Tag Archive: Myth


By: Maya Carranza

When hearing the name “Frankenstein” people automatically think of a big, green monster that was created in a lab by a mad scientist. But upon reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, that misconception was debunked. In reality, the creature was nameless all throughout the book and the name Frankenstein was the surname of the scientist, Victor Frankenstein.

While reading this book, I realized that the real monster was not the nameless creature but actually Victor Frankenstein. The definition of the word monster is defined as “an inhumanly cruel or wicked person” which is exactly what Frankenstein was. Shelley illustrates the image of the “monster” as a sensitive and emotional creature, who only wants to share his life with another creature like him. On the other hand, the creature’s creator abandons him due to the hideous sight of him. Frankenstein’s selfish actions led him to create life to achieve prominence but did not think about the feelings or wants of his creation. Frankenstein was also cruel to the monster when he told him that he would create a companion for him, giving him false hope. This neglect and mistreatment from the start led him down a wrong path. As a result, it gave people the misconception that the creature was the monster but if Frankenstein would have never deserted his own creation then the creature would have never hurt or killed anyone.

To conclude, while reading Frankenstein my assumptions about the book were questioned. Not only did I learn that the creature’s name is not Frankenstein but that he was not a monster at all but merely the victim of abuse and neglect.

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As children, we all thought that we had known who Frankenstein was; the bumbling green monster who could barely string a handful of words together, with its dramatized square-shaped head and metal bolts jutting out from its large neck. We didn’t even consider him as a real living creature, only an object. Not only was it a symbol of fear during Halloween, but has now (more popularly) become a comedic character in children’s shows and movies. One example is from the new popular animated movie, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

After reviewing and reading through Frankenstein, however, we see a whole different world. We’re exposed to a completely different character, one that we aren’t sure how to react to. For one, our so-called monster is actually nameless, put into this world with no identity. Frankenstein, first name being Victor, is actually the creator of the creature we had been stereotyping this entire time. The creature in Shelley’s novel is nothing how we were forced to perceive him to be.

The creature is born into a world where he is instantly hated by his creator, by his presumable “mother”, if we must give Victor the role of this creation’s parent. Victor’s cruelness automatically evicts pity from us to the creature, since we can envision this creation as something completely helpless and in need of direction, which he had been so horribly shoved away from. At this point in time, we begin to humanize him.

We also see that the creature has very human qualities, such as complex emotions and strong intelligence that is unexpected from a science experiment thought to have gone wrong. In the novel, we are the witnesses to the creature’s mental growth as he is quickly shunned by Victor and must discover humanity himself. In fact, to call this creation a monster is completely incorrect, seeing that the reason we fear this creation is because of how human he becomes.

This creature, the one we have humanized, is no monster; the only true beast we witness in this novel is Victor Frankenstein, himself.

-Jody Omlin

by: Xóchitl Ortiz

Myth v.s Novel: Frankenstein:


The myth of Frankenstein goes a long way, but since this is based of my prior knowledge, I only know Frankenstein from the Academy Award winning cinematic masterpiece that is the Hotel Transylvania series (well, it should have an academy award by now). I genuinely thought he was the monster, and that he was friendly (which I was right about). In all actuality, I wasn’t aware that everyone else thought he was a scary monster, since my only source is a children’s movie from Sony Animations. Turns out, after all my ignorance and finally reading the novel, I learned Victor Frankenstein made the nameless creature thing and everyone was so mortified by his appearance that their reaction warped the creature’s character.

The novel reminded me of the saying, “beauty is skin-deep” and, after googling it I found that it is a phrase that a pleasing appearance is not a guide to character. Also, I found a song from the Temptations that’s not exactly a lyrical masterpiece, but (in my opinion) is worth listening to.

