Tag Archive: violence


Be Careful of Ambition

Christopher Martinez

Narrative:

Once, there was an ambitious scientist whose name was Darwin Frankenstein. Darwin was a very ambitious person and always sought to explore the unknown. His intentions as a scientist was to find out the truth of everything that had a life. In other words, he wanted to recreate life itself. Some would say Darwin Frankenstein is the modern Prometheus, while others may call him idiotic for trying to challenge the creator of his existence – god.  Darwin attended a very prestigious university that focused on the sciences, however, Darwin also learned about the philosophical thoughts created about humans itself. Darwin would hate any other class that had nothing to do with his passion. Using his brilliant mindset, he wanted to create a ‘thing’ with life and emotion. Darwin wanted a companion with consciousness.

When Darwin graduated from his university he had a goal that had to be fulfilled before the day of his death. Darwin wanted the power of life in his hand. One stormy night while walking back home from a small distraction break, Darwin saw something crying its soul out through the corner of his eye. Darwin saw the shadow of death take away the soul of a tender young black dog. As soon as Darwin saw this, he grabbed the dog and rushed straight to his house. Darwin ran with excitement, his dopamine levels were out of control. It was as if Darwin entered a state of euphoria as he finally knew what he was going to experiment on. When Darwin got home he placed the dog on his table and began the procedure. He took out the dogs brain and replaced it with a humans brain that he stole from a nearby hospital. He shaved the dog’s hair and switched it to something very odd. Darwin then stitched up the young dog as he was getting mentally ready for the moment. As the lighting reflected Darwin’s face, he flipped the electric switch that would change the meaning of life. “IT ALIVE!” said Darwin.

Image result for it's alive frankenstein

Darwin looked at the dog with happiness all written all over him. “ Those blue eyes, the white fur, the perfect paws. What a beautiful dog.” Darwin looked at the dog as something to praise. He felt the power of the highest power on his hands. The dog began to run around like a lost person in the wilderness, but once the dog stopped he looked at Darwin and growled. Darwin ran away into his other room, however, when he came back to take a peek into his home laboratory, the dog disappeared.

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Darwin had looked everywhere and the fear spread through his veins. Darwin was starting to go insane. He didn’t even take a glance to reflect what he had done. If only he knew that the dog died from abuse and the dogs wish was to go into his paradise. The dog was rather happy dying. On the other hand, the human brain that Darwin had captured was a brain that would’ve saved a human’s life. The person who needed the brain had been waiting for years and years. If only Darwin took the time to realize what he was doing.

 

Review:

Dear Christopher Martinez,

I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed your replication of Frankenstein and adapting it to the 21st century. I think that the story really showed Darwin real side in the original Frankenstein. Everything felt right and the sense of originality and creativity is shown. Throughout the story, Darwin is shown as a person who is very ambitious and wants to make something that has never been made before. He wants to have the hands of god and use it to his own benefit. Throughout this short replication of Frankenstein, Darwin is shown as a person who is fully dedicated to his mission. He goes to college for his own benefit and doesn’t really care about anything else that he learns. He ignores the real world just to have the same power as a creator! I also see a connection between the definition of beauty in the original Frankenstein and your story. Frankenstein’s ideology in beauty is that the European looks (white, blue eyes, and clear skin) are better looking than others. The use of the dog’s fur shows how Darwin wants only “beautiful and perfect” looks for his creation

Originality is shown in the story in a very unique way. The way the story is formatted gave me the chills. For example, you used similes to give any reader an image of what they are exactly reading. In your version of the story, I learned about Darwin obtaining a dog and getting a human’s brain. I read a bit of context on these two subjects, however, at the end of your story you come back to these and explain the meaning of these two important parts of the story. I found out how the dog actually died and what the brain was being used for. I am interpreting that you wanted readers to feel like Darwin. Darwin is shown a person who doesn’t give much thought to his actions and likewise, I felt that way as well. I read about these two things with little to no context and I didn’t pause to think what these two objects in the story truly signified about Darwin’s personality.

From,

A Bobcat

 

A Monster Martyr

Spoken entirely in the future tense, the monster’s final statement is, effectually, anything but final. Instead of offering readers a sense of resolution, his concluding speech details what he “shall” do and what “will” be, suspending the end of the novel in a state of uncertainty.

The victorious language with which the monster describes how he “shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony” further enhances the uneasiness surrounding his departure. His “sad and solemn enthusiasm” defies any previous expectations of his defeated, hopeless position. Instead, his words evoke the image of early Christian martyrs, who, out of religious devotion, approached their deaths with a similarly “solemn enthusiasm.” Drawing such a comparison between the monster and persecuted religious figures, Mary Shelley leaves her readers to consider his ambiguous role as both a criminal and a victim.

