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Going modern with Frankenstein

Hey everyone, I am sad to say that this is the last blog I will be doing on Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein. However, that’s enough about that–I don’t want to make this too sappy. In this blog I am going to discuss how the science used by Frankenstein to create and bring the MONSTER to life in the book is similar to the medical science/technology we use today. I decided to include the picture of my dog again but this time, I represented Frankenstein building the monster by “building” my own dog.  

To start off, Victor uses different body parts from dead corpses as puzzle pieces to put together–or as you might say create–the monster. In the book, the way Shelley describes the scene when Victor is creating the monster makes it sound quite creepy as he was meddling with human corpses alone in his laboratory. However, today we obviously don’t use random body parts from dead corpses to build a completely new human, but we do use limbs and organs from them in order to save someone’s life. So, it is similar to what Frankenstein does in the book, except he is not saving someone’s life, he is creating it. I apologize in advance that I am going to make this a little sappy again but that’s only because it’s a perfect example of how we use this type of science/technology in modern day society. To keep this short and to the point, my grandma had stage 3 lung cancer and wasn’t going to live to see the birth of my beautiful cousin Nathan but because of the advanced technology, the doctors were able to do a lung transplant and give my grandma a brand-new lung. Having the transplant added a few more years onto her life, and granted her wish to see the birth of my cousin and to spend a couple more years with her loving family. However, lungs are definitely not the only thing that can be transplanted. In all honesty, receiving transplants are very popular in our world today and save many peoples lives. Also, I wanted to include another type of transplant that is really fascinating and can relate to Frankenstein, which is a skin transplant. In this case the skin can come from parts of your own body such as your buttocks to fix somewhere else on your body when something happens to your skin. For example, when you burn yourself really badly, the skin protecting that part of the body is no longer able to do that because it is damaged so, a skin transplant is the perfect way to fix that. In comparison to the book, Victor is doing one big transplant surgery when he is creating the monster. All of the body parts Victor used which includes the skin all came from other human beings and were “transplanted” to make a completely new human or monster you might say; kind of cool if you think about it.

Another example of how modern science is similar to that in Frankenstein is how Victor uses bits and pieces of different parts of the body to build something totally new and how he reattached body parts from one human to make a new one; the monster! To relate that to modern day science I found this really interesting article on how we can regrow someone’s ear. This is a proven study where scientists use 3-D prints and cultured cells to grow new ears for kids who were born with an ear defect called microtia. To some it up, what basically happens is that the doctors use “cartilage cells called chondrocytes from the children’s microtia ears and used them to grow new ear-shaped cartilage” (Howard, 2018). This is similar to what Frankenstein did to create the monster because Victor took things like cartilage from dead corpses and used it to create something new; the body parts for the monster. I don’t know if this fascinates you as much as it does to me but, just think—soon people will have ear gardens! Just kidding, that would be cool though! In addition to that, we also have the resources to reattach certain body parts if they somehow fall off. For example, if you were slicing a watermelon and you accidently cut off your finger, doctors can take the part of your finger that you cut off and reattach it with stitches. This is similar to what Frankenstein did to create the monster except he purposely cut of dead people’s limbs and didn’t exactly reattach them to the same body. In modern times when someone donates their organs its is a very noble thing to do. However, is what victor is doing really considered noble? In my opinion what victor has done is very morbid. He stole human corpses and used the body parts from them to create a monster that ended up killing innocent people. In contrast, today we have forms you have to fill out and sign so it is completely your choice if you want to donate your organs or not, meaning you can’t just go and swap arms with The Rock for fun.

In relation to that, Frankenstein brought the monster to life through the use of electric charge which is very similar to how we bring someone back to life. In contrast, we of course don’t bring new life into the world through the use of electric shock but we do, however, use an electric shock to bring the heart back to a normal rhythm when someone suffers cardiac arrest. I thought it was very interesting that we can relate something like defibrillators that we use everyday in our world to something so un common and made out to be so negative in Frankenstein. However, bringing someone to life and bringing someone back to life is very different! As you can see, the similarities between victor and a modern doctor are prevalent, they represent how society has evolved since this time era. Though, there are many different reasons to say that Victor is nothing like a modern doctor as well. For example, many of his techniques and methods to creating the monster are unrealistic and seemed to be almost “magic-like”. If modern doctors had the ability to shock life into their own creation of a “human”, would they do it? I am not a doctor but, after reading what happened in the book, I don’t think I would.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed reading Frankenstein and thought it was very interesting how the science/technology used to create the supernatural aspects within the novel, wasn’t all that different to what we use in medical science today. Except for the fact that we don’t create some kind of creepy monster with it. I really hope my blogs can help you realize something that you might not have noticed while reading the book yourself. One last thing, Frankenstein is NOT the monster! Don’t believe the movies, they lie to you.

