Die werklike lewe Frankenstein maak 'n man dood

Die werklike lewe Frankenstein maak 'n man dood


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Die vroeë 19de -eeuse fisikus, Giovanni Aldini, beoefen 'n donker wetenskaplike wetenskap: lyke wat elektrokuteer, in 'n poging om dooies op te wek. Sy berugste eksperiment het daarin geslaag om sy gehoor eerder te skok en een toeskouer dood te skrik.


They Did The Mash: 'n kort geskiedenis van 'Monster Rally ” Pictures

Iets eienaardigs gebeur - of meer akkuraat, doen nie gebeur - in 1944's Huis van Frankenstein, die eerste "monsterbyeenkoms" van Universal Studios: op geen stadium in die film ontmoet die monsters mekaar nie! Verfilm onder die werktitel Die duiwelsbrood, die promosiemateriaal van die film beloof die eerste keer dat die span saam met Frankenstein's Monster, die Wolfman en Dracula op die skerm verskyn. Maar Huis van Frankenstein dit bespaar nie net die lewering van die monsteragtige goedere nie, maar gee ook nie sy monsters 'n enkele toneel nie.

Dracula word hier vir die eerste keer gespeel deur John Carradine -teorieë oor die rede waarom Bela Lugosi die rol nie herhaal het nie, maar sy rampspoedige wending in Frankenstein ontmoet die wolfman, waar hy grootliks deur 'n stuntman vervang is, kon nie sy verhouding met die ateljee help nie. Boonop dui rekords aan dat Lugosi opgetree het tydens 'n toertoneelproduksie van Arseen en ou kant in Newark wanneer Huis van Frankenstein begin verfilm, 'n bietjie tydsberekening vir die ongelukkige akteur. As 'n ego opsy geslaan is, sou die rol beswaarlik die moeite werd gewees het, want Lugosi die graaf word voor die 30 minute voorgestel en gestuur, wat hom heeltemal van die Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) en Frankenstein's Monster (Glenn Strange) geskei het, ook nie van wie daar 'n werklike aksie is tot die laaste 15 minute van die film. Die groot trekpleister spring in en uit 'n episodiese programmeerderplot wat fokus op 'n paar ontsnapte misdadigers (Boris Karloff en J. Carrol Naish) op soek na dr Frankenstein se navorsingsmateriaal vir hul eie skelm middele. Op 'n vinnige 70 minute en met die vreemde beleid van "geen monster -oorvleueling" nie, is dit 'n taamlike uitstappie, hoewel Universal se span reisigers dit verseker dat die film ten minste esteties nooit 'n taak is om te beleef nie.

1945’s Huis van Dracula herhaal die formule sowel as die mislukkings, met parallelle plotte waarin Dracula en Larry Talbot (Carradine en Chaney weereens) genesing soek vir hul onderskeie vloeke van 'n goedbedoelde wetenskaplike. Weereens word die monsters uit mekaar se hare gehou, met die monster van Frankenstein (Strange) wat aan die einde na 'n ander komedie deurgedring het, net lank genoeg opgewek het sodat 'n brandende laboratorium op hom kon val. Aan die positiewe kant kan ons sien hoe 'n man vir die eerste keer in 'n universele film in 'n vampier verander, 'n soortgelyke ekwivalent van die beroemde transformasietonele van die Wolf Man. Die Wolfman kry ook 'n onvergeetlike oomblik en verander in 'n tronksel voor verbaasde toeskouers. Maar dit was duidelik dat die monsters nou hul mag verloor. Daar was geen spoor van die hipnotiese droomwêreld van Tod Browning nie Dracula nie een van die ekspressionistiese skaduwees van James Whale nie Frankensteinoorgebly. Om hulle almal op een snawel te verdring en uit te draf met die nuanses van 'n karnaval -byeenkoms, het net gelyk of die monsters verder verdun het.

