Tag Archive: technology


The brutality in existing

My head is pounding,

My arms are shaking.

My chest is drenched in sweat

 

I run as fast as I can with no destination in mind

I want to scream but the words won’t come out.

I feel my vocal cords flexing so hard they are almost ripping apart.

 

I can feel the stares of people down the street

Like a sword penetrating my soul

I’m just as confused as they are when we make eye contact

Where am I?

How did I get here?

 

My head is overflowing with questions

I have no memory of my past life

How did I come to be?

Do I have a family?

 

I look for a place of solitary  

I found the comfort I seeked in the isolation of an alleyway

I chose to make this my temporary home given that it seemed untouched by human desires

It seemed fitting I live between the abandoned spaces separating neighboring lifestyles of what I aspired to one day be part of

As I lay, sleep overtakes my being and I enter a new state of dream

 

Eventually, I wake up to the sun shining bright in my face

My stomach begins to growl

I succumb to this primitive desire

As I walk around searching for something to eat

I see groups of people laughing and smiling

I feel so alone

 

I look from afar into their windows

I see families sitting around the dinner table

They seem so happy

Why don’t I have a home?

 

The hum of technology seems to haunt my existence

The sound of the cars and the busy streets overwhelm me

After a few days of dumpster diving and observing the family in the blue window

I gain the courage to knock on their door and join them for dinner

A young lady with black hair opens the door

I look up and take off my hood and she screams

She is horrified, its as if she has seen a ghost

Her father then joins her and threatens to call the police

he tells the rest of their children to stay inside

I feel so embarrassed I have nowhere to go but to my alleyway

I don’t understand why no one wants to be my friend

If I was destined to live so miserably, then why was I created in the first place?

 
Review:

For my creative writing piece, I wrote a poem about the creature’s feelings when he was first exposed to the real world. I reconstructed the scene in which he interacts with the De Lacy family for the first time. The creature experiences rejection and hate from the beginning of the novel. I tried to channel these emotions throughout the poem. Although the creature has felt nothing but alienation, he learns from his surroundings that these feeling are not a way of life for humans. Through the stanzas, I hoped to convey the drastic change of emotions the creature was feeling. The creature gave a unique outside perspective to this poem as he looked into our society. In the novel, we see the creatures thought process develop as the story progresses and I chose to reflect this in the poem through the length of the stanzas expanding as the creature becomes more and more self-aware. We see the creatures world collide with ours as he experiences technology for the first time. Given that it is new to him, he sees it more as a nuisance than a life dependency. An important part of the novel is the creatures desire to have a family, I kept this in the poem because it is a big part in what he is driven by. Instead of the forest, in my poem, I decided to make an alleyway a crucial part in the creature’s development. I chose this because I felt as if alleyways were the perfect place for the creature to get an insight as to what our society is like but still be distant enough to not be noticed. Living between the houses of people he wants to be like seemed fitting for the creature since alleyways are often seen as abandoned places in which one should steer clear of. Alleyways are infamous for being dangerous and are often forgotten about. Overall I feel as if my poem gives a modern take as to what the creature would go through if he lived in our time period.

 

How Dangerous is Knowledge?

Frankenstein makes a lot more sense when looking at it through an ecocritical lens. The creature is an unnatural creation without a mother. The creature is crazy and dangerous. which is a whole metaphor for what happens when you try to control mother nature. But we also have to look at what was going on when Mary Shelley wrote the novel. During this time period, the Year Without a Summer was occurring because they literally had no summer for years. Mary Shelley has two quotes that stick out to me through a ecocritical point of view.

How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.

If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by every wind that blows and a chance word or scene that that word may convey to us.

both quotes have roughly the same meaning. How much knowledge is too much? And when does too much knowledge become dangerous? The answer for both is a scary one, we just don’t know yet. The second quotes is a reflection on technology and how far we can push it before we feel the push back. It is a commentary on how science is helpful but can be dangerous if misused.

