A Deeper Look at The Creature

Right off the bat, I would like to preface this blog post by saying that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the best novel out of the literary canon that I have read. Frankenstein’s reflection on the morally ambiguous aspects of nature, family, justice, and the human condition is what sets this book apart from the other pieces of literature I have read in terms of engagement.

In the narrative, the creature explains the crux of his earthly dilemma after reading Victor Frankenstein’s journal. “I sickened as I read. ‘Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. ‘Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.’” The creature is puzzled at Victor’s intentions in creating life, questioning how Victor could be so cruel as to thrust him into an existence that is arguably worse than that of the most scorned entity in history. On an even broader level, the creature is calling into question the ethics behind bringing another soul into being without their consent. These topics, such as the rights of the unborn and the duties parents should be upheld to, are still hotly debated to this day.

In relation to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, (which is the way the creature discovers the histories of God and Satan) the creature first sees himself as an abandoned Adam, who was created inherently flawed. As he experiences the hell of isolation over the course of months and is rejected by the Delacy’s, he comes to know himself instead as an allegory of Satan. Not so coincidentally, Satan is the best speaker/narrator within the book Paradise Lost itself, which parallels the creatures elegance of narration and solidifies the reference. Milton also frames Satan as reasonable and attractive, but we know as readers that we shouldn’t interpret him this way. In the same way, Shelley frames the creature in much the same way, even though we know as readers that the creature is a murderer, as well as (arguably) a sadist.

In all the ways stated above, the creature’s existence always reminds me of a passage from Macbeth. To quote Shakespeare, the creature’s life is but a walking shadow, dwelling in obscurity and isolation. He is a poor player who struts and frets, pondering the meaning of his hour of existence in relation to the greater stage of humanity that he fears he will never get to experience. The fate of his life has been dealt to him without care. In response, he vows to use his fury to inflict on Victor the same type of meaningless existence of isolation he so idiotically inflicted upon him.

As a text, I enjoy Frankenstein because of the way the tragic character of the creature is so three dimensional. He is in all ways fated to be tragic, tragic out of his own volition, and tragic at the hands of others.

Frankenstein Remastered

After watching the Frankenstein movie, the thought came into my mind that a modern remake of the film could be really cool. There have obviously already been multiple adaptations, but I think that with today’s movie industry, a more entertaining version could be made. A “Frankenstein” with a couple well-known actors in the case and modern CGI and technology for the Creature could be a potentially profitable production.

With no offense intended toward Mary Shelley, a good modern writer, or team, could expand this plot into something even more captivating. The hour-long 1931 film could be expanded, and the storyline could be personalized with more intricate relationships. That, with some action added in, sounds like a hit to me.

With the Creature being the main point of interest in this story, a “remastered” version of the monster would be the focal point of the movie. Modern technology would allow for the design of a lifelike being that could be as menacing or as normal as the producer would like, depending on how they wish to portray the character. I also think that a cyborg Creature, or even an advanced robot gone rogue, would be worthy of consideration.

The plot of the adaption could remain somewhat similar to Mrs. Shelley’s, with the Creature playing the humanized villain role, or a twist in the remake could be that the Creature and Dr. Frankenstein work together to accomplish some heroic victory. A relationship between the Creature and Dr. Frankenstein would be easy to turn into a good story. An even further-removed storyline could be that the two characters are a villainous team and a third prominent character has to defeat them.

The story, or at least concept, of Frankenstein has been familiar for generations. Any way you spin it, a remake would get some attention and have the potential to actually be a good movie. To bring Frankenstein back into a modern Hollywood would not be only entertaining, but also an appropriate salute to Mary Shelley. She didn’t immediately get the recognition she deserved for her own creation, but it has certainly stood the test of time and tinkering.

Works Cited

Whale, James., director. Frankenstein. Universal, 1931.

Frankenstein the book vs the film: Character and Personality

The story of Frankenstein written in 1818 by Mary Shelley and its reenactment in 1931 are two very distinct forms of the same idea. There are various differences in plot points, characterization, thematic points, and even the ending. The main difference that sticks out to me is the manner of how evil is instilled in an individual. The 1818 version addresses how social constructs can play into the character and the attitude of a person and the 1931 adaptation believes that personality is innate and predetermined. There are examples in both versions of the text supporting these differing views.

