Tag Archive: movie

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.

Selection 2 has the broadest observation over the film since, in almost every scene that is essential, there is always that underlying notion about what compassion and inhumanity should be enacted upon Adam. As we see with the scenes with Eddie, he is compassionate to “Monster” as he knows that he is unable to speak and has trouble understanding the world; a trait of community and understanding that ultimately leads to a development for Adam. However, the inhumanities Adam had suffered from his very creator Victor (and Elizabeth) through the process of Euthanasia can be seen in smaller sequences throughout the film; mostly upon other interactions with people since they see Adam as just a grotesque abomination. A good fit for one who is both kind and cautious of Adam would have been Wanda, where she is shocked by his appearance but nevertheless respects him and tries to educate him (in more ways than one(until her exit(yeesh))).

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

5. I noticed that the “disability” potrayed 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.

In Frankenstein (book), the creature is treated horrible and thrown out like trash, completely isolated from society. The reason why I chose this sample is because I believe that if the film focused this as a sole purpose for the movie, it would resonate more strongly with its audience members. In today’s time, “disabilities” are treated precariously by those who know little about them; about the person. If the film were to narrow their scope into this particular sample, it may be easier for those who do not understand, to understand; as well as the fact that the doctors tried to “fix Adam” when there was nothing wrong with him.

-Jody Omlin