"Snowflake Students" defending Frankenstein's Monster: The horror!
March 7, 2018 9:29 AM   Subscribe

We're at the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein. But the tabloid The Sun (UK) was horrified to discover that 'snowflake students' are correctly surmising that we can read the monster as the victim. Then Twitter and Buzzfeed got in on the fun and came up with other "snowflake" summations of famous literary works.
posted by TwoStride (84 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sad Puppies now have the entire history of Science Fiction from iit's founding document to complain about.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on March 7 [16 favorites]


Obvious click-bait article from The Sun. Moving on...
posted by Pendragon at 9:44 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


I kind of hated the monster when I read the book a gazillion years ago. I hated that he felt his existence was abhorrent, yet his brilliant solution was to pester the doctor into making him a girlfriend?

Like if your existence is such a curse why would you want to curse someone else, with the added bonus that you don't even care about their consent to be in a relationship with a whiny asshole?

Fuck you, monster.
posted by Tarumba at 9:48 AM on March 7 [36 favorites]


Note that none of the links actually go to The Sun and I would not recommend clicking on any link that does. Can confirm the story they run is as stupid as it sounds and not obviously humor or a deliberate mistake or anything. I'd categorise this assault on a classic of British literature as an attempt at cultural vandalism in the name of bolstering fascism, but lets face it that's every last thing they do.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on March 7 [11 favorites]


Also: Actually his name is Adam, the real monster is the doctor.
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on March 7 [17 favorites]


I hated that he felt his existence was abhorrent, yet his brilliant solution was to pester the doctor into making him a girlfriend?

Sometimes people feel like they're monstrous or alien because they're different. Then they find others like them, and they don't feel so "other" any more.
posted by explosion at 9:51 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


...how is that a snowflake interpretation? He does kill a few people in the course of the book, but he was also treated poorly by everyone. In one instance he was shot while saving someone I think. He's a nice dude, or wants to be, but everyone is assholes to him. I just don't think this is a good story to make a joke or point about snowflakism or whatever, he's a tragic character who didn't ask to be created and when he was he tried to be a civil and kind person. Isn't the whole point of the story kind of one of those "we are the monsters" things? At the very least Dr. Frankenstein is a monster.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:52 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


The idea of subtext was actually invented by the Frankfurt School of Marxist ideology to corrupt young minds. Conservative common sense, of course, holds that Frankenstein is about the threat of change and tampering with the natural order of things.

(🍔, but some people undoubtedly actually believe this.)
posted by acb at 9:53 AM on March 7 [9 favorites]


"Sometimes people feel like they're monstrous or alien because they're different. Then they find others like them, and they don't feel so "other" any more."

Sure but he whined nonstop about how the doctor had no right to bring him into existence, yet it's okay for him to bring another creature into the mix because he's lonely.

Double standards, is all I'm saying.
posted by Tarumba at 9:54 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


The creature makes a lot of really good points about how Dr. Frankenstein is a dick who abandoned him, but he also wants a woman brought into existence solely to make him happy without really even considering the possibility that she will have an internal life of her own*. If he were just hard done by or just evil it would be a much less interesting and complex book.

*This book was written by a very intelligent woman who spent time hanging out with Lord Byron and I feel like that's not a coincidence.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:59 AM on March 7 [74 favorites]


Sure but he whined nonstop about how the doctor had no right to bring him into existence, yet it's okay for him to bring another creature into the mix because he's lonely.

Because the monster is human and this is how humans roll.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


So Frankenstein's monster is basically the patient zero of forever-alone/incel nerd-culture entitlement?
posted by acb at 10:07 AM on March 7 [10 favorites]


Recent comment on The Sun's original article ain't bad:

People are saying the authors of this article didn't read the book but I think it's more like...

-Gary: I just came up with this idea to get outrage-clicks from conservatives AND liberals!
-Thea: Sounds lucrative, what is it?
-Gary: It's- well, real quick though, just to make sure- you don't have any journalistic pride left, do you?
-Thea: *laughs*
-Gary: *laughs*
-Thea: Seriously though, what's the idea?

And it worked, so if they ever feel a twinge of conscience at least they'll have money to comfort themselves

posted by little onion at 10:09 AM on March 7 [14 favorites]


I will always defend the use of the name "Frankenstein" to refer to both creator and creature. The creature has as much right to Victor's name as would any offspring he might produce by conventional means.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:09 AM on March 7 [16 favorites]


So Frankenstein's monster is basically the patient zero of forever-alone/incel nerd-culture entitlement?

