Frankenstein, the big green monster with bolts jutting out from its neck, is violent and terrifying. This is what the modern day image of Frankenstein has evolved into that has become a common Halloween costume for children and a spine shivering campfire story. But this is not how Mary Shelley pictured the monster when she wrote the novel, Frankenstein, back in 1818. Due to the effect of Hollywood and peoples perception of this story over time, Frankenstein, who is in fact nameless in Shelley’s novel and is actually the scientists name who created the monster, has turned out to be nothing of what the intended meaning of Frankenstein was originally. Ever since the story of Frankenstein has been published, people have tried to understand and explain what the true meaning of this historical novel is about. There are hints toward the story of Adam and Eve and how Shelley’s story portrays a (God-like representation of mankind) while others have thought how Shelley demonstrates a female perspective throughout the story. And while there are many more explanations, what a lot of people don’t know about this story is that many of the events that take place throughout Frankenstein are inspired events from Mary Shelley’s life and the effects those events had on her. So while time has changed the look of the monster, people have argued the meaning of Frankenstein, what this story represents, and why Mary Shelley wrote this story. But all people will ever have are only guesses as to what Shelley really intended the reader to get out of her novel.
“The green-faced creature with bolts in his neck, wearing a jacket and stumbling away from torch-bearing peasants, has little in common with the creature depicted in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, but has superseded her creation in the popular imagination” (Castantakis, 1). This is exactly how Hollywood portrayed the monster in the film Frankenstein, in 1931. But this is also the exact opposite of how Shelley saw her monster when she was writing her story. Throughout history, technology has improved and movies have become more and more popular. Soon thereafter movies were first introduced and books became the main inspiration for production. Because Shelley’s story was based on an intriguing monster, it was a “no-brainer to producers that Frankenstein would become a movie.
But the producers had to create a monster that was like no other so that people would remember who Frankenstein, the green-faced creature, was. “There is no doubt that its cultural relevance was increased when Boris Karloff wore the meticulous and carefully researched make-up of Jack Pierce of Universal Studios. This gave us our visual image of Mary's 'nightmare' even though there were glaring inaccuracies (and inconsistencies) in the film's narrative” (Hammond, 1). Because the audience needed to have some visual to connect to the name Frankenstein, the directors of the film decided to make their own interpretation of the monster even though it was different from what Shelley described. Because of this, many people who had not read the book, but only saw the film believed that this is how the monster was also imagined in the author’s point of view.
“Mary chose not to name the creature in her book and it is for this reason that so many people who have not read Mary's original book believe that Frankenstein is the name of the monster” (Hammond, 1). This is another misconception that many people believe to be true. The monsters name was not actually called “Frankenstein.” This was the last name of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who was the scientist that created the monster. Hollywood only enforced this due to the books title as Frankenstein. Shelley didn’t do this unintentionally though; she wanted the monster to be somewhat of an out casted from society. She wanted the audience to know that this monster was a creation and did not belong. In doing this, the story is enhanced and this illustrates to the reader...
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