In 1948 het Bud Abbott en Lou Costello die formule vir 'n suksesvolle monsterbyeenkoms gekraak: die monsters kon die skerm deel, selfs interaksie hê, solank die parade 'n ingeboude verskoning het om te giggel. Omhels die inherente absurditeit, Abbott en Costello ontmoet Frankenstein het die gruwelikone in die regverdige manne verander vir die komiese duo, en dit het soos gangbusters gewerk. In 'n reeks klassieke tonele is die Universal Monsters (Chaney, Strange en 'n terugkerende Lugosi) toegelaat om hul waardigheid te behou, terwyl Abbott en Costello die paniekbevange pratfalls en versteende punchlines gelewer het. Die film, Universal se tweede laagste begrotingsvrystelling van 1948, was 'n groot treffer, en dit het die vreemde newe-effek gehad om die twee komediante in 'n stert van monsterinteraksies te stuur (Abbott en Costello ontmoet die mamma, Abbott en Costello ontmoet die onsigbare man, Abbott en Costello Ontmoet dr Jekyll en mnr Hyde).

Die sosiale skedule van Bud en Lou op die skerm was nie die enigste slagoffer nie: die ikoniese Universal Monsters was nou amptelik kinderspeelgoed, wat óf verlep sou word, óf vermy moet word. Trouens, daar kan 'n argument aangevoer word dat omtrent elke herhaling van die klassieke monsters van nou af op 'n manier gespruit het uit Abbott en Costello se gebruik en misbruik van die gruwellegendes.

Hammer Studios hardloop skreeuend uit die wrak. Sy wellustige en besige aanbiedinge het die bekende karakters een vir een drasties herontdek, selfbewustelik gesig waar Universal gesak het. Die resultate was geweldig suksesvol, maar Hammer het altyd sy monsters uit mekaar se onderskeie sandkaste gehou, en nie net omdat Christopher Lee die meeste gespeel het nie. Terwyl die Britse ateljee teen die vloed van parodie geswem het, het die res van die popkultuur met die lawwe aan boord gekom. Die Munsters het die bekende karakters herontwerp as 'n sitkom -familie. Mad Monster Party was 'n Jack Davis Mad Magazine-strook wat tot stilstand gekom het. Teen die sewentigerjare het die monsters letterlike en metaforiese trooskos geword, terwyl kinders hul Saterdagoggende deur graaf Chocula en graan van Frankenberry geëet het terwyl hulle kykDie Groovie Ghoulies, 'n tekenprent wat Drac, Wolfie en Frank verander het in 'n Monkees-achtige poporkes of Die Monster -groep, 'n lewendige aksie wat die triumviraat as onwaarskynlike misdaadbestryders beskryf het.

Op baie maniere, 1987's Die Monster -groep(geen verband met die bogenoemde TV -program nie) voel soos die laaste woord oor die onderwerp. Die film is vol liefde vir sy beleërde monsters en vol sjarme om te spaar, en dit is die geestelike opvolger van Abbott en Costello ontmoet Frankenstein, om die protagoniste van die film op te gradeer na 'n groep vuilbekke, monsteragtige kinders wat hulself teësinnig vind wanneer Dracula en sy baie universeel beïnvloedde wesens op hul klein dorpie afklim om niks minder as die Apocalypse af te skop nie. Daar word bang gemaak en gelag, die PG-13-grense word gestoot en die noorde word geskop. Bud en Lou sou waarskynlik tevrede gewees het.

Maar is die film werklik die laaste woord oor monsterbyeenkomste, of net die toppunt? Van Die bose dood aan Spookbusters aan Die Monster Squad, die 1980's blyk die laaste dekade te wees waarin die eng en dom werklik aangemoedig is om saam te bestaan. (Moontlike uitsondering: Charles Band se all-dwarf monster-saamtrek uit 1997, Die Creeps.) Hollywood probeer steeds om die formule te herontdek in 'n klimaat waar genre -aanhangers nie sulke dwaasheid sal duld nie. Maar van Van Helsing aan Skemering aan Om mens te weesDie industrie bewys steeds dat die verskaffing van 'n 'ernstige' monster-span geen waarborg is dat dit ernstig opgeneem sal word nie. (Dit het nie afgeskrik nie Monster groep Produsent Rob Cohen probeer - sonder sukses, met die skryf van hierdie artikel - om 'n remake van die grond af te kry.) Dit is 'n moeilike balans om hierdie monster -mashes te laat vlieg, en die aantal kere wat dit op die skerm wettig werk, kan op een hand getel word . Die paar gevalle is inderdaad spesiale films.