Despite the violent images of “torturing flames” and “that conflagration,” the monster maintains an unexpected dignity through his calm certainty that “what I now feel be no longer felt….my spirit will sleep in peace.” The description of his own destruction with such a solemnly resigned tone in fact reflects the opposing tendencies of his character: at once a hideous, violent monster and a being capable of feeling compassion for his maker and “bitterest remorse” (189) for those horrendous deeds.

Shelley extends the religious symbolism by referencing the sacred cycle of life and death with the images of “light… [that] will fade away” and “ashes…swept into the sea by the wind.” By including himself in this process of natural decay, the monster makes a final, subtle appeal to his humanity.

Even with his resolute and firm “farewell,” the monster’s departure, “borne away by the waves…lost in darkness and distance,” retains an unresolved aspect, as “darkness and distance” are purposefully indefinite measures. The concluding effect for readers is an uneasy, and unanswered, reflection on the monster’s sacrificial death, professed humanity, and his possible continuation in that “darkness and distance.”

Young Frankenstein

Before reading the novel, I thought the story went something like this: a nameless mad scientist works in a lab. His creation lies lifeless, strapped to a metal table. A little, hooded, hunchbacked attendant assists the scientist (Igor, was his name?). “Yes, master. Of course, master,” he says. He pulls a switch, sending volts of electricity through the creation, probably electrocuting himself as well in the process. It is dark and stormy outside. Lightning flashes and thunder clashes. The creature, Frankenstein, rises stiffly from the table, breaking the straps as it moves. “It’s alive! It’s alive!” the mad scientist yells gleefully. His eyes are wide and gleaming as he approaches his creation. More lightning. Before the scientist can speak, or maybe after he gives an order, the creature knocks him aside. Then the creature attacks Igor, or it trashes the lab. Whatever the creature does next, the actions show that the creature is violent and unable to be controlled, and that creating it was a mistake.

Needless to say, that isn’t exactly what happens in the novel. For starters, Victor Frankenstein, before he made the creature, at least, was not a mad scientist. He was a college student. His studies led him to research the cause of life. It was after his discovery of how to create life that he animated the creature. Instead of an insane scientist, the book portrays a relatively rational scientist who genuinely wanted to improve people’s lives. It’s only after the creation scene that his sanity starts to whither.

The creation scene in the novel contrasts starkly with what I thought happened. Victor works alone. Where did Igor come from, anyway? When the creature comes to life, Victor immediately backs away in horror. He is not at all excited or ecstatic like I thought the scientist was. This is what surprised me the most: that Victor was immediately terrified of the creature. I had always thought that the creature had done something fear-worthy. He’d killed some people (which he does later, but at the point of his creation he has done nothing). He had attacked Victor; he burned some buildings, destroyed some property (which, again, he does do later). I didn’t think that some green guy with bolts in his neck who moved like his arms and legs were stiff planks was all that scary. The moment the creature opens his eyes, however, Victor high-tails it out of there. The creature’s mere appearance inspired fear and hate. The creature hadn’t had a moment to act, to reveal his nature, and already he was judged.

Before reading, I also thought that the creature was mindless, mindlessly bent towards violence. However, the creature is intelligent. He becomes proficient in a language in a month or two. He has his own hopes and desires. He wanted to be able to be a part of society, at one point. Reading the novel has shown me that Frankenstein is about much more than a mad scientist’s experiment.

(photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dropoutart/4925278873/in/photolist-8vekPg-5heH3d-dct2ri-9REANm-6NbU1-ptSGH-2TrnH-4r5xa9-2QEuT-2SJiLF-4XYkoH-886onX-pWE1SP-94Wr3-5vxo8B-gtaKNf-4BsYjC-pWE3Nn-dtoAzJ-diQ3NM-4W7t9b-avKTWW-53p1uu-asyk3U-joN4R3-fZT2tE-c6KF4m-4fjZCP-77D9bU-8xSnvd-cjmzAS-8XXRYc-8Ltk6w-9STrEQ-eEnycr-fmYueU-fqLsrA-5qVdsH-pEpe4X-6NbTY-5vBjGZ-pEuoyu-qKv9Vc-qBGvo9-6NbTX-abyuPf-pWDN6X-pNJ6pr-nZqFVy-4W7toN/ )

Through critical Marxist techniques and theories of the sublime, the modern cultural duality of the Frankenstein myth may be explicated. This process is initiated by analysis of the main characters in Marxist terms. The creature in Frankenstein serves as the culmination of the bourgeoisie dream, long ago planted in the roots of society. Behind the façade of maintained societal sentiments such as “justice,” the elite have secretly plotted the overthrow of these same ideals. All of their silent manipulations have led up to this moment, in which they have planned to ascend to the helm of civilization as godlike beings, served by the created proletariat. As the manifestation of the bourgeoisie, Victor completes this process as planned, giving life to the monster.