References
Ayden, Scott, and Snyder, Mandy. “AEDs: High-Tech Help for Cardiac Arrest.” Ice Packs vs. Warm Compresses For Pain – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=2199.
Howard, Jacqueline. “Scientists Grow New Ears for Children with Defect.” CNN, Cable News Network, 31 Jan. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/01/29/health/growing-ears-on-humans-study/index.html.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.

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Getting sappy with Frankenstein

Hey, did you miss me? Well guess what I am back and ready to attack. As I read further in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, I couldn’t help but notice how the negative environment and surrounding individuals influence the MONSTER to be the kind hearted but devious creature he is. I added the picture of my puppy because I thought he looked sad and cute, and he physically represented the way the monster was feeling.

To start off, Victor Frankenstein who created the monster has a gigantic impact on the psychological well-being of the monster. First, he chose to create the monster on “a dreary night of November” (Shelley, 58). Having the environment dark and depressing instead of bright and happy brought negativity to the awakening monster and definitely had a negative influence on the monster’s overall persona. The first time the monster opened his eyes and saw the world, all that was present was fear and darkness, which isn’t a good first impression. In relation to that, when the monster first awoke, he was greeted with the look of horror on Victors face and shortly after that left alone to fend for himself, as victor fled faster than a cheetah on steroids. Another way victor impacts the monsters well-being is how he continuously put him down, for example when victor said, “Devil, I exclaimed, do you dare approach me? … begone, vile insect” (Shelley, 104). This is a perfect example of victor directly calling the monster a devil and an insect, this is basically stating that the monster is the king of evil and is dirty/grotesque. I don’t know about you, but if someone referred to me as a bug, I wouldn’t feel very good about myself. Victor is supposed to be the father figure for the monster, but because he treats him so terribly and is never there for him, the monster feels that he needs to seek revenge to get back at him. I’m not going to tell you how he gets his revenge because that will just spoil the book, just know that he could have handled the situation A LOT better.

I addition to that, the De Lacey family also greatly impacts the monster’s behavior. Just to give you a little insight on who the De Lacey family is, they are a family that the monster encounters/watches in a small village in the country side. The monster is very intrigued by the family as he spends a large amount of time studying their lives and eventually starts to even grow feelings of love for them. To begin, the monster observes the family’s daily activities and learns the basics of life, such as cutting wood, gardening and simply just how to interact with other people. Thus, the monster has learned all positive attributes so far. From watching the family for so long the monster began to learn the bits and pieces of their language and started to secretly help out with some of their chores in order to make the family’s life easier (very kind-hearted thing to do). Also, from observing the family, he learned how to keep a routine and how to help other people when necessary. However, one of the main things the monster learned from the family was compassion as he started to feel sad when they were sad and happy when they were happy, he even tried to make them happy by collecting/cutting fire wood for them every night anonymously just to help out. The monster loves the family, they taught him the basics of life, they showed him what love really looks like, but they however never showed him what it was like to feel loved. Don’t worry I will get into how the De Lacey influenced the monsters devious side in the next paragraph, I just wanted you to see that the monster did truly have a kind heart at some point in the novel.

Lastly, the overall negative environment brought out the devious side in the monster. Everyone was scared of the monster because of his appearance. He doesn’t look like everybody else, but is that really a bad thing? The monster is so self-conscious about how he looks that he won’t even speak to anyone. In relation to that, he did speak to the father of the De Lacey family because he is blind and cannot judge him for his complexion. However, it all took a twist once the rest of the family saw him. They got really scared and beat him up! That wasn’t the only time he got beat up either, the whole village attacked him the first time he arrived. All of this sounds quite familiar to life today, everyone says don’t judge a book by its cover, yet we do it all the time. The terrible actions that the people have towards the monster in the book is a perfect example of how we judge people before we get to know them. Did you see anyone take the time to get to know the monster? No, I didn’t think so. Today we hide our true selves behind makeup and accessories because we are scared of what people might think of us if we actually be ourselves. To spend every moment of everyday scared to speak to people or to leave your home because you think someone might say something mean or judge you is horrible. I can almost guarantee that you have thought something along these lines in your life time, I know I have. Now imagine, this is what the monster goes through every single day, he spends months upon months trapped away in his hovel as he is scared to leave because every time he does, there is never a good outcome. I honestly don’t blame him for being angry, however, I don’t agree with the way he chose to handle his anger. You will have to read the book to find out if you agree with me or not.

Overall, the monster loves the De Lacey family and victor his creator; however, they both treat him so terribly, and he doesn’t understand how control his emotions. All he wants is for them to love him and neither of them do it thus resulting in hatred towards himself; he thinks he’s worthless. He also shows hatred towards victor because he is who created him in the first place. Having everything he loves slip away, or in this case, beat out of him just triggered his kind heart to become crushed and turn a little devious.
References
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.

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