The Cycle of Hate

The movie Incendies is about two siblings discovering the past of their mother and lost brother. One of the major themes of film is the cycle of hate that is revolves around the conflict between the Muslims and the Christian groups. The two groups try to seek revenge on each other for acts that they did in the past, which keeps the cycle of hate going.  This same theme can be seen in the conflicts between Frankenstein and his creation with opportunities to break the cycle not being taken.

An anti-war poster that shows the cycle of hate.

The cycle begins with the mistreatment of the monster by Frankenstein and other people. After creating the monster, Dr. Frankenstein along with the other humans despise him (Shelly 105). In retaliation, the monster kills William and frames it on Justine, which results in her execution(154). This is the start of the cycle of hate that will continue throughout the book. By loving the monster instead of hating it, Dr. Frankenstein could have prevented the all of the terrible events that came after this and would have made the book a lot less depressing.

Later in the story, Dr. Frankenstein is given the perfect opportunity to break the cycle of hate. After the monster telling him the story of his life, the monster gives him the offer to end the conflict if Victor will create a female monster for him, so that he will not have to live a miserable life alone. Initially, Victor agrees, but later breaks his promise because of is hatred of the monster(159,181). This was a missed opportunity to bury the hatchet and to prevent the body count from rising. If he just looked at the facts instead of his feelings, he would have seen that following through was better in the long run.

The cycle ultimately ends with a disappointing outcome. On the death bed of Dr. Frankenstein he says that, “I feel that burning hatred and ardent desire of revenge I once expressed… The task of his destruction was mine, but I have failed”(235). This shows that even on his death bed, he still desired revenge against the monster that he had created.

It is disappointing to see two people waste so much time and cause the deaths of many people just to seek revenge on each other.  At multiple points it was possible to break the cycle if the two would forget the past and get along with each other, but hatred prevented this. If there is anything to take away from this it would be that getting your revenge is not always the best idea and it would be better to forgive the person and move on with life.

Works Cited

“Bomb Science 101.” Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, 7 Dec. 2015, www.peaceandjustice.org/bomb-science-101/
Villeneuve, Denis, director. Incendies. micro_scope, 2010.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Penguin Group, 2013.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Built for Survival

During the monster’s narration in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the monster travels the over 600km journey from Ingolstadt to Geneva, all on foot.  During this time, he had to survive against the harsh elements and terrain, while also collecting food. Looking at the conditions of which he had to face will allow one to tell how well Dr. Frankenstein has built the monster for survival.

One of the things to look at is the climate. From the book, one can find that the monster throughout his journey has lasted about year (Shelly 142). This shows that he had to endure all the seasons of the year. Additionally, one  can predict what he is wearing. In the book, the author wrote, “I had covered myself with some clothes, but these were insufficient to secure me from the dews of nights” (109). From this, it can be determined that he is not wearing any heavy clothing in order to stay warm during the cold nights. He is probably wearing a basic shirt, pants and maybe a light coat. The start and end point are already known, showing that the monster experienced the climates of Switzerland and southern Germany. Annual temperature data from the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology shows that the climate is more mild in the north of the country and can get quite cold in the mountains and in the south of the country (“The Climate of Switzerland”). This show that through the worst parts of the monster’s trek through the mountains, he had to deal with freezing temperatures. All of this shows how remarkably the Frankenstein monster has been built to handle cold climate. The most likely way of doing this would have been done by giving the monster a good amount of insulating body fat.

Another thing to look at is the physical geography. The area is very mountainous with there being the Jura mountain range in the north of Switzerland and the Alps covering in the south (Briney). This troubling terrain would have made it challenging if it were not for the fact that he is very strong. Dr. Frankenstein said that ”another flash discovered him to me hanging among the rocks of the nearly perpendicular ascent of Mont Salêve… He soon reached the summit and disappeared” (71-80). This demonstrates the monster’s strength and courage to be able to climb up the perpendicular side of the mountain and reach the top without any climbing gear. Dr. Frankenstein must have given him some big muscles and hands that were capable of gripping rock to be able to complete that feat.

A photo of the Swiss Alps by Steve Evans.

An additional thing to check would be his food source. Frankenstein says that “I abstained and satisfied myself with berries, nuts and roots” (118). This gives an insight into the typical diet of the Frankenstein monster. To look at the nutritional value of this diet, the wild blueberries that grow in Switzerland will be used as an example (Misicka). The amount of calories in 100g of blueberries is 57 (Palsdottir). The average adult male needs around 2500 calories daily(Gunnars). Doing some math shows that the monster would have to find and eat around 4.4kg of blueberries to get enough calories in a day. Although this would not paint the whole picture,  since he would be burning a lot more calories exercising and he would be eating a variety of different things, this does show that he would need to spend a large portion of his day just looking for food. Because he spent more of his time doing things other than scavenging for food, Dr. Frankenstein probably gave him a low metabolism. This would have allowed him to need less energy in order to operate and therefore less food that he had to eat.