1. Sharon Tate

In 'n Mei 1970 -uitgawe van Die noodlot tydskrif, het Dick Kleiner 'n artikel gepubliseer waarin beskryf word hoe Manson Family -slagoffer, Sharon Tate, 'n paar jaar voor die grusame gebeure van 9 Augustus 1969 'n ontstellende visie/wakker droom gehad het. groot detail oor die visie, wat meer akkuraat beskryf kan word as twee visioene in een.

In die somer van 1967, terwyl hy romanties betrokke was by 'n ander uiteindelike slagoffer, Jay Sebring, het Tate vertel dat hy 'n nag alleen in die huis van Sebring, wat voorheen in besit was van 'n man wat daarin gesterf het - 'n Hollywood -agent Paul Bern, deurgebring het. Daardie aand het Tate 'n snaakse gevoel gehad en 'n klein man het in die slaapkamer sien stamp - 'n man wat presies soos Paul Bern gelyk het. Verskrik vlug sy uit die kamer en gaan af, net om nog 'n afgryse te sien:

Ek sien iets of iemand vasgemaak aan die trap. Wie dit ook al was - en ek kon nie weet of dit 'n man of 'n vrou was nie, maar ek het op een of ander manier geweet dat dit Jay Sebring of ek was - hy of sy is in die keel oopgesny. ”

Dubbelbang stap Tate, net soos enige normale mens, direk na die drankkas en drink 'n drankie om haar te kalmeer. Sy het senuweeagtig plakpapier van die onderkant van die drankkas afgeruk. Toe keer sy terug boontoe, loop verby die dodelik gewonde figuur en die vreemde mannetjie, sak in die bed en raak op die een of ander manier regtig aan die slaap. Die volgende oggend, toe Sebring terugkom en Tate hom van haar droom vertel, het die twee dit met 'n laggie van die hand gewys. Toe gaan hulle die kamer binne met die drankkas. Die kas was oop, en daar was stukke plakpapier oor die vloer gestrooi.


Frankissstein deur Jeanette Winterson

Transhumanisme

Afgesien van herimimasie, is die vindingryke roman van Winterson ook besig met die idee van reïnkarnasie. In 1816 ly Mary Shelley en haar man Percy Shelley in die geselskap van Lord Byron, dokter Polidari, en haar stiefsuster Claire in 'n klam villa, terwyl Mary die eerste visioen beleef wat haar onsterflike verhaal inspireer. In 2019 ontmoet doktor Ry Shelley, 'n transman, die slordige entrepreneur Ron Lord en sy seksbot Claire, opdringerige joernalis Polly D - en die aanloklike, skynbaar tydlose wetenskaplike Victor Stein, behep met die ewige lewe van die gees, vrygelaat uit die boeie van die liggaam. Te midde van etiese argumente oor cryogenics en robotte as gelyktydig werk-steelers en seksspeelgoed, debatteer Ry en Victor of die toekoms van die mensdom gevind word in die verandering van ons liggame of om dit heeltemal te transendeer. In 'n tydperk van politieke en wêreldwye onsekerheid, ondersoek Winterson die maniere waarop die geskiedenis homself herhaal, veral in vrae oor wat ons mens maak en dus wat ons moet saamneem (en wat ons moet agterlaat) in die toekoms.

Koop Franissstein van:

Natalie Zutter sou sê dat sy 'n behoorlike biografie van Mary Shelley wou hê, maar Hollywood hoef nou net aan te pas Frankissstein. Deel jou gunsteling Frankenstein met haar oorvertel op Twitter!


Frankenstein-opsomming en analise van hoofstukke 5-8

Op 'n koue aand van November maak Victor uiteindelik sy skepping lewendig. By die opening van die wese se "dofgeel oog" voel Victor gewelddadig siek, asof hy 'n groot ramp beleef het. Alhoewel hy die dele van die wese gekies het omdat hy dit as mooi beskou het, is die voltooide man afskuwelik: hy het dun swart lippe, onmenslike oë en 'n grys vel waardeur 'n mens die polsende spiere, are en are kan sien.

Die skoonheid van Frankenstein se droom verdwyn, en die werklikheid waarmee hy gekonfronteer word, vervul hom met afgryse en afsku. Hy jaag uit die kamer en keer terug na sy bedkamer. Hy kan nie slaap nie, geteister deur 'n droom waarin hy Elizabeth omhels en soen, net om haar na die lyk van sy moeder in sy arms te laat draai.