–  Andres Quezada

Darwin Award Winner

By Jade Graham

Anne Mellor argues in her piece “A Feminist Critique of Science” how Frankenstein involves the effect of Victor’s bad science. Mellor makes the point of Victor being driven by egotism and glory – motivations that men succumb to – are the reasons why chaos ensues in the novel. Not only to change his life, but change life and science as the world perceives it. Victor according to Mellor possesses, “the hubristic manipulation of the elemental forces of nature to serve man’s private ends.” which is the foundation of science being ruined (Mellor, 2). Hubris is being overly confident and or cocky, Victor being sure of himself wants to prove himself as a man. That pressure he puts on his well being is what leads to his eventual demise. But first, he creates the monster in his lab. Mellor, a woman writes her skeptical viewpoint taking consideration of the fact of Victor’s personality. He mentions family throughout the novel. A family can only occur when a woman gives birth. Mellor explains how once Victor made the creature, the human factor of natural science (birth) was stripped away. A new technology changed how life began. Because of this power is taken away from women, giving birth is a part of natural life. Proper sexual reproduction and growth allow for normal upbringing.

Nature is sometimes to referred to as Mother Nature. This feminine address only adds to Mellor’s point of how nature is a simple natural process. Pure, always growing, bright, and positive. Once Victor began his goal of creating the monster there is the mention of lightning with the oak tree nearby becoming destroyed.

 

Image result for oak tree struck by lightning stump

 

Trees grow and usually last for years and years. However, Victor’s experiment changed the tree. He changed nature and technology through his motivation for supposed better things (a more fulfilled life with glory and knowledge) and bad reasoning. Victor performed this experiment for himself. It is about the one man alone rather than a group or population. Mellor makes the point of Darwin relating to Frankenstein. Victor would receive a Darwin Award, his actions qualify him and therefore prove how he wrongly affected the world both scientifically and technologically.

 

Women as nature

In Mellor’s Essay, “A Feminist Critique on Science,” explains the ways in which nature, gender, and science have influenced each other through Male ideology. The idea that nature is perceived as, “a fertile but passive female nature,” depicts nature as a “she” which can automatically place nature as subordinate to the superior male. Moreover, it is used as an excuse to undermine the natural balances and boundaries of nature itself. The lense in which mankind express themselves in science in order to enrich and facilitate benefits to society can ultimately be its undoing.

Victor Frankenstein is an example of a man who sought to break the boundaries of science through “re-animation” and create a species that will acknowledge him as a creator. He expresses, “what glory would attend the discovery if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!” (pp. 47). Victor misused science and violated the natural laws like surpassing death, by creating the ‘creature.’ Moreover, his ideology aided into his ego the fruits of his labor would reward him. So who was going to benefit after all? After all his efforts and dedication in creating his “own species” was in vain. Not only was he blinded by his ego he refused to take responsibility that comes with knowledge. By doing so, he amassed so much hatred after his own ‘creature’ that he dammed his own creation. He regretted the moment he embarked in his adventure, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart,” (pp. 60.)

Thus, Mellor critiques the execution of science through man’s eyes. Just as Victor was irresponsible from his own scientific experiment, the same can be applied during the Industrial Revolution and in today’s technologically driven society. The idea of creating more jobs and “increasing the economy,” was an idea that sparked interest and societal growth. However, the idea of the superiority of class and gender suddenly became more important than improving the economy. When labor alienation, child labor, poor wages surfaced responsibility was not taken and as a result, the French Revolution ensued. The working class was denied basic human rights. Similarly, when the creature was denied a certain right, he rebelled. Thus, we can infer that when scientific advancements are in consequence of selfish deeds or superiority over all beings, can cause destruction that may even be irreversible to the environment.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera

Warren Montag’s essay, “The Workshop pf Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein”, Montage establishes multiple arguments as to what the creature symbolizes, however, he ultimately writes that he is  “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480). This statement can be inferred, meaning that the creature represents not the proletariat, but he represents the fact that proletariat cannot be understood, especially when you consider the extreme social economic differences that elevated the likes of Mary Shelley, and oppressed the working class. This further draws emphasis to the inhumane differences of socioeconomic classes, as well as a further disdain for capitalism.