This what Dr. Frankenstein might have done to make the monster fit for survival. This makes the monster quite similar to the super mutants of the game Fallout. The reason for that being that the two were created by humans, could survive in their environments very well, and were not appealing to the eye.

References

“Annual Course Series for Temperature-Sunshine-Precipitation.” MeteoSwiss, Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, 1 Nov. 2018, www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/home/climate/the-climate-of-switzerland/annual-course-series-for-temperature-sunshine-precipitation.html.

Briney, Amanda. “Switzerland: History, Economics, Geography.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 9 Apr. 2019, www.thoughtco.com/geography-of-switzerland-1435616.

Evans, Steve. “Swiss Alps 003.” Wikimedia Commons, 3 Jan. 2012, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swiss_Alps_003_(6815891681).jpg#filelinks.

Fallout. PC, 1997.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Penguin Group, 2013.

Gunnars, Kris. “How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day to Lose Weight?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 July 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day.

Misicka, Susan, and Ester Unterfinger. “A Sweet Treat for Hunter-Gatherers.” SWI Swissinfo.ch, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, 15 May 2017, www.swissinfo.ch/eng/blueberry_a-sweet-treat-for-hunter-gatherers/43171330.

Palsdottir, Hrefna. “Blueberries 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 20 Feb. 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/blueberries.

“The Climate of Switzerland.” MeteoSwiss, Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, 1 Nov. 2018, www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/home/climate/the-climate-of-switzerland.html.

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

Frankenstein – The Sci-Fi that’s Nothing Like a Sci-Fi

One of the first stories of the sci-fi genre was the iconic Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Since its creation in 1823, around 200 years has past and the genre as a whole has changed a lot. Now, Frankenstein does not share a strong resemblance with the science fiction of today.

One of the biggest changes in the genre was its focus on scientific and technological advancements. The book mainly focuses on the advancements in biology through the creation of the monster. Dr. Frankenstein discusses how he collected parts of animals and humans (Shelly 55). When bringing the creature to life he describes it by saying that, “His skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath”(58). This shows Dr. Frankenstein focus on advancing the science of biology. This quite different from modern science fiction since it focuses on the advancement of technology and physics. A perfect example of this is the popular franchise Star Wars where one sees space ships traveling at the speed of light, robot armies and guns that use lasers instead of bullets. These are some of the many advancements of technology and physics that are seen in today’s science fiction. As one can see, the difference creates a large contrast between the focus of scientific advancements in Frankenstein and modern science fiction.

Another interesting difference between the two is the time where everything takes place. In modern science fiction, most of the stories take place far into the future. For example, the video game series, Halo takes place in the twenty second century. Occasionally, there are stories like Back to the Future where characters travel between points of time. The interesting thing about Frankenstein is that it takes place in the past. In the letters that Robert Walton wrote to his sister, he wrote that the year was “17–” (10). This shows that the story was set sometime in the eighteenth century making it take place in the past, since the book was published in 1823.

The City of Cologne in the 18th century.

The City of Coruscant.

The difference in time also changes the effects of setting in the story. In Frankenstein we expect to see the 18th century towns made of stone and wooden buildings and a dirt or stone road. They are also void of electricity or plumbing. In the country side of Europe, one sees flat fields, large forests and tall mountains. In contrast, movies like Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones contain densely packed cities fill with massive metal sky scrapers and flying cars.  There are also the varying landscapes of the distant planets (Lucas). These two setting are very different and both contain their own atmosphere and style.

This is what makes Frankenstein nothing like the newer stories in the science fiction genre. It really demonstrates how the genre has changed over the years.

Works Cited
“Galactic Backpacking, Part 6: Visiting Real-World Coruscant and More.” StarWars.com, Disney, 4 June 2015, www.starwars.com/news/galactic-backpacking-part-6-visiting-real-world-coruscant-and-more.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Xbox one, 2014.

Lucas, George, director. Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 20th Century Fox Film Corp., 2002.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Penguin Group, 2013.

“Wikimedia Commons.” Wikimedia Commons, 13 July 2013, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Cologne_in_the_1700s.
Posted in Uncategorized.
Skip to toolbar