Hy word laat in die nag wakker om die dier by sy bed te vind, en kyk met 'n glimlaggende na hom. Al probeer die monster om met hom te praat, spring hy uit die bed en storm die nag in. Hy loop die res van die nag woes oor die binnehof, en besluit om rustig te loop op die oomblik dat die oggend aanbreek.

Terwyl Frankenstein in die stad loop, sien hy sy geliefde vriend Henry Clerval uit 'n koets verheug, hy vergeet onmiddellik sy eie ongelukke. Clerval se pa het hom uiteindelik toegelaat om in Ingolstadt te studeer, en die twee ou vriende sal dus permanent herenig word. Henry vertel aan Victor dat sy gesin bekommerd is omdat hulle so selde van hom hoor. Hy roep uit oor Frankenstein se ongesonde voorkoms, Victor weier egter om die besonderhede van sy projek te bespreek.

Victor deursoek sy kamers om seker te maak dat die monster inderdaad weg is. Die volgende oggend kry Henry 'n histeriese koors. Victor bly etlike maande lank bedlêend onder sorgvuldige sorg van Henry, wat besluit om die omvang van Victor se siekte vir sy gesin te verberg. Sodra Victor samehangend kan praat, versoek Henry dat hy 'n brief in sy eie hand aan sy gesin in Genève skryf. Daar is 'n brief van Elizabeth wat op sy aandag wag.

In hierdie hoofstuk blyk Victor se wetenskaplike obsessie 'n soort droom te wees - een wat eindig met die geboorte van die wese. Hy word wakker op dieselfde oomblik as wat die wese wakker word: op die oomblik dat die wese se oë oopgaan, word Frankenstein se eie oë oopgemaak tot afgryse van sy projek. Hy word geteister deur 'n siekte van beide gees en liggaam, wat weerspieël die onnatuurlike karakter van sy poging, waarin hy probeer het om die plek van god in te neem.

Die sinne van die verteller word verkort, skielik, wat dui op sy senuweeagtige, paranoïese toestand. Dit is belangrik dat Victor van sy ma en Elizabeth droom: as vroue is hulle albei "natuurlik" in staat om te skep (deur geboorte te gee). Met hul dood sterf die natuurlike skepping en aardse deug wat hulle verteenwoordig, ook. Victor se soen is die soen van die dood, en sy huwelik met Elizabeth word gelykstaande aan 'n huwelik met sy moeder en 'n huwelik met die dood self.

Op die oomblik van sy geboorte is die wese heeltemal welwillend: hy reik liefdevol na Frankenstein, net om laasgenoemde hom gewelddadig te laat vaar. Ten spyte van sy skrikwekkende voorkoms, is hy so onskuldig soos 'n pasgebore kind - en in 'n sekere sin is dit presies wat hy is. Victor se wrede behandeling van die dier staan ​​in skrille kontras met die toegewydheid van sy ouers en die onbaatsugtige sorg van Clerval: hy verloën sy kind op die oomblik van sy geboorte. Die leser begin die diep onetiese karakter van Frankenstein se eksperiment en van Frankenstein self erken.

Elizabeth se brief spreek kommer uit oor die welstand van Victor, en dankbaarheid teenoor Henry vir sy sorg. Sy vertel plaaslike skindernuwe en onlangse gesinsgebeurtenisse. Die gesin se betroubaarste bediende, Justine Moritz, het na die gesin teruggekeer nadat sy gedwing is om na haar vervreemde ma te sorg tot die dood van die vrou. Victor se jonger broer, Ernest, is nou sestien jaar oud en streef daarna om by die buitelandse diens aan te sluit, sy ander broer, William, het vyf geword en dit gaan wonderlik goed. Elizabeth smeek Victor om te skryf en te besoek, want sy en sy pa mis hom geweldig. Frankenstein word deur 'n gewetensaanval gegryp en besluit om onmiddellik aan hulle te skryf.