The position of unrepresented proletariat is first inferred when the writer established the hierarchy between Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Victor says, “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (57). As Frankenstein solely created the creature for his sole benefit, so did the industrial revolution with the creation of the working class. And the tone of innocence that is present within the quote, with words such as ‘bless’, ‘happy’, and ‘excellent’ could perpetuate the naivety that people hold to the idea of “progress”.

As the story continues, the conflict between Victor and the creature intensifies. The creature says, “I expected this reception, … All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us”(92). The monster, through his sharp and dramatic word choice helps project an image of injustice: his creator subjects him to terrible punishments. And in context of Marxism, this analysis of creator/creation can be neatly applied to the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. And through careful analysis, there is some sort of foreshadowing in the quote, with “… to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us”. Equality can only be achievable through the destruction of the will of the proletariat, or the destruction of the bourgeoisie.

-Isaac Gallegos Rharry potter frankenstein

Distance

When Montag concludes that the creature is “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” I believe this section of Montag’s essay means that the creature does not really give sight that it could possibly represent the working class and all its struggles but rather is not really viewed in that point of view. So the creature has the hidden background that it could possibly be the working class but is not viewed as that by the readers which then shows the unrepresentability of the working class in the character of the creature.

However, Montag’s essay was a bit difficult to read but I do see where Montag’s interpretation of the characters in Shelley’s novel comes from. Although, I do feel like there are a lot of key factors to think of when considering the monster as the proletariat. For example, the creature was created by a man of a higher class standing or the creature being incredibly smart by teaching himself. Most, if not, all the working class could not afford education, leading them to become uneducated. Another thing is the word distance and solitude that constantly popped up in Montag’s essay and all that came to my mind was the distance that people place themselves in their status’. Such as the middle-class, the working-class and so forth. Also, the distance that science places people at such as Frankenstein going into solitude or becoming “sick” after his creation. I found it interesting that Montag placed science as its own category rather than connecting it to the middle-class.

By: Carmen Ibarra

 

Sabrina Vazquez

Warren Montag in his essay, “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein”, states that Mary Shelly, in her novel; utilizes Frankenstein’s monster to represent the working class’s revolt amid the French Revolution.  He claims that the “creature”, or proletariat, are the ‘unpredictable’ consequences of society’s reckless need to advance in science and technology; which on both accounts (Creature and Proletariat), did not end well, for others. This ideology validates the anger and frustration felt by both the “creature” and working class at the time. The “creature”, demonstrates that in an especially dark passage,

I continued for the remainder of the day in my hovel in a state of utter and stupid despair. My protectors had departed and had broken the only link that held me to the world. For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, and I did not strive to control them, but allowing myself to be borne away by the stream, I bent my mind towards injury and death. (123) (block quote, which I couldn’t indent on WordPress)

Initially the first noticeable aspect of this passage is the vehement frustration the creature feels. This is a somebody who I educated and has been driven to violence by his environment as well as the people in it. In saying that his “protectors” had broken “the only link”, it seems like he is saying they have at last broken him. In that fracture made by his “protectors”, which is ironic because they did anything but protect him, he found his only solution to be death and destruction.

The proletariat were the very real equivalent of Shelley’s tale. They much like the “creature”, were created out of a desperate want for advancement, and once created, they were ignored, and pushed aside. In their growing desperation for employment, which in the “creatures” case would be accompaniment, they both came across destructive and violent paths. They both let anger and hate get in their hearts, more so than that, they allowed pride to get the better of them. The “creature” stated he spent the rest of the day “in a state of utter and stupid despair.” (123), which could have been ignored, but in the haze of hate, anger, and pride, he, much like the proletariat took retribution into their own hands. Societies rush to progress quickly without care of the repercussions, led to the frustration and corruption of otherwise nice and intelligent people; which is presented in Victors creation, and corruption of his creation.