Within the text, there is an instance where Mary hints toward her understanding of how personality is developed. The Monster tried repeatedly to gain the love and care that he would give out to others. From when he was keeping the old man company to when he saved the young girl, he was attempting to display himself as a sympathetic person who would rather turn the cheek than do harm to anyone. Just because of his appearance, everyone discriminated against the Monster and had prejudices of him being a horrible creature, even his creator Victor. Around the point in which the Monster met his breaking point and killed Victor’s younger brother, he proclaimed “I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?” (Shelley, 102) The Monster was mistreated and became filled with rage and anger due to others; they refused his kindness and met him with hate at every turn. The Monster was fed up with the lack of reciprocation and became sadistic and harmful due to how others treated him on a constant basis. Mary Shelley seemed to believe that personality and character are developed through one’s experience in society.

In contrast, the film depicted the acquirement of character and personality as a predetermined in each human. Scriptwriters portrayed this ideal is by explaining that the brain in which the Monster acquired would determine his intelligence and morals. The initial brain retrieved for the Monster was that of a normal person, which insinuates that normal people are already made with morals. When the normal brain is dropped, it is switched with a criminal one; Dr. Waldman earlier explained that there were physical differences between the brain of a normal person and a criminal. Waldman and the little girl are then murdered seemingly because of the evil brain put inside of the Monster. Therefore, the brain in which he was given determined his outcome rather than how he was treated in society. This comes clear as a point attempting to be made by the screenwriters when the Monster is not treated terribly because of his looks and kills a little girl attempting to be his friend.

Intentions and messages within different versions of the story can be easily seen by the manner in which similar overarching themes are portrayed. The ideology of Mary Shelley in 1818 clearly reflected how character is learned through social interactions, and the message carried through this novel. Creators involved in Frankenstein the movie reflected their beliefs of character being an innate quality that people have from the beginning. The stories were written in different scopes and took two different forms to reflect what the authors found as the most important message to convey to the audience.

The Importance of Family in Frankenstein

Throughout her 1831 novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelly frequently comments on the importance of family in keeping a person sane and the detrimental effects of either neglecting family or being neglected by family. When Victor Frankenstein first starts telling his story, he comments on how “no youth could have passed more happily than [his}” (21). His parents loved him and he had great companions that were all very supportive of his endeavors. He was free to live his life as he pleased and carve his own path, which was a luxury that most kids were not given. Once he left for school and started to pursue his independent studies, he was so consumed in this work of his that he completely stopped talking to the people who had raised and loved him all those years and played a huge role in making him the person that he is. This eventually led to his downfall as the project that he was so consumed in ended up killing most of the people he loved, both directly and indirectly. This may have been Mary Shelly’s way of warning the reader that it is important to allocate time for family before it is too late. After the completion of his project, Frankenstein finally returned to having contact with his family members, but their happy days were numbered as they started dying one by one at the hands of the creature and Frankenstein frequently fell sick. If Victor had maintained connection with his family throughout his time in Ingolstadt, perhaps he would’ve somehow realized the extent to which his project would be detrimental and could’ve tried to keep the same quality and happiness of his previous life while he was away at school.

In contrast, the creature that Frankenstein created was not given a happy, nourishing environment early on, like his creator had received. He was shunned from the very beginning, which impacted him deeply as he exclaimed to Victor that “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” (68). The creature even tried to create a family with people that weren’t his creator by attempting to be a part of the family that he had been secretly watching for months because he felt a close connection with them, even though they did not feel the same way. Unfortunately, the creature was never able to find a group of people that would accept him as a family member because of his outward appearance.

Although there is a contrast between both their situations, there also exists a similarity between the creature and Frankenstein. They both did not suffer in the same way, but they both felt some type of suffering from not having anyone to openly talk to about what they were going through. Victor neglecting the family he had in order to focus on work, left him very weak and ill. He had to deal with all the guilt he felt for creating the creature internally, which ended up affecting his physical health. On the other hand, the creature’s lack of companionship and inability to relate to anybody else, led to him taking out his anger with violent measures.

