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The Misconceptions of FRANKENSTEIN
To Think It Started All A. . . As Mary Shelley’s Original Intent
In the beginning. . . • The idea stemmed from a contest • While at Lord Byron’s house, he suggested that all present should create a ghost story. • From a dream Frankenstein was born.
The dream “I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some power engine show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful it must be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. ”
The Novel • Gothic Novel • Type of romantic novel • Setting: – Dark, stormy night
The novels emphasis. . . Rationalism: Need for intellect when seeking out the secrets of the universe Romanticism: Shows the importance and emotions of individual needs
The Characters The Monster Victor
Victor Frankenstein • Brilliant • Rational • Self-centered Eventually finds the importance of: • Friendship • Family • Love
The Monster • Brutal • Destructive • • Yet… Rational Eloquent Longs for affection Has unbalanced intellect and emotion
What’s in a name? To Shelley a “Frankenstein” was: any creation that ultimately destroys its creator. Though the monster was not called Frankenstein, it was in fact a type of frankenstein.
The events • Shelley made the murders occur as if they were a story being retold. – The murders were always discovered after the fact • This added to the fact that Victor was retelling the entire novel.
Effect • Shelley created a focus on the grief of the characters rather than the grisly details of the murder or the horrible condition of the body. • She never lingers over gory details.
To conclude… • Shelley created a Gothic novel that raised social questions dealing with science and responsibility. • The characters were both intellectual, yet there emotions often got in the way.
Mary Shelley’s Vision – Mary Shelley created a monster who was more like a gentle giant as opposed to the heartless brute as seen in the cinematic representations of her 1816 novel “Frankenstein”. Her monster was one of acquired intelligence while the movies made him out to be a complete moron.
What happened to the Vision? • The first misrepresentation of the monster can be seen in the 1931 cinematic version of Frankenstein. From this filmmakers interpretation is where the lightning bolts and green terrifying monster come into play. Pretty much a all of the Frankenstein movies that were to follow took their cue from the stereotypical vision set forth in the first version.
Intellectual differences • According to the popular public opinion Frankenstein is simply a mindless zombie created in the name of science by an insane scientist. According to the original text by Mary Shelley the monster in fact adapts to his surroundings and teaches himself to speak by observing others.
The popular Monster • Big • Green • mindless killing machine zombie guy • The creation story • Frankenstein’s name • usually violent
The actual Monster • Human like qualities • capable of acquiring knowledge • no bolts in the neck • gentle • lonely • innocent
What’s With the name? • In all actuality the name Frankenstein is in fact the name of the creator and not the creation. According to the original text the monster was never given a name but was referred to as “His creation”, or the “Monster”.
Let’s Set the story straight • 1931 Version • creation of the monster • Monster presented as a moron • appearance of the monster • name of the monster • 1994 Version • creation according to original text • intellectual integrity reinstated • appearance of the monster according to the text
The Evolution of the Story in. . . Print, Theater, and Film
Print • First published January 1818 • Has not been out of print since • Immediately influenced pop culture through print, including political cartoons • Artists of political cartoons needed to be able to convey a complex idea through a single, recognizable image & so used the monster
Theater • • A blockbuster of its time 1823 - Presumption or Fate of Frankenstein Did not use Mary Shelley’s dialogue Playwrights changed the story & invented new deaths for the creature - shipwreck, lightning bolt • Has been well over 100 stage versions • Theater has most versions out of all mediums
Film • More motion pictures deal with Frankenstein than any other theme this century • This is where most people get their idea of Frankenstein from; millions have seen a movie, & in comparison few actually read the book • Began in 1910 with a silent film by Edison • 2 other silent versions
The 30’s • Frankenstein (1931) • Bride of Frankenstein (1935) • Son of Frankenstein (1939) • 1931 Universal took first stab at major motion picture of story • James Whale directed - was homosexual & it is believed he understood being an outsider • Boris Karloff played monster because he had “cadaverous features” • Movie returned $12 million - 48 x its original cost; immediately a hit, called for sequels • In Bride of Frankenstein, creature speaks“Alone…bad…Friend…good” • Karloff was against speaking; thought it took away charm • Bride doesn’t want him • To create monster, makeup artist Jack Pierce studied anatomy & found 6 ways a surgeon could cut skull to insert brain; square was easiest
