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.
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.