Mary Shelly understood the importance of family since much of her family life was marked with death. Her mother died giving birth to Mary and Mary’s first child died a few days after her birth. Also, two of her extended family members and her husband died later on in her life. Because Mary Shelly did not get enough time to spend with her family before their passing away, she uses Victor Frankenstein and his creation as a way to highlight the importance of maintaining healthy relationships with family members.


What is the ultimate goal of life? Some people would say it is to live every day to the fullest and not worry about seeing tomorrow. Others are determined to build wealth or leave something behind in hopes they are remembered. However, it seems the most important goal in life, which is often overlooked, is to make intimate connections with others. It doesn’t matter who you are, you crave and long for a connection with another living person.

Connections are formed starting at a very young age. Children are dependent on their parents for everything and parents feel responsible to give their children everything. There is a direct biological link between parents and children. It is also important to note that a child is a physical representation of the connection between mother and father. However, this alone is not enough and we search out our own links. Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Frankensteinall display this search for others.

Robinson Crusoe is unique because it allows readers to see what someone truly craves when it is gone. Crusoe landed on the island with little to nothing and was entirely alone. He was able to build and salvage everything he needed to survive. There was one thing though that he desired above everything else, the company of another person. Crusoe says, “I cannot explain by an possible Energy of Words, what a strange longing or hankering of Desires I felt in my Soul upon this Sight; breaking out sometimes thus; O that there had been but one or two; nay, or but one Soul sav’d out of this Ship, to have escap’d to me, that I might but have had one Companion, one Fellow-Creature to have spoken to me, and to have convers’d with! In all the Time of my solitary Life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a Desire after the Society of my Fellow-Creatures, or so deep a Regret at the want of it.” Crusoe had always longed for adventure and wanted it at all costs. He sacrificed his family for his desires, only to long for the company of a stranger.  Defoe writes, “Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them.” Crusoe was one of those people.

In contrast to Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, andFrankensteinall have characters which have never truly experienced what it’s liked to be truly loved by someone. Jane Eyre was an orphan who was sent away to an awful boarding school by her Aunt. She falls in love with Rochester only to discover that he is already married. Jane later trades three quarters of her inheritance just to be a part of a family. She had been poor all of her life, but a family was worth more to her than money. Charlotte Bronte wrote, “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”

Antoinette Cosway is similar to Jane Eyre in many ways. Antoinette was treated poorly during her childhood. Her father was dead and her mother constantly yelled at her. Although Antoinette gained a large inheritance from her step father, she still longed to be with someone. She gave up her entire wealth to be with Rochester. She even asked for the help of voodoo so he would love her once more.

The last example of an innate desire for personal connection and sense of fulfillment is Frankenstein. The creature was created from random pieces and brought to life in an unnatural way. He was cast away by everyone because of his dreadful appearance. Through observation and learning, the creature was able to understand his wish for a mate, someone to make a connection. A creature born of unnatural circumstances, lacking in age and experience, was able to feel and determine the need for another.

These four different texts were written at different times, different locations, and by authors of different backgrounds, but all of them point to a desire of acceptance and need of another. Everything people do is caused by an underlying desire to feel linked to another person. Although wealth or adventure is what everyone tries to obtain, they would quickly trade it when they are completely alone.

A Letter to Mary Shelley


Mary Shelley/Mrs. Percy Shelley (will we ever know?),

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on creating such a successful piece of literature!  What an accomplishment!  Frankenstein is an incredibly interesting story that poses many important questions about society and life in general.  The way you came up with the book is an entertaining story as well.  However, with all great (interpretive) literature comes many questions.  I love the plot of the story and the intricacy of the characters, I just feel as if I was left wanting to know much more about them.

My first question would have to be, if the monster wasn’t actually that physically grotesque and homely, why was Victor so disgusted by him?  Why did he immediately abandon him without, either thinking of the consequences OR at least attempting to communicate with him?  What immediately turned him away from the monster?  I guess that was more than one question.  I feel like all of the physical adaptations of Frankenstein recreate the monster’s image to make it make more sense, so I don’t understand why Frankenstein was so extremely disgusted by his creature in the first place.  If anything, you would think that he would be proud of what he made.  He spent his whole life consumed by the idea of creating sentient life, and when he finally did, he wasn’t even proud of what he had done.  If I had created life from nothing I know I would be extremely proud of myself.