No, because Frankenstein's monster has several legit grievances.

Also, he really is foreveralone; it's not just that if he would, like, stop being a negging red-piller he could find a girlfriend.
posted by Frowner at 10:10 AM on March 7 [22 favorites]


snowflake students something something Caliban
posted by Gymnopedist at 10:10 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Not only is he human, but he's a child and children learn from their parents. It's not okay that he does that, but unlike your average Redditor, he has never had any chance to be a part of a society to learn better. Which makes me wonder, if Adam had internet access, would he have turned out better or worse?

All of this is a way more interesting thing to think about than that Sun article, at least.
posted by Sequence at 10:11 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Like if your existence is such a curse why would you want to curse someone else, with the added bonus that you don't even care about their consent to be in a relationship with a whiny asshole?

For the same reason that Dr Frankenstein himself wanted to create the monster in the first place. It's human nature. It's the same impulse in both of them.

The reason that the creature wants a female counterpart in particular is because then together, they will be able to create life through children.

It's about a pathological, destructive, but insatiable urge to procreate, the consequences be damned. Dr. Frankenstein has it, the creature has it, maybe Mary Shelley had it, maybe most of us humans have it, maybe most living things in the universe have it.
posted by rue72 at 10:12 AM on March 7 [14 favorites]


The best bit of this is The Sun's boo-hoo arguing that they were only copying a story from The Times the day before and nobody complained about that one.
posted by chavenet at 10:14 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


If only Adam had lived long enough to see The Shape of Water!
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:15 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


Tangential, but relevant: Lindsay Ellis's recent video on The Shape of Water and monsters in cinema.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:19 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


This book was written by a very intelligent woman who spent time hanging out with Lord Byron and I feel like that's not a coincidence.
@laurenshippen: Mary Shelley didn’t spend a weekend owning gothic fuckbois for you to miss the entire fucking point of her book
posted by Lexica at 10:20 AM on March 7 [47 favorites]


Like if your existence is such a curse why would you want to curse someone else, with the added bonus that you don't even care about their consent to be in a relationship with a whiny asshole?

Also the plot to Passengers, for what it's worth, but much less intelligently addressed.
posted by Think_Long at 10:20 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Nobody is saying that Adam, the creature, isn't awful. They're just saying that there are some external factors in his origin and upbringing (or lack of it) that can explain how he got that way. What's Victor's excuse?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:21 AM on March 7


This story doesn't originate with the Sun: it was published three days previously in the Times, which used to be a serious newspaper of record, apparently:
He is the most famous monster in literature, but as Dr Frankenstein’s creation celebrates his 200th birthday it seems that a new generation of readers are discovering his sensitive side. The sympathies of today’s millennial students often lie with a mistreated creature whose ambiguous near-human status prefigures today’s interest in animal rights, according to a new critical reading. Instead of the terrifying freak of Boris Karloff’s screen portrayal, “the being” can be seen today as an intelligent being whose murderous revenge raises uncomfortable questions about how we treat creatures that are different but disturbingly similar to us.
The thing is, the journalists who staff these newspapers (even the Sun) are well-educated graduates, many with English Literature degrees, who almost certainly know that these stories are nonsense. I mean, you can see by the way the Times article is written: someone who is capable of writing the phrase "a mistreated creature whose ambiguous near-human status prefigures today’s interest in animal rights" is someone who knows perfectly well that this is not a new reading of the novel.

So where are these stories coming from? The word must be coming down from the boss that it is time for the paper to put the boot into the millennials again. The story is another drop in the constant stream of propaganda against young people.
posted by cyanistes at 10:22 AM on March 7 [20 favorites]


If only Adam had lived long enough to see The Shape of Water!

Well, the last we see of him he's floating away on an ice floe, so it's entirely possible he hooked up with an arctic fish person and they lived happily ever after!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:23 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


I thought that Passengers would have been a better (though much darker) film if the heroine had had a twin sister, whom the main character had previously defrosted, had his way with and then, once bored with her, shoved out of an airlock. Sometime later, he defrosts her sister, and halfway through their romance, she starts putting two and two together and realising that something's amiss.
posted by acb at 10:24 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


I just like the Tweets the nonsense has inspired. My favorite: "Loony Liberal Profs Are Teaching Snowflake Students That This Regal Swan Was Once a Hideous Duckling"
posted by TwoStride at 10:24 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Well, the last we see of him he's floating away on an ice floe, so it's entirely possible he hooked up with an arctic fish person and they lived happily ever after!