That short saying (to me) is a nice summary of the novel. The completely insane “Mad Scientist”, Victor Frankenstein, made a beautiful and intellectual creature that was extremely judged by everything it encountered, not by its kindness nor patience towards humans, but by its appearance. When I say the creature was beautiful….I mean it in the most pure, innocent way because the creature, in my perspective, was a kind-hearted soul. Similar to a child, he was inquisitive and fast-adapting. Unfortunately, like all things innocent, the thing was corrupted by the evil in the world. I saw something in the creature, something that was gentle and fragile, but because of his physical manifestation, he was rejected by society.

The novel is written through a series of letters- which gives it a more personal perspective and connection. The tone revealed to me the common theme which questioned, “What is actual beauty?”. Of course, beauty has multiple definitions and layers. You see, 200 years is quite some time. Although the number of the years increased, definitions differed, and time ultimately changed everything, one thing that seemed to not change was the ideology behind “beauty”. Everyone is just as judgmental about what people look like, instead of who they actually are as a human being, today as they were 200 years ago. If I made the rules in life, I would make it so that your physical appearance reflected your innermost self, but I don’t make the rules. Nowadays, exactly how it was back in the “good ol’ days”, beauty gives people benefits and the upper hand in life. This creature lacked the basic European features that was considered beautiful at the time, so people lacked empathy towards it. In my opinion, just because someone is attractive it doesn’t give them the right to be evil. The irony in this is that the creature was a physical representation of what society was: a monster.

The monstrous society made the creature warp his personality to match his appearance, completely warping who it was. In my eyes, the greatest connection is the simple definition of: “beauty is only skin-deep”. It is up the individual to perceive their definitions of what beauty is.

Citations:

https://www.google.com/search?q=beauty+is+only+skin+deep+meaning&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

Upon a night such as this, years ago in the past, if I were tasked to conjure up an image for the fictional being known as “Frankenstein”, the image would be that as based on Boris Karloff in his performance in the 1931 film: a creature of flesh and technology, blood and electricity flowing within the frame of  intense stature. I would have imagined the creature walking as stiff as death, joints locked in Rigor Mortis with arm reaching out in full length and legs thumping and shaking the Earth with each forced step. The Creature would force its way into the lives of its victims to fulfill some deep hatred towards his creator and those of his species. My old imaginings of the were those of the monster that had been shown to me my whole life, one that painted that foul beast in a light from the deepest burnings of hellfire.

Upon reading the text of which my original understanding of the idea was founded on, however, I was surprised to learn the true nature of how the Monster was supposed to appear: a divine creature that was created to look as beautiful as man was supposed to be made as when the Lord had bestowed his image unto the Earth; a large frame that would be made ugly after being bestowed life. The creature was one that desired to be loved and accepted, but scorned by the one that had constructed him. I wish there was a more happy fate for which that fallen creature could have endured, but to see that he was disowned by his creator due to his hideousness and imperfect disposition, I see now that the version of which I have consumed all my life is a version that strips the creature of the Human qualities and immortalizes him as only a monster that thirsts for a vengeance that can never be sated.

Through revelation, I see that the creature presented within the novel is one of perplexing constitution and character of which paints the creature in a light of humanity that cannot be exhibited in any other way than that which was before the Original Sin of Adam and Eve. Yet, through exile by creator and kin, he becomes a monster not by choice but by circumstance and becomes the villain he is made out to be. The tragedy of the Created Man is one that we are not shown because it would generate thoughts that would make us questions ourselves, so it is through the monstrous version of the beast that we shown in which we become infantilized to the truth of depth of human nature.

I for sure am glad for the reveal of the true character of Frankenstein’s creature so that I have a greater understanding on the nature of man.