Another part of the plot that I felt was left unresolved was Justine’s character as a whole.  If she knew the consequences of admitting to the crime, why did she give up and admit to something she didn’t do?  It seems as if she either convinced herself that she actually did murder William, or she just gave up in defending herself.  Either way, I don’t really understand why she did what she did.  If my life was on the line I would never plead guilty. This part of the plot always confuses me when I read and re-read it.  One the other hand, I love the connection between Justine’s name and the word ‘justice’.  Very ironic!

Another thing I think about a lot is the fact that Victor destroyed the female monster.  What would have changed if he hadn’t?  Would the monster still have murdered numerous people, and would an additional monster mean additional deaths?  Or, would they be content together and avoid all of the killings?  I feel as though changing this small detail would have changed the story completely, or at least certain aspects of the monster’s character.

One final plot point that I found to be left ambiguously unanswered is the monster’s moral dilemma at the end.  In class we discussed whether or not his feelings of remorse and self-hatred were genuine, but when I read it myself I had no doubts that they were.  I was strong in my opinion until I heard other students debate whether or not he actually felt remorse and grief.  Did you intend for this to be a genuine interaction between the monster and Waldon?  How are we supposed to feel at the end of the story?  I understand that there is no real right response to a book, but how did you intend the audience to perceive the monster at the end of the novel?

This book fosters fantastic conversations.  It’s easy to debate the motives, the personalities and the validity of each and every character.  There are many ambiguous aspects of the story, which, in my opinion, make it a good and interesting read.

Frankenstein: A Film Adaptation for the Modern Day

Mary Shelly’s immortal Frankenstein deserves a modern-day adaptation that brings her story into the 21st century and introduces it to an entirely new generation of viewers. While there have been numerous film adaptations to date, they generally have fallen upon mixed reviews, to be generous. Diluting the story and themes, as in 2014’s, iFrankenstein; Victor’s Monster has inconceivably become some type of action hero. Therefore, I purpose that we embark upon a film adaptation set in the modern day, taking into account modern-day social/societal dynamics & challenges, politics, technology, burgeoning innovations and ethics. With so many themes that can be expanded upon from a new adaptation, there would be more than enough content to develop multiple films.

I have made an attempt to draw upon Shelly’s original works in an attempt to identify some of the key structure of her story that can be easily adapted to captivate audiences of today.

For starters, who is to say that a modern day Frankenstein needs to be constrained by Victor’s monster and its’ physical characteristics so extensively and nauseatingly repeated over and over in film adaptations (E.g. the patchwork of body parts, grotesque appearance, lumbering physical characteristics, etc.)? Instead, the focuses should be on current attempts to develop AI and human collaborations. utilizing robotic limbs and lab-grown/manufactured organs, anatomical components. Think actorLogan Marshall – Green’s Grey Trace in the recent film Upgrade or 2014 remake, Robo Cop’s Alex Murphy, both have undergone some type of metamorphosis and become new characters.

In Shelly’s novel Robert Walton, who takes up Victor Frankenstein’s quest to find and kill the monster but never does, remarks on how nothing is impossible in their current age, how knowledge and progress are inherently good.

This theme that knowledge and progress are inherently good allows for an intertextual representation of Frankenstein. A new film adaptation should not feel constrained to the physical construction of a monster, a story set forth in modern day could and should explore current philosophical debates that connect consciousness and AI and the increasing connection between man and machine.

Furthermore, where Shelly chooses to focus on the impact that the monster has on Victor and those he loves, a modern-day adaptation should focus on the impact that the introduction of a modern day monster has on the world that it has been introduced to. Tackling philosophical issues like what constitutes a human being, what differentiates AI from human thought, and at what point does a machine become human and human become a machine.

There is also another avenue that could be approached one in which the application of real-time theories and current scientific research is used to develop a monster that is far more plausible than Shelly’s original and far closer to the horizon then the story than 2015’s Ex Machina.

I suggest drawing upon current events such as the recent news of Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan and his team, reanimating pigs’ brains. Sestan managed to pump the brains with artificial blood using a system called BrainEx, and they were able to bring them back to life for up to 36 hours (Curtis, 2018). Basing an adaptation upon real-time science and event would add to the believability. I would also suggest that the new film is shot documentary style so as to add to the realism, a la The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield.