The 40’s • Robot Wrecks (1941) • Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) • House of Frankenstein (1944) • Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) • Franchise alive & well • Karloff no longer monster • Realized end of monster craze was coming… • Scream show was new hit, with the monster in person
• • The 50’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) Frankenstein-1970 (1958) Tales of Frankenstein (1958) (TV) The Teenage Frankenstein (1959) The Teenage Frankenstein Meets the Teenage Werewolf (1959) • Curse of Frankenstein was done by the British & was 1 st in color; a success that called for sequels • Boris Karloff now plays Victor • Frankenstein-1970 is set in the future • Shifts to Gothic period settings
The 60’s • • • • Orlak, el infierno de Frankenstein (1960) Frankenstein, el vampiro y compañía (1962) The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon (1965) Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster (1965) Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966) Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles (1966) Frankenstein Mark II (1966) (TV) The Son of Frankenstein (1966) Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) Mad Monster Party (1967) Frankenstein (1968) (TV) Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) • Started taking weird twists • Frankenstein Meets the Space monster is considered a horrible movie • Knockoffs from the Japanese start appearing, where there is a Godzilla-sized Frankenstein creature • Mad Monster Party is an animated version • The Munsters debuted in 1964; Herman Munster closely resembles the Boris Karloff Frankenstein monster
• • • • • • The 70’s The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) Flick (1970) Monstruos del terror, Los (1970) Daughter of Frankenstein (1971) Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1971) Santo contra la hija de Frankenstein (1971) Drácula contra Frankenstein (1972) Frankenstein 80 (1972) Blackenstein (1973) Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) (TV) Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) (TV) Young Frankenstein (1974) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) Terror! Il castello delle donne maledette (1974) Santo y Blue Demon contra el doctor Frankenstein (1974) Allen and Rossi Meet Dracula and Frankenstein (1974) Frankenstein: Une histoire d'amour (1974) (TV) Frankenstein all'italiana (1975) Sevimli Frankestayn (1975) Victor Frankenstein (1977) • Becomes such a well-known story that it is satirized and spoofed – The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Young Frankenstein • The 1973 television version is considered to be one of the most authentic • Young Frankenstein is actually more accurate than most versions because they play off of the book as well as past films
The 80’s • • • Kyofu densetsu: Kaiki! Furankenshutain (1981) (TV) Frankenstein Island (1981) Frankenstein (1984) (TV) Frankenstein 90 (1984) Frankenstein Punk (1986) The Vindicator (1986) Frankenstein (1987) (TV) "Frankensteinova teta" (1987) (mini) Frankenstein General Hospital (1988) Frankenstein de Moisés Neto Versão Muda, O (1989)
The 90’s • • • • • • • • Frankenstein (1990) Frankenhooker (1990) Frankenstein Unbound (1990) Edison's Frankenstein (1990) Ritorno dalla morte (1991) No Telling (1991) Frankenstein: The College Years (1991) (TV) Frankenstein: A Cinematic Scrapbook (1991) Frankenstein Meets the Chipmunks (1991) (TV) Frankenstein (1992) Frankenstein (1993) (TV) "Frankenstein Follies" (1993) Atomic Samurai (1993) Frankenstein (1994) It's Alive: The True Story of Frankenstein (1994) (TV) Monster Mash: The Movie (1995) The Interactive History of Frankenstein (1995) 100 Years of Horror: The Frankenstein Family (1996) Frankenstein and Me (1996) Making Frankensense of 'Young Frankenstein' (1996) Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster (1996) "House of Frankenstein 1997" (1997) (mini) Gods and Monsters (1998) Billy Frankenstein (1998) Lust for Frankenstein (1998) Frankenstein Reborn! (1998) Boy Frankenstein (1998) Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (1999) Rock 'n' Roll Frankenstein (1999) The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster (1999) She's Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein (1999) • Young Frankenstein: Building the Perfect Beast (1999) (TV) • • The 1994 film with Robert Deniro finally takes Shelley’s story seriously & includes a sense of the creature as a dignified person & includes the same beginning & ending as the novel; image of monster is more accurate; puts themes back into story Frankenstein Unbound – travels back in time to meet Dr. Frankenstein & Shelley, comes back & only 2 people on earth is himself & monster
Currently • Frankenstein & the Werewolf Reborn! (2000) • Mistress Frankenstein (2000) • Sangre de Frankenstein, La (2002) • Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster (2003) (TV) • Hung Frankenstein (2003) • Frankenstein (2004) (TV) • My Step Brother Frankenstein (2004) • Frankenstein Vs. the Creature From Blood Cove (2005) • Viva Frankenstein (2005)) • • The past decades have also seen many Frankenstein commercials, including for Pepsi, cereal, Dairy Queen, & the current Aaflac commercial • 200 years after teenager Shelley wrote down her dream, it is still expanded and built upon
Works Cited • MSN Encarta • Imdb. com • A&E Home Video – “The True Story of Frankenstein” • Cartoonstock. com • Cinemacom. com/frankenstein. html