Book Review

Powerful Essays
Book Review: Frankenstein
Instructor: Brian T. Crumley
HIS 162
Alvin Barnes
15 February 2015

In this modern era, it is very easy to get lost in the recent advances in motion picture special effects. The introductions of computer graphic imagery and green screens helped movie studios globally to create exciting and eye appealing productions. In prior years, a movie encouraged more writers to focusing on complex characters, dynamic and tightly woven story plots. The 1931 Frankenstein movie was a masterpiece that introduced a great piece of Gothic literature, as it used state of the art effects of the time to weave a thought-provoking story around good theatrical actors. The result produced one of Universal Pictures first successes, as the studio adapted Peggy Webbing’s 1927 theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelly’s original novel. Universal Pictures weaved pieces of old myths and literature into a more digestible presentation and introduced it to a wider audience. The Frankenstein production was a dramatic horror in the tradition of Gothic Literature of the previous 100 years, which combined a frightening atmosphere with a sensual or romantic story line among the drama. According to the New Claxton Encyclopedia, gothic literature of the time came from intellectual cynicism against the “Enlightenment” era, from approximately 1700 to1800. Many intellectuals believed that the over-exuberance of rationalization and scientific reasoning, at the extreme would lead to the depersonalization and dehumanization of the human race. This counter-ideal caused many writers to pen expressions valuing the intangible experiences of human life, in areas of passions being unrestrained, social and internal isolation, and exotic or remote locations.
The movie contains the same overtones of the theatrical play and novel, stating the questions of how far would “Enlightenment” take the human society and the consequences. Evil and good are very



Cited: American Film Institute. 100 Best Films of the 20th Century. 10 July 2007. 6 October 2012 Frankenstein. Dir. James Whale. Universal Pictures. 1931.2007.DVD New King James Version Bible. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1982. Milton, John. Paradise Lost. London: S. Simmons, 1674.

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