By creating an adaptation that focuses on these key points a new film would captivate and provoke thought for an entirely new audience.


Curtis, B. (2018). Scientists reanimate disembodied pigs’ brains – but for a human mind, it could be a living hell. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/scientists-reanimate-disembodied-pigs-brains-but-for-a-human-mind-it-could-be-a-living-hell-95903

When is enough enough?

Dear Mary Shelley,


I am writing this letter to pose an unresolved question from your book Frankenstein. In the book you wrote, “A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.” I just want to say that you would probably tremble if you saw the education system today! It seems that the desire for good grades ruins the studies a lot of times and doesn’t actually benefit students. On a more serious note, however, I would like to know when you think one should know that they should abandon their efforts of obtaining education. There have been so many inventions that are the product of numerous failures. Take, for example, WD-40. The hugely successful product got its name because of the number of attempts it took to perfect it. Forty attempts is a large number and could easily seem frustrating. It seems like the frustration could affect the creators in many different ways and yet they didn’t stop and created a successful and useful product. Should they have stopped? And if so when? I wonder how much of a difference it would have made if the story was written where Victor got it right on the first try or if it was written to where it took him 100 tries. Perhaps it would make the reader more sympathetic either way. If it only took one attempt readers may be sympathetic because it was his first try and there was so much ignorance of the matter. If it took him 100 tries one might be more sympathetic because he was clearly passionate about the creature and was trying his best; he would have just so happened to fail. All in all, I wonder if the intent and amount of energy put into something add or subtracts from the actual results and when one should know to give up their aspirations. When is enough enough?



Veronica Griffin

Mary Shelley’s Warning to Society

Frankenstein, in its many forms, is a “ghost story” centralized around the idea of pursuing knowledge and scientific discovery. Frankenstein’s crusade to discover the secret of life drove him to madness and eventually his demise. Shelley’s story begins with Frankenstein adamantly warning his travel companion, “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been” (pg 17). He then goes on to explain the nature of his “great and unparalleled misfortunes” that has “stung” him. From Frankenstein’s recollection, his creation of the creature caused him nothing but torment and devastation. Frankenstein interprets his scientific discovery as a cautionary tale of the dangers of pursuing knowledge. “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, 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 become greater than his nature will allow” (pg 32). According to Frankenstein and his experience with pursuing knowledge, he believes it is better to live a life of ignorance blind to the unknown. However, in volume two, Frankenstein’s creature tells a different story. The creature recounts the negligence of his creator, who left him to fend for himself in a foreign environment. “Cursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God in pity made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of your’s, more horrid from its very resemblance.” He also mentions his experience of abuse at the hands of society. The creature reveals that his misfortune and anguish provoked him to seek revenge. “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice” (pg 160). The switch in perspective gives us insight into the creature’s thoughts and emotions. Being able to do so gives us a different interpretation of pursuing knowledge and scientific discovery. The discovery of science and knowledge is not perilous but can develop into something dangerous through maltreatment and abuse. So the message changes from knowledge is dangerous to it is only dangerous when it is misused by society. “Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me?” (pg 160). Knowledge has great power so in order to avoid the consequences that entail it people need to be accountable for their discoveries.

Even though Mary Shelley wrote this novel two hundred years ago, the message she conveys is still relevant in today’s society. Frankenstein was one of the first novels to introduce the foundation for scrutinizing the integrity and ethics of research and development projects. In today’s society, we have encapsulated the words advancement and progression in our basic definition of science. So much so that many people assume that scientific advancement is synonymous with better and easier lives. For instance, self-driving cars are expeditiously gaining popularity. The idea of driverless cars presents many benefits like increase driving efficiency and reduce traffic accidents. However, there are many unintended consequences that accompany autonomous vehicles. Self-driven cars need to be able to react to every unexpected situation on the road and accidents are bound to happen. What if a child jumps in front of a car and there is not enough time to break? Does the car continue and hurt the child? Steer towards the sidewalk, possibly hurting pedestrians? Does it collide with oncoming traffic and possibly hurt the driver and the passengers? Who determines who the victims are in case of an accident? And who is to responsible?