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By: Sandra Tzoc

Mary Shelley’s novel was published around the same time as the birth of the Industrial Revolution, meaning around the time machines started replacing humans. This is important because nowhere in the novel was this portrayed similarly to how the French Revolution was neglected. Throughout the novel there was plenty of mountainous imagery but none of machinery that would have been present at the time. Moreover, in his work “The Workshop of Filthy Creation”: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein, Warren Montag claims Victor as the “Bourgeoisie” and the creature as the “Proletariat”. The “producer” of the monster is the Proletariat because he unleashed something onto the world but somehow moved on with his life, whilst the creature was left to fend for himself, just like those who were thrown out due to the rise of machinery. Some might think that Shelley did not speak about the changes she was living herself but what if she did. What if she simply talked about these entities of marginalization, prejudice, and overall revolution but indirectly. Perhaps she used Frankenstein to stand for these vast issues present during her time and our own now. Warren describes the creature as “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480), because the creature doesn’t have to fall under one label. In addition, at the end of the French Revolution perhaps the creature could represent the public themselves. Where they now felt lost and alone just like the creature did when Victor denied him a companion. The industrial revolution ultimately was born to speed up the process of making merchandise and in many circumstances took the jobs from people. The people without jobs suffered and had to search for new ways to make a living and this is important because its analogous to the creature’s experience. Perhaps Warren was hinting at the complexity of the creatures symbolic meaning and how it could not possibly end at proletariat.

In his essay “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein”, Warren Montag claims that there are Marxist undertones within Marry Shelly’s novel that depicts the ongoing struggle of the working class against the middle class, represented by Frankenstein’s monster and Victor Frankenstein respectfully. Towards the end of his essay, he claims that Frankenstein’s creation is “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480). I agree with this notion as I believe that the horror of  the industrial and technology that helped to create the working class, as mentioned by Montag, is exemplified within Shelly’s work with its ability to transform beauty into horror so seamlessly without being depicted at all.

Indust

The reader witnesses the unrepresented power’s horror when it causes Victor to view his magnificent creation as a work of terror. Right before Victor is ready to bring his creation to life, he takes a moment to praise “his features as beautiful. Beautiful!–Great God!” (60). He continues to lovingly evaluate his work as an ideal image of man with perfect proportions, noting that “his hair was of lustrous back, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness”(60). Amidst his thorough compliments however, he takes a moment to notice his creation’s “more horrid contrast with his watery eyes…his shriveled complexion and straight black lips,” alluding to the unseen industrial and technological dark consequences (60). Despite having “worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body,” Victor succumbs to the horrors of the working class in an instant, viewing his once beautiful and flawless creation now with “breathless horror and disgust…unable  to endure the aspect of the being [he] had created” (60). The strong change in polarity in the way Victor views his creation demonstrates the amount of horrible power that technology, the industrial, and the working class have and helps create a terrifying image within the reader’s mind. Fear of the unknown is perhaps the greatest fear of all after all. The text never describes the process in which Victor uses technology to reanimate the corpse, as suggested by Montag’s claims that “technology and science, so central to the novel, are present only in their effects; their truth only becomes visible only in the face of their hideous progeny and is written in the tragic lives of those who serve them” (478). The unseen nature of the elements that created the working class, the industrial and technology, help “to render this being,” Frankenstein’s monster and by extension the proletariat, as “inexplicable and unprecedented, a being for whom there is no place in the ordered world of nature” (480). In the end, the unseen forces of technology and the industrial that Victor used for his experiment caused him to view his creation he thought was the pinnacle of humanity as a despicable monster, just as the capitalism that created the cruel lives of the proletariat.

–Jose Ramirez

The Guilt of Mass Destruction

For the first time in six years, I walked through my father’s front door. It was early, the sun had not yet risen, and everyone evidently still asleep. I sat at the kitchen counter, my head in my hands, waiting for my father to enter, and for Elizabeth, good neighbor and dear friend that she is, to walk through the front door to share his morning coffee. What would I tell them? Pictures of my mother hung on the walls, and a new shrine to Will was in the corner of the living room, which I could see from where I sat. What would I, could I, say? Dread settled in my stomach.

