OW Junkenstein's MonsterWhen I hear the word Frankenstein, I frequently think of the misconceptions that come with the science fiction and pop culture phenomena. Some of which are as obvious as the title mistakenly referring to the groaning and green creature that the doctor, a mad scientist with a hunchbacked lackey, stitched together in a creative fit. The creature is filled with an insatiable blood lust, fears fire, and has no real thoughts or emotions and he is welcomed by his creator into his new life. Be it as early as the the 1931 Frankenstein film or recent as the Frankenstein inspired skin for the character Roadhog from Overwatch, these misconceptions are hard to get rid of.

I’m not discrediting them either- I think that some elements of this version of the story ring true, but obviously this version is inaccurate. My issue with it is that it leads its audiences to believe that the creation of the creature (and his subsequent rampage) was the fault of science- as opposed to that of an ambitious undergrad. I assumed during my first reading of the book that the question being posed was “Can science go to far?” and “does God live in Heaven because he lives in fear of what he has created?”.

I think that my interpretation of the questions the novel asks are dramatically different. I believe that Shelley is asking her readers to consider the fruits that revolution bears and whether it is truly ethical to use violence as a means to produce social and personal change. What is the cost of revolution? Who truly pays the price for rebellion? Wouldn’t the common folk regret stripping power away from the one percent, from people living their (extremely lavish) lives?

I wouldn’t. But okay, Shelley.

The ambitious Victor Frankenstein sought to create life after death, and after achieving it, rejected that which he created. He started this cycle of senseless brutality by rejecting his creation. It was not the act of creation, but his act of neglect and self interest that cultivated the selfishness in the creature.

But tell me what you think, is Shelley warning her readers of the dangers science may wrought- or is she dissuading young revolutionaries from starting an uprising and class war? And also, why do you think that the creature is frequently portrayed as an unnatural green?

Yours in monstrosity,
Maria Nguyen-Cruz