-Alejandro Joseph Serrano

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Andres Quezada

One of the misconceptions that I had about Frankenstein was that Frankenstein’s monster did receive the partner he asked for. I thought that he had gotten a partner, a family, a chance at love. Now I see that that it was all Hollywood smoke. My first encounter with Frankenstein was through the Cartoon Network show “Johnny Bravo”, where the main character , Johnny, was turned into Frankenstein’s monster to go after the female monster. I was only familiar with Frankenstein through Hollywood such as “The Munsters”, “The Adams Family,” and other cartoon renditions. I always thought Frankenstein’s monster was also just a drone, a lifeless body with no purpose in life. I thought he was a monster as well, but what makes him a monster, is it his looks, the way he was created?

After reading Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, I see that the “monster does indeed have life. He feels a range of emotions just as the rest of us. He feels guilt and remorse for his actions. He think, he feels alone, just like we all do at one point or another. He wants another person he can coexist with, he just wants what we all want in life. After reading the story, I find that the “monster” is more relate-able than I would have imagined. He’s just trying to live the life that he did not ask for. He was brought into the world without his consent as we all are, to try and survive in a society that does not accept anything abnormal. Frankenstein is more human than some humans. He’s misunderstood and goes through life with most of society not giving him a chance just as a lot of us do. He finds a taste of acceptance with the blind man who offers to home him, but his family begs him to get rid of the “monster” because he is seen as a monster and nothing more. He chases after his creator for answers just as many of us do as well. Frankenstein’s monster is not a monster, he is us just as Dr. Frankenstein is also us. They both deal with parallel issues of not being accepted and both desire attention from one another through the story.

Samantha Shapiro

frankenstein

Even while having read the novel prior, I still see much of and thus associate Frankenstein’s creation as “Frankenstein,” a green, hulking, bolt-necked monster. Lately, around September, even as early as August, we begin to see the monster come out in time for one spooky October night, in the form of cheap costumes and lawn decorations.

As a standard of Halloween, the monster’s appearance as a green giant is shattered with a rereading of Shelley’s original novel, with a recounting from Victor Frankenstein noting the creature’s “yellow skin…[hair] a lustrous black…a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (Shelley, 59-60). This, as we learn, egotistical scientist turned to taking dead body parts from the “unhallowed damps of the grave, …dissecting room and slaughter-house” (57-58). In reading Shelley’s Frankenstein, the standard “Frankenstein myth,” or, a horrifying monster coming to eat your children loses its superficial appearance when faced with descriptive lines including some horrifying actions. Rather than keep up the image, likely popularized by the classic horror adaptations’ perspectives, the novel instead tells a tale about a complex creation.

After reading the novel, there are many elements of a sort of horror, but a more psychological, deeper horror rather than have the focus of a scary child-murderer. The eeriness of Frankenstein’s creature lies in its almost human, but more so human-like being, as well as the connection it has towards death and life, or animation and decay.

Our common depictions now show it as a threat, a monster some poor villagers in the backwoods of Europe threw their pitchforks at, something universally feared.

frankenstein2

Although physically, it is presented as terrifying, the creature is terrifying to Frankenstein due to the implications of creation it brings, the guilt of creating something that shouldn’t exist (59). His conflict in creating something animated, perhaps even seen as alive, was a terrifying concept, bringing together life and death, and breaking an almost hallowed tie between the “corruption of death…to the blooming cheek of life” (55). The modern standing of Frankenstein’s monster, fitting into the myth of a horrible, scary monster is due to the appearance of it, but also our uneasiness towards it as a general dislike for something that shouldn’t be there.

Images:

http://deadoftheday.blogspot.com/2014/04/12th-annual-rondo-hatton-classic-horror.html

https://devania.com/

https://www.alexrossart.com

 

Karla Garcia Barrera 

Upon reading Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein I was very surprised at the “original” perception from the novel. Usually, or to say most television shows, dramas, media, etc. express Frankenstein as deformed, grotesque, and evil monster. Descriptions that are totally different from the book. Moreover, the myths lose the sympathetic feelings that the novel conveys. We the readers, come to detect the creature (of Frankenstein) as a thinking and feeling being. A misunderstood being that is highly intellectual. So, contrary to myths, Frankenstein is intelligent, conscious, and expressive “creature”. In addition, the novel does give the reader the physical characteristics of the creature, but mostly focuses on the inner part of the creature. Popular myths tend to focus on the physical characteristics rather than the inner-self of the creature.

