more rustic tone. This can be seen through the keys and doors I tried to implement, using both electronic cards and the more traditional key. I also wrote the piece in third person subjective to allow a broader scope of the environment that did not impede the audience with overwhelming bias. In the portrayal of the creature, I chose to make him more aware of his self during this scene to exaggerate the loss of control Victor faces over this seemingly invincible creation. I kept Victor fairly similar to his portrayal, with his arrogance and mania being very much apparent in his interactions with others. In the end, I hope I remained true to the novel whilst imparting my own touch of modernism and interpretation of this crucial scene.

Best,

Astra Sharma

Frankenstein 1994

Let’s talk a bit more about the creation’s birth scene. Bouriana Zakharieva, in “Frankenstein of the Nineties: The Composite Body,” writes that in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), “[c]reator and creation embrace in an ambivalent scene of struggle and affection; their hug is an expression of a desire to separate from each other and at the same time to help each other stand erect” (422). The claim is that this moment symbolically represents “human evolution” (422) and their eventual “love-hate relationship” (423).

But for me, I think this was downright one of the most comedic scenes of the film. Victor fails at least six times to get his creation to stand in that slimy mess, and the camera makes no effort to disguise the pitifulness of it all. I didn’t see much animosity so much as a little creator so desperately wanting his creation to stand.

I have way too many questions, but oh well:

Why did Branagh introduce this “standing-up scene,” which Mary Shelley never put in her novel? Does its comedy (if you agree that it’s funny) serve some purpose? How does it, as Zakharieva claims, represent “human evolution”? Finally, why is it only after the creation’s actually chained up that Victor questions, “What have I done?”