When my other brother, Ernest, walked into the kitchen, his head was down, his shoulders stooped. He jumped when he looked up and saw me watching him, but quickly recovered and hugged me tighter than I ever remember. “We were so proud,” he said, “when Will got a job at the Pentagon. Father was over the moon! We were so –“ here his voice broke.

“Where are dad and Elizabeth?” I inquired. “Aren’t they usually up by now? I have something I need to tell you all. It’s important.”

“They should be up soon, but you need to be prepared, they’re absolutely beside themselves. They can’t watch the TV without crying every time the terrorists are mentioned. The names of the hijackers were just released.”

I started. “What do you mean? Hijackers? That can’t be true!”

“What else could it be? The passengers who lived all claim that the planes were taken over by foreign men, and though it seemed inconceivable at first, it is the only thing that makes sense,” he ventured, puzzled at my vehement denial.

“No, no, no…that isn’t…that can’t be” I mumbled, brow furrowed, as I paced. “It has to be the planes.” Here, my father stepped into the room. Like Ernest, he wore a shocked expression, but quickly stilled my pacing with an embrace as I continued to mumble. My father inquired as to what was the matter with me, and my brother, bewildered, replied hesitantly that I just kept saying, “It has to be the planes.” My father touched my arm, thinking my denial of the involvement of terrorists was just grief, and said, “Son, it’s hard on all of us. But the men who caused this are dead. Denying their fault doesn’t help anyone.”

“You don’t understand!” I exclaimed. “No one hijacked those planes!”

The three of them led me to the couch, and thinking to console me, told me that the men who caused our my little brother’s death, along with the deaths of almost 3000 other people, were punished in their own deaths, and that there is nothing our anger can do. Their speech calmed me, for reasons other than what they intended; maybe no one would ever know that I was to blame, that I had engineered planes that would fly themselves, and, weighed down by the responsibility, had sold the technology. Maybe they would never know that my work had killed Will.

A knock sounded at the door, and Elizabeth entered. When she saw me, she threw herself into my arms, exclaiming, “Victor, I’m so glad you’re home! It didn’t feel right that you were grieving for Will on your own. All together, we can console each other, and lessen the weight of our individual grief.”

“But it was the planes,” I breathed, in one last half-hearted attempt to divest the truth from myself, to give it away, but it was too quiet for even her too hear.

Author’s Note

One of the most charged moments in Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein is when Justine’s life is hanging in the balance. Victor is carrying this guilt, for not only the death of William, but also possibly the death of Justine, and, he comes to see, a potentially endless number of other lives. This guilt of the fallout of our actions on other people is particularly applicable to the 21st century, as everyone is increasingly connected by technology. Now, more than any time in history, the consequences of one person’s actions cannot be isolated to only themselves. I chose to keep the tone of the passage (starting with the last paragraph on page 76, and running to the end of the chapter), as well as the relative plotline, and to change the creation and the fallout action.

Instead of creating a scientific, parodic creature, Victor has created intelligent technology capable of incredible harm. The crime the creature commits, homicide, was one of the worst, if not the worst, crimes a person could commit in the 19th century. Now, terrorism has taken the top spot on the Worst Crimes list, with the terrorism of 9/11 taking the top spot of that list for American citizens. I wanted Victor’s action to have the monumental destruction, the same relative magnitude, in my piece as in the original.

Where the plotline diverges in my piece is in Victor wanting desperately to tell the truth, rather than just prove the innocence of the accused. This is not an explicit purpose of Victor’s in the originally scene, but rather a feeling from the whole novel that Victor is trying to push his responsibility outward from himself.

I wanted this piece to carry the message that we are accountable to the world for our actions, as well as that as humans, we still choose the explanation that seems believable. Even when someone tells what they know to be the truth, if a simpler explanation exists, society will choose the simple, the cut-and-dry. That is a main point in the original passage, and I wanted that to come through in this modern re-telling.