I believe that the true monster to the story is mankind. In the novel, the creature comes to love the cottage family (Safine, the blind old man, Felix, and his sister). Deeply the creature wants a connection with mankind. However, we read that he is ultimately rejected by the sight of mankind.  Thus, he is deeply bitter and injured emotionally by them. A reanimation of the creature in Frankenstein expressing the novel’s interpretation can gradually shift the perceptions of whom the creature really is, not just the physical expressions.

Serena Ya

frankenstein

Initially, upon hearing the name “Frankenstein,” we often imagine a horrific, grotesque creature sewn together from dead tissue. However, Frankenstein is the creator of the frightening creature that we all know. The unnamed creature, also often referred to as the “monster” is not originally created to be a monster. It is when the monster is abandoned, isolated, and rejected from society that he is shaped into the “monster” that he is. Through this, we see that the creature wanted only to be accepted and loved by society, revealing a sensitive and emotional side of him many do not associate the creature with.

Although the creature is created as a fully, physically developed human, we often believe that he has the mind of a baby – undeveloped, illiterate, and oblivious. However, the creature very quickly catches on and becomes extremely educated and knowledgeable, speaking eloquently with significant comprehension. In some ways, it may seem that the monster is more a human than Frankenstein, and that it is Frankenstein himself, who is the real monster.

By the end of the novel, we begin to feel sympathy for the creature, because from the beginning of his existence, he was deserted by his own creator and therefore questioned the purpose of his life. Mary Shelley’s novel uncovers the truth of the monster, through the help of the different narrative perspectives, so that the audience is able to understand the monster through several separate lenses.

By- Marycarmen Nieto

I never really read the story about Frankenstein until reading Mary Shelley’s novel. It was shocking to find out that the creature wasn’t actually called Frankenstein but it was his creator’s name, Victor Frankenstein. The myths I would hear about Frankenstein (creature) was that he was an ugly scary monster and was evil. In reality, Frankenstein just wanted to love humans and be their friends to protect them and be with them. But the humans were not friendly to him because they had never seen anyone like him before and labeled him as a monster. In this novel, I learned how Frankenstein actually had a heart and emotions just like a human. When he told his side of the story it made me really sympathized with him. This novel challenged my stereotypes of the myth because it showed me that he had real feelings. He was no different from a human.

All Frankenstein really wanted was to love and be loved. We can’t really blame him for wanting that because we all want to feel a little love. I agree with Daniel, that the real creature is Victor. Victor let him suffer all by himself and was ashamed of his creation since the moment he was brought to life. The stereotypes about Frankenstein do not represent his true character, he was much more than a monster. He was a human stuck in the wrong body. The picture I chose represents how Frankenstein is supposed to be mean and evil-looking but in reality, he is as soft as the material this toy is made out of.

  

 

Prior to reading the book for the first time I thought the monster’s name was actually Frankenstein. i also thought that the creature was a in fact a relentless monster that only wanted to harm the townsfolk for the sake of harming them.

After reading the novel I quickly realized that what I thought was fact about the “monster” in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was actually nothing but Hollywood lies

Upon reading the novel I have been able to clearly depict where the myth of Frankenstein truly comes from. The myth of a mindless, stitched together meat suit, terrorizing a village after being brought to life comes from the depiction that Hollywood gave the creature in order to appeal to a mass audience. This depiction was actually not necessary since I believe the true story of Victor Frankenstein and his creation would have done just as well. If the creature had been given the same qualities in the movie as he does in the novel then the world would have seen how he has a mind and emotions and would most likely have sympathized with the creature. However, Hollywood didn’t do this and so the myth of Frankenstein was created.

Frankenstein

-Written by Alexander Alfaro