However, something is deeply wrong with this entity. The proletariat and the monster were not naturally conceived in the womb, but in the mind; they have no ancestry, cobbled together from various decaying components, and forced into life by mysterious mechanistic means. Even Victor and the elite recognize the horror in such a filthy fabrication. They flee from their progeny, failing to use it as they intended. The ultimate result of this action is the suffering of all of society, expressed in the violence committed towards and by the creature. The true unnatural bourgeoisie construct is not just the proletariat class, but the hegemony of societal violence. Although they intended to rule their brave new world, all are enslaved instead by a different power, violence, expressed in the unending conflict of the creature and Victor as they hurtle towards their deaths.

The narrative inspires a great sympathetic response in the reader, as they conceive of the existential terror of the creature, and the horror of Victor in the consequences of his work. This sympathy leads to a more superficial level of the sublime, and also a realization of Montag’s “unrepresentability,” in the creature. By sympathizing with the Marxist metaphor presented, the reader perceives the invalidity of the proletariat construct, and the falseness of the capitalist symptom’s hegemony of violence, as it is unnatural and a source of terror and disgust. By understanding this invalidity, the reader also comprehends that the capitalist construct does not represent the societal ideal or even a natural creation process, and therefore leads to “unrepresentability.”

This significant realization of untruth leads to the formation of a fissure in the capitalist symptom. Behind the tattered edge, the deepest source of the sublime can almost be seen: the sublime object of ideology.  The reader begins to perceive that capitalist ideology does not reflect the “object,” which is the nature of reality. There is great awe and fear in realizing an incorrect way of viewing the real, and is therefore a great source of the sublime.

However, the capitalist symptom is not without power, even in the modern world. Like an oyster’s pearl, the ideological irritant is morphed by a smooth outer sheen. It cannot be completely removed because its sublime aspect is inherently attractive. This is the reason for the duality of the myth; it is too powerful to ignore, so it is sterilized into the common form as folk tale, which offers no threat to collapse capitalist ideology.

Blog Summary Day 1

            At the root of the relationship between the creature and Frankenstein is the desire for control and the subsequent struggle by each party to assert control. Namely, we see that Frankenstein’s control over the creature is violently challenged by the creature, and Frankenstein responds in violence. The relationship can be generalized to the observation that all challenges to control is propagated by and is immersed in violence.

Frankenstein is born into a wealthy, upper class family, thus from the beginning he holds privileged station in life. His money and privilege allows him to not only exert control in a multitude of ways, but his exertion of control is never directly challenged. Frankenstein’s subsequent studies into biology and chemistry are an extension of his desire for control, as they are means for him to control a realm uninfluenced by human ideals of money and class: the natural realm. Frankenstein creates the creature driven not by an idealistic altruism, but rather a desire to control life, the ultimate untouched realm for man, and thus the ultimate expression of control. Although he reviles the creature and rejects its existence, he still maintains a passive control over the creature, by virtue of the fact that it is his creation, and he is its creator.

However, we see that the creature does not want to be under the dominion of Frankenstein. It learns language and learns of culture, essentially receiving the fundamental components of being human. When the creature attains this near humanness, it begins to display human qualities, most notably sympathy and free will. If it begins to display human qualities, it will inevitably begin to experience human desires, thus, the desire for a female companion, and more importantly, the desire for control. The sheer magnitude of Frankenstein’s control over the creature drive it towards violence, as it correctly determines that the only way to free from Frankenstein’s control is violence. This is the first direct challenge to Frankenstein’s assertion of power, and Frankenstein responds with violence as well. He does not try to reason with the creature and is willing to sacrifice both his ideals and his station in life to destroy the creature, not out of choice, but out of necessity. The deaths of William and Justine, acts of violence by Frankenstein, not only serve as catalysts for the transformation of Frankenstein, but they also ensure Frankenstein that he himself would be destroyed if he does not embrace violence. This antagonism between the creature and Frankenstein strikingly parallels the class antagonism elucidated by Marx. In conjunction with Marxist philosophy, their relationship can be generalized to reveal a somewhat dark and cynical portrait of humanity, in which struggle for control is ubiquitous and bloody.