Slashfic, go!
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:24 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


What's Victor's excuse?

He's mad?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:25 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Instead of the terrifying freak of Boris Karloff’s screen portrayal, “the being” can be seen today as an intelligent being whose murderous revenge raises uncomfortable questions about how we treat creatures that are different but disturbingly similar to us.

Even the Karloff version suggests some sympathy for the creature who's loved by no one.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 10:25 AM on March 7 [10 favorites]


So where are these stories coming from?

Somebody has an impulse to create, they create something that never asked to be born, it gets misunderstood, and someone involved gets labelled a monster.

I think that's the cycle.
posted by nubs at 10:26 AM on March 7 [18 favorites]


"It's about a pathological, destructive, but insatiable urge to procreate, the consequences be damned."

First of all, that was a rethorical question. Second, to me, that sounds a lot like a general justification for the objectification of women, who are very usually seen as being there for the purpose of companionship or procreation, not just for the sake of their own existence without being of use to those around them.

That was my interpretation, and it prevented me from feeling sympathy for someone who has the depth of thought to appreciate the tragedy of being seen as nothing more than a thing to use or discard, yet his solution was to do the same thing to someone else.

Maybe others could look past that. I couldn't and felt no pity for him. To me he was not as bad as his creator, but on that spectrum, plus whiny as fuck.

By the time they get to the north pole I was hoping he would die already.
posted by Tarumba at 10:27 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


...how is that a snowflake interpretation? He does kill a few people in the course of the book, but he was also treated poorly by everyone. In one instance he was shot while saving someone I think. He's a nice dude, or wants to be, but everyone is assholes to him. I just don't think this is a good story to make a joke or point about snowflakism or whatever, he's a tragic character who didn't ask to be created and when he was he tried to be a civil and kind person. Isn't the whole point of the story kind of one of those "we are the monsters" things? At the very least Dr. Frankenstein is a monster.

If you read the book this is all clear. If, however, your only exposure to the story was the 1931 film with Boris Karloff, then you don't see this position as such. The film does have a few hat-tips towards Henry Frankenstein dabbling in things he shouldn't be (not "Viktor" - and I'm not clear why they made that change), but mostly, the monster is depicted as basically a wild, senseless animal, and almost like a rabid dog - he is purely driven by instinct, rather than reason, and that plus his strength makes him dangerous. The monster kills a child unwittingly, and the villagers rally into an angry mob bent on revenge; the death of the monster at their hands is depicted as a happy "and then we were saved!" kind of ending.

All the nuance from the book is just plain not there. So if that's your only exposure to the Frankenstein story, trying to argue that he's the victim can come across as pretty ridiculous. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if those snorting about "snowflakeism" haven't ever read the book and are only used to the story as told by Hollywood in the 1930s.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on March 7 [6 favorites]


If only Adam had lived long enough to see The Shape of Water!

Frankenstein Unbound remake!
posted by Artw at 10:32 AM on March 7


If, however, your only exposure to the story was the 1931 film with Boris Karloff

I'm going to be charitable and suggest they maybe watched some Looney Tunes cartoons and browsed the outside of a cereal packet.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on March 7 [10 favorites]


That Chris Smyth article looks to be just as stupid but uses "Millenial" instead of "Snowflake", in what could probably be the basis of a paper of class-based language differences between nazi dumbasses.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on March 7 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure why we're referring to the monster as Adam. The only references to "Adam", in the novel, are to the biblical progenitor of humanity. The monster does say "Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel", but he's comparing himself to Adam, not asserting it as his identity.
posted by howfar at 10:41 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Just how monstrous is the Sun's 'Flakensteins' story?

This is not a story about being too thick to understand a 200-year-old book. No, just as Mary Shelley’s novel was a meditation on humanity dressed up as a horror story, this Sun piece is purely an ideological prejudice dressed up as a cultural phenomenon. It’s about poking fun at millennials, at the brittle snowflake generation who are the beloved target of the balls-out, men’s men of the right. Ha ha, it’s saying. Look at the simpering liberal softies! They feel sorry for the big, bad murderous monster.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:41 AM on March 7 [9 favorites]


Punishing or destroying the creation instead of dealing with the parent/creator... Plus ça change, plus c’est le même chose.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:43 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure why we're referring to the monster as Adam.

The 'Actually' was supposed to denote it as a joke. But the real monster IS the doctor.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


So Frankenstein's monster is basically the patient zero of forever-alone/incel nerd-culture entitlement?

FRIENDZONE BAD
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:44 AM on March 7 [12 favorites]


The Romantics weren't perfect. They seemed to buy in to some of the same principles as the Geek Social Fallacies, for instance. The book makes it pretty clear that both the creature and Victor believe that being cast out from society results in the creature's hatred, though they differ on whether or not human society is justified in this decision. The creature's desire for a companion, as loathsome as it is from our perspective, is treated as natural and understandable by the text. Victor doesn't refuse out of concern for anyone's agency, but because he doesn't want to compound his initial sin of usurping the place of a Creator god. In the show Penny Dreadful, both Victor & the creature are absolutely disgusting MRA-types spouting incel bullshit and generally being just horrible to women, treating them like objects, until it blows up in their faces in a fairly satisfying way.

It's weird how instrumentally Shelley treats this would-be Frankengirlfriend, considering how she develops such a sympathetic portrayal of the creature. I'm not sure what explains it. Maybe being surrounded by bros too high on their own supply to recognize the humanity of people who don't resemble them.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:44 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


He felt his existence was abhorrent, yet his brilliant solution was to pester the doctor into making him a girlfriend?

Dude would be so at-home on the internet.
posted by rokusan at 10:52 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Hard to see the monster as a victim when he has an enormous schwanzstucker.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:54 AM on March 7 [13 favorites]


It's weird how instrumentally Shelley treats this would-be Frankengirlfriend

It is worth noting that Mary Shelley wrote the novel after having a miscarriage that affected her deeply (her diary had entries about the uncanny experience of looking at its dead body, she was haunted by visions of the baby), and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley was like "get over it lol why are you being such a downer, have you thought about having sex with other men to feel better???" (He also drove multiple women to commit suicide during his life.)

Many critics point out that the original version of Frankenstein was a much starker novel, with many passages that seem to pretty directly frame Percy as Dr. Frankenstein, who created life and then just wanted to "move on" and "get back to his regular life" when it all went terribly wrong.

Fun fact: Percy Bysshe Shelly then helpfully "edited" the novel, carefully softening most of the criticisms of himself, and shaping the narrative into more of a Romantic "AH BUT WHAT IS HUMANITY????" style-text, and writing an intro about how Mary tried her very best. And most people read Percy's version, because patriarchy.

(Also Percy had an INTENSE fixation on Mary Shelley's parents, and as soon as he found out they had a daughter he was like "SHE WAS MADE FOR MEEEEEE" and abandoned his pregnant wife to go ask for William Godwin's permission to marry his daughter.)

Anyway Percy Bysshe Shelley was trash, the end.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:59 AM on March 7 [75 favorites]


Do the Sun readers know that it written woman having an affair with a married man (that started at her mother's grave!)... ? Never mind what her companions at the time she came up with the idea were up to...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:59 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]



*This book was written by a very intelligent woman who spent time hanging out with Lord Byron and I feel like that's not a coincidence.


the movie Gothic is somewhat of a mess, but not entirely without insight, particularly with regard to Ms. Shelley and the crowd she was hanging with.
posted by philip-random at 11:15 AM on March 7 [6 favorites]


There was a great article about Mary Shelley in The New Yorker recently: The Strange and Twisted Life of Frankenstein.

As it turns out, the real monster was...
posted by betweenthebars at 11:17 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


Second, to me, that sounds a lot like a general justification for the objectification of women, who are very usually seen as being there for the purpose of companionship or procreation, not just for the sake of their own existence without being of use to those around them.

Dr Frankenstein giving the creature life and the creature demanding that Dr Frankenstein create a female counterpart for him are each instances of the characters going against the Kantean imperative to treat others as ends rather than means, but that's a major theme of the book altogether -- that pro/creation devolves into (maybe is never anything more than) egotistical folly, but, while succumbing to the desire to pro/create is hubris, the temptation to succumb might still be irresistible and nearly universal. And, as the writer who created this story and these characters, Mary Shelley is also implicitly subjecting herself to the same criticism (that creation is hubris) as her creations.

The novel explores the objectification and instrumentality that a creator acts out/feels toward his creations as something inherent to the desire to create (or to the act of creation) -- and thus explores how dark and destructive that desire (or act) may be -- so if the creature did not feel that urge or did not think instrumentally about his hypothetical female counterpart, the novel would be telling a very different story.

I think that this all can be read in the context of bearing children or in the context of creating art -- IMO, preferably both. It's also pretty interesting to think about from a religious context. But, in general, I love Frankenstein, I think even 200 years later, it's an extremely insightful and subversive book.
posted by rue72 at 11:20 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


It's been a while since I read it but I remember Victor as being a pretty annoying simp who spends a lot of the book feeling bad about himself and wringing his hands about "the shame that I have brought on the great name of Frankenstein". The monster is at least an engaging character.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


As it turns out, the real monster was...

"Friends... made... along... way?"
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:38 AM on March 7 [27 favorites]


SO what we're saying here is the real monster was Percy Bysshe Shelly all along?
posted by FritoKAL at 11:39 AM on March 7 [8 favorites]


Just wait until the snowflakes watch the original Blade Runner! HBO's Westworld for extra points. Pay me, Sun.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:45 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Do the Sun readers know

Corollary to Betteridge’s Law: No.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:47 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


As it turns out, the real monster was...

Rupert Murdoch, lich.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:50 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Conservative common sense, of course, holds that Frankenstein is about the threat of change and tampering with the natural order of things.

I've just been recently watching Seen Bean in Netflix's 'The Frankenstein Chronicles', and it took a very odd turn into what felt like a conglomeration of right-wing talking points right at the end of the first season, both in the fashion above and as a reiteration of a slew of fake-news parallels that felt fairly anachronistic. Anyone else have that same issue?
posted by FatherDagon at 12:41 PM on March 7


As it turns out, the real monster was...

who cares? It's a great article ...

If any man served as an inspiration for Victor Frankenstein, it was Lord Byron, who followed his imagination, indulged his passions, and abandoned his children. He was “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” as one of his lovers pronounced, mainly because of his many affairs, which likely included sleeping with his half sister, Augusta Leigh. Byron married in January, 1815, and a daughter, Ada, was born in December. But, when his wife left him, a year into their marriage, Byron was forced never to see his wife or daughter again, lest his wife reveal the scandal of his affair with Leigh. (Ada was about the age Mary Godwin’s first baby would have been, had she lived. Ada’s mother, fearing that the girl might grow up to become a poet, as mad and bad as her father, raised her, instead, to be a mathematician. Ada Lovelace, a scientist as imaginative as Victor Frankenstein, would in 1843 provide an influential theoretical description of a general-purpose computer, a century before one was built.)

but finally, because time is so tight of late ... spoiler alert:

“Slavery is everywhere the pet monster of the American people,” Frederick Douglass declared in New York, on the eve of the American Civil War. Nat Turner was called a monster; so was John Brown. By the eighteen-fifties, Frankenstein’s monster regularly appeared in American political cartoons as a nearly naked black man, signifying slavery itself, seeking his vengeance upon the nation that created him.
posted by philip-random at 12:49 PM on March 7 [6 favorites]


The real monster is capitalism. Always. Not just in this but in everything.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


But after weighing all the factors and examining the question from every angle, I find that the crux of the matter is, daaamn, Peter Cushing was really sexy in his day.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:29 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I've just been recently watching Seen Bean in Netflix's 'The Frankenstein Chronicles', and it took a very odd turn into what felt like a conglomeration of right-wing talking points right at the end of the first season

My summary to my sister after watching just the first season was, "it's some kinda weird shit. also has about 5 actors in it that i could not tell apart so I had no idea what was going on."

So I am afraid you got a lot more from it than me, because I was just stuck trying to tell Lord Dingleberry from Lord Foopypants from Lord Oh Shit Have We Even Seen This Guy Before?
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:31 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


So I am afraid you got a lot more from it than me, because I was just stuck trying to tell Lord Dingleberry from Lord Foopypants from Lord Oh Shit Have We Even Seen This Guy Before?
And then there was poor Nightingale, so terrible at trailing people secretly perhaps because he was the only dude every person could identify.

I feel like the Frankenstein Chronicles really whiffed at the chance to instead be Mary Shelley, Crimefighter!
posted by TwoStride at 1:43 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Sometimes it is misogyny! According to one of her letters, Percy avoided Mary after her miscarriage because he thought it was gross that her breasts were still producing milk! WHO IS THE MONSTER INDEED.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 1:53 PM on March 7 [8 favorites]


I feel like the Frankenstein Chronicles really whiffed at the chance to instead be Mary Shelley, Crimefighter!

Until such a happy day, we have Lovelace and Babbage against street crime music crime!
posted by clew at 2:13 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


What's Victor's excuse?

He's mad?
Unflippantly, I think the novel couldn't be clearer that Frankenstein creates the monster during a literal manic episode. Grandiosity to the point of megalomania...
No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. Pursuing these reflections, I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption.
and high-energy monomania...
These thoughts supported my spirits, while I pursued my undertaking with unremitting ardour. My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement. Sometimes, on the very brink of certainty, I failed; yet still I clung to the hope which the next day or the next hour might realise. One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I had dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places.
explicitly called out in hindsight as an altered state...
My limbs now tremble, and my eyes swim with the remembrance; but then a resistless and almost frantic impulse urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit. It was indeed but a passing trance, that only made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the unnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned to my old habits.
turns to agitation and irritability.
But my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety, and I appeared rather like one doomed by slavery to toil in the mines, or any other unwholesome trade than an artist occupied by his favourite employment. Every night I was oppressed by a slow fever, and I became nervous to a most painful degree; the fall of a leaf startled me, and I shunned my fellow creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime.
And after he brings the monster to life and panics and runs out, he falls into a months-long depressive episode.
I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but the unbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend could have restored me to life. [...] By very slow degrees, and with frequent relapses that alarmed and grieved my friend, I recovered. I remember the first time I became capable of observing outward objects with any kind of pleasure [...] I felt also sentiments of joy and affection revive in my bosom; my gloom disappeared, and in a short time I became as cheerful as before I was attacked by the fatal passion.
(I have thus been inclined to think Victor Frankenstein had more Lord Byron in him than Percy Shelley...)
posted by Zed at 4:16 PM on March 7 [10 favorites]




philip-random: "Frankenstein The True Story (1972)"

Michael Sarrazin was in everything in the '70s and then sort of vaporized.
posted by octothorpe at 5:24 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I can't find the original source for this quote, sadly, but: "Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein isn’t the
monster; wisdom is knowing Frankenstein is the monster."

LOL @ the Sun suddenly discovering this line of thought and thinking it's new.
posted by duffell at 6:24 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I can't find the original source for this quote, sadly, but: "Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein isn’t the
monster; wisdom is knowing Frankenstein is the monster."


It's Franken- steen
posted by thelonius at 6:31 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


He... vas... my... BOYFRIEND!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:02 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Society was the real monster.
posted by Artw at 7:11 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Actually, "Frankenstein" is the name of the book, not the monster.
posted by AlSweigart at 10:30 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


He calls himself "Moddy P."
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


'The Sun' is the newspaper. The monster is The Dirty Digger
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:27 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Frankenstein Revisionism, the webcomic The Glass Scientists by Sabrina Cotugno has been working on variations of classic horror stories for three years, starting with its protagonist, Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose Society for Arcane Science is trying to take the "mad" out of "mad science", with obvious interference from his chaotic alter-ego Hyde. In the current storyline, the Frankenstein Monster (who despite being rather eloquent, declares he has never been named and allows himself to be referred to as "The Creature") has brought his creator to London for Jekyll's help after she has been struck with a mysterious illness and refuses conventional circa-1885 treatment. And, yes, "she" is not a typo; in this version, Dr. Frankenstein is a woman, although it has not yet been revealed if her first name is Victoria or Elizabeth or what. But then again, everyone is still reacting to learning that the reports of the death of both creator and creation years ago were inaccurate. And Dr. Frankenstein even in her illness is still defiantly independent and considers Dr. Jekyll's efforts at respectability a total sell-out. And that's the kind of revisionism that makes this webcomic extra entertaining.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:51 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


No child consents to being born anymore than Frankenstein's monster does. There is no consent to be born, not can there be a lack of consent. It isn't the lack of consent that makes Frankenstein and his creation horrible, but that they had no thought or consideration for who they were creating, except as an instrument of their desires and passions.
posted by gryftir at 3:45 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I can’t wait to read The Sun’s hot take on how snowflakes read Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:36 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I can’t wait to read The Sun’s hot take on how snowflakes read Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

"A shameful attack on heritage dairy farming!"
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:01 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


What they don't tell you is that most so-called “mad scientists” are mad engineers at best, not bothering to keep a control group and maintain experimental conditions.
posted by acb at 2:15 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Frankenstein's Control - just a box of bits, really.
posted by Artw at 12:22 PM on March 9




Because of this thread I'm reading a copy of the Annotated Frankenstein that I picked up from the library today.
posted by octothorpe at 1:28 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I've been makin' a man
With blond hair and a tan,
And he's good for relievin' my...
Tension.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:18 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


'Frankenstein': an all too human monster - "Mary Shelley's novel is far more than just a warning about the dangers of science."
posted by kliuless at 6:18 AM on March 13


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