Binne twee weke (twee weke) kan Victor sy kamer verlaat. Henry het, nadat hy sy vriend se afkeer van sy voormalige laboratorium waargeneem het, 'n nuwe woonstel vir hom aangeskaf en al sy wetenskaplike instrumente verwyder. Om Clerval aan die professore van Ingolstadt voor te stel, is pure marteling, omdat hulle onwrikbaar uitroep oor Victor se wetenskaplike bekwaamheid. Victor, op sy beurt, kan die lof nie dra nie, en laat Henry toe om hom te oortuig om die wetenskap te laat vaar vir die studie van Oosterse tale. Hierdie-saam met die heerlike melankolie van die poësie-bied Frankenstein 'n broodnodige afleiding.

Die somer gaan verby, en Victor besluit om aan die einde van die herfs na Genève terug te keer. Tot sy ontsteltenis word sy vertrek vertraag tot in die lente, maar hy bring baie wonderlike ure deur in die geselskap van Clerval. Hulle begin 'n wandeling van twee weke deur die platteland, en Victor weerspieël dat Henry die vermoë het om 'die beter gevoel van sy hart' aan te dui dat die twee vriende vurig lief is vir mekaar.

Stadig keer Victor terug na sy ou, sorgelose self. Hy geniet groot vreugde in die natuurlike wêreld en kan sy eertydse ellende vergeet. Die twee is hoogmoedig by hul terugkeer na die universiteit.

Met Elizabeth se brief besef ons hoe volkome Victor van die buitewêreld afgesny is. Sy vertelling oor sy eerste twee jaar op Ingolstadt noem min eiename, en handel oor glad nie iemand anders nie. Die leser besef hoeveel tyd verby is, en hoeveel verander het in die verre leser. Ons leer die name van Victor se broers en die bestaan ​​van Justine. Elizabeth se verhouding met Justine is baie soos Caroline se verhouding met Elizabeth: sy sorg vir die minder gelukkige meisie en roep haar lof toe en noem haar 'saggeaard, slim en uiters mooi'.

Die geskiedenis van Justine illustreer egter twee van die donkerder temas van die roman: aan die een kant die onvermydelikheid van versoening vir die sondes en die soort lyding wat versoening meebring. Die wrede ma van Justine kon haar nie verdra nie, en haar laat wegstuur na die vertrek van Justine, en haar geliefde kinders sterf een vir een en laat haar heeltemal alleen. Sy moes dus op Justine vertrou om haar op haar sterfbed te versorg. Dit illustreer breedvoerig die regskode wat die roman voorstel: 'n mens moet altyd betaal vir sy wreedheid en betaal met die ding wat jy die meeste ag.

Victor se afstand van wetenskap en natuurfilosofie illustreer sy irrasionele poging om te ontken dat die gebeure van die afgelope twee jaar ooit plaasgevind het. Dit lyk asof Victor werklik glo dat hy ongevoelig is vir skade: hy jaag nie sy verlore wese na nie, maar gaan sy lewe op universiteit met die grootste sorgeloosheid na. Hy gebruik tale en poësie - twee dinge waarin hy nog nooit die minste belangstelling getoon het nie - en probeer alles vergeet wat voorheen gekom het. Victor toon dus 'n hoogs twyfelagtige verhouding tot die werklikheid: tensy hy direk deur sy foute gekonfronteer word, weier hy om te erken dat hy dit hoegenaamd gemaak het. Hy is uiters swak, soos sy langdurige siekte (wat geestelik sowel as fisies was) duidelik maak.

Met die einde van die hoofstuk op die hoogtepunt van die lente beklemtoon Shelley Victor se wens om wedergebore te word. Die leser weet egter reeds dat so 'n wens heeltemal tevergeefs is.

Op Ingolstadt ontvang Victor en Henry 'n brief van Victor se pa: William, Victor se jongste broer, is vermoor. Terwyl hy op 'n aandstap met die gesin was, het die seun verdwyn en die volgende oggend dood gevind. Op die dag van die moord het Elizabeth die seuntjie toegelaat om 'n antieke kissie te dra met die prentjie van Caroline. By die ondersoek na die lyk, vind Elizabeth dat die kissie weg is, terwyl sy gedink het dat William vermoor is vir die krans. Sy neem haarself die skuld vir sy dood. Victor se pa smeek hom om dadelik huis toe te kom en te sê dat sy teenwoordigheid sal help om die verwoeste huishouding te kalmeer. Clerval betuig sy innige meegevoel en help Victor om die perde vir sy reis te bestel.

Op pad na Genève word Victor deur 'n irrasionele vrees aangegryp. Hy weet dat 'n verdere ramp by hom tuis wag, en hy bly 'n paar dae by Lausanne. Hy roep al sy moed op en vertrek weer. Victor is tranerig op die plek van sy geboortestad, aangesien sy vervreemding daarvan so lank was. Ondanks sy vreugde om met Genève herenig te word, keer sy vrees terug. Hy kom in die nag, te midde van 'n hewige donderstorm. Skielik lig 'n weerligstraal 'n figuur wat tussen die skeletbome skuil, en sy reusagtige gestalte verraai dit as die verlore wese van Frankenstein. By die aanskoue van die 'demoon' word Victor absoluut seker dat hy die moord op William is: slegs 'n monster kan die lewe van so 'n engelagtige seun neem.

Victor verlang daarna om die dier na te jaag en sy gesin te waarsku oor die gevaar wat hy verteenwoordig. Hy is bevrees dat hy as 'n gek gekeer sal word as hy sy fantastiese verhaal vertel, en besluit dus om stil te bly.

Op die Frankenstein -landgoed word Victor met 'n sekere weemoed begroet. Sy broer, Ernest, vertel 'n stuk skokkende nuus: Justine, die gesin se vertroude diensmaagd, word beskuldig van die moord op William. Die vermiste kissie is die aand van die moord op haar persoon gevind. Die gesin - veral Elizabeth - glo hartstogtelik in haar onskuld en is mal daaroor dat hul lyding net groter sal word as Justine vir die misdaad gestraf word. Hulle is almal bang vir Justine se verhoor, wat om elfuur op dieselfde dag sal plaasvind.

Die verslag van William se dood is in 'n baie ongebonde taal geskryf: die sinne is lank en word gereeld onderbreek deur kommapunte, asof elke gedagte in 'n ander oorspoel. Dit dui op die omvang van die nood wat die vader van die verteller voel terwyl hy skryf. Briewe speel in die algemeen 'n sentrale rol in die roman: dit begin en eindig met 'n reeks briewe, en baie belangrike besonderhede van plot en karakter hou daarmee verband. Hulle stel Shelley (wat meestal in die eerste persoon se vertelling in die eerste plek gepleeg het) in staat om die stemme van ander karakters toe te laat om Victor se hoogs subjektiewe weergawe van die gebeure van die roman te onderbreek en te verander.

Victor se reaksie op die brief onthul baie oor sy karakter. Alhoewel hy bedroef is van hartseer, draai sy gedagtes spoedig terug na sy eie angs by die terugkeer na sy huis na so 'n lang afwesigheid. Sy selfopname begin vir die leser ondeurdringbaar lyk. Victor se ongemak voorspel ook die oomblik van afgryse wat hom in Genève begroet, die leser het gekom om sy nood te deel, en is dus net so verskrik soos hy oor wat die weerlig verlig.

Die weerligstorm wat Victor begroet, is 'n stapelvoedsel van die Gotiese vertelling. Dit roep die klassieke (om nie eers te praat van clichéagtige) aanhef tot enige spookverhaal op: "Dit was 'n donker en stormagtige nag." Dit weerspieël ook die toestand van wanbalans en chaos waarin Victor sy gesin bevind. Al word William se moord op 'n idilliese dag in die lente beskryf, is dit koel en stormagtig wanneer Victor kort daarna aankom.

As hy die wese deur Frankenstein se oë sien, is die leser geneig om tot dieselfde gevolgtrekking te kom as hy. Victor se haat teenoor die skepsel bereik 'n byna histeriese toonhoogte in hierdie toneel, soos aangedui deur sy diksie: hy verwys na sy skepping as 'n "misvorming", 'n "ellende", 'n 'smerige demoon'. Ook die leser wil die dier onmiddellik die skuld gee, alhoewel ons geen werklike gronde daarvoor het nie. Die leser word dus subtiel aandadig aan die uitgestorwe toestand van die dier.

Victor se besluit om die bestaan ​​van die monster geheim te hou om sy reputasie te behou, onthul hom as selfsugtig en dwaas. 'N Kind is doodgemaak en 'n monster is lewendig gemaak: in 'n wêreld wat so erg uit balans is, behoort Frankenstein se reputasie die verste uit sy gedagtes te wees.

Die verhoor begin die volgende oggend. Victor is uiters bekommerd oor wat die uitspraak gaan wees: hy word gemartel deur die gedagte dat sy 'nuuskierigheid en wettelose toestelle' nie een dood nie, maar twee sal veroorsaak. Hy weerspieël treurig dat Justine 'n meisie van besondere eienskappe is, wat as gevolg van hom 'n bewonderenswaardige lewe sal lei, en haar lewe word wreed verkort. Victor oorweeg dit kortliks om die misdaad te erken, maar besef dat, soos hy die aand van die moord in Ingolstadt was, sy bekentenis afgemaak sou word as die gek van 'n gek.

In die hof staan ​​Justine rustig voor haar beskuldigings haar plegtige gesig haar 'n uitstekende skoonheid verleen. Die aanklaer bring 'n aantal getuies na vore, wat oortuigende getuienis teen haar lewer: sy was die hele nag waarop die moord gepleeg is, gesien toe sy naby die plek was waar die lyk gevind is, toe sy ondervra is, gee sy 'n verwarde en onverstaanbare antwoord en sy raak histeries by die aanskouing van William se liggaam. Die mees verdoemende bewys is egter dat William se miniatuur, wat hy tydens die moord gedra het, in die sak van Justine se rok gevind is.

Justine, wat na die getuiebank geroep is, gee nog 'n verslag van die gebeure: met Elizabeth se toestemming het sy die nag van die moord by haar tante se huis in Chêne deurgegaan. Toe sy hoor van William se verdwyning, het sy 'n paar uur gesoek na hom wat nie huis toe kon gaan nie, aangesien dit te laat geword het, het sy vasbeslote om in 'n nabygeleë skuur te oornag. Justine sê dat as sy naby die liggaam was, sy dit nie geweet het nie, was haar verwarring slegs 'n blyk van haar moegheid. Sy kan steeds nie verduidelik hoe die prentjie op haar persoon gekom het nie; sy kan net aanvaar dat die moordenaar dit self daar geplaas het.

Alhoewel min getuies bereid is om die onskuld van Justine te erken, dring Elizabeth daarop aan om namens die meisie te praat. Sy prys die karakter van Justine en sê dat sy deur die hele Frankenstein -familie geliefd was, want hy sal nooit glo dat Justine skuldig is nie. Ondanks hierdie dapper bewys van lojaliteit, word Justine ter dood veroordeel. Victor beskou Justine se benarde toestand as minder as sy eie; sy word getroos deur die feit van haar eie onberispelikheid, terwyl hy met sy skuld moet saamleef.

Skokkend erken Justine die moord en wil sy Elizabeth sien, wat Victor vra om haar te vergesel. Justine vertel hulle dat sy 'n leuen bely het om absolusie te bekom en om in die laaste oomblikke uit die weg te ruim. Sy is nie bevrees vir die dood nie, en spandeer haar laaste oomblikke in die troos van Elizabeth en Victor. Dit dien slegs om die angs van Victor te verhoog, en hy weerspieël dat Justine en William die eerste slagoffers van sy 'ongeoorloofde kunste' is.

Die min aandag aan Justine se voorkoms, geskiedenis en toespraak word slegs gegee om die simpatie van die leser te verhoog. Haar ongedwonge aangesig herinner aan die van 'n brose pop: soos 'n pop, is sy bloot 'n speelgoed, 'n pion waarvan die lot heeltemal buite haar beheer is. Dwarsdeur hoofstuk 8 word die sinne deurmekaar, en word kommas gereeld gebruik om gedwonge gedagtes met mekaar te verbind. Op hierdie manier dui Shelley die omvang aan van die chaos wat die Frankenstein -huishouding getref het: hulle het alle beheer oor sowel die hede as die toekoms verloor, en is selfs nie in staat om hul eie gedagtes te organiseer nie.

Alhoewel die leser in die versoeking kan kom om Victor verantwoordelik te hou vir die uitspraak, is dit 'n te simplistiese siening van gebeure. Frankenstein se besluit om die waarheid te verberg, is 'n vreeslike misleiding, maar Shelley gee ons geen aanduiding dat hy dit doen om homself van skuld vry te stel nie. 'Berougevoelens' skeur hom, en ten minste in sy eie hart dra hy die skuld vir beide William se moord en Justine se teregstelling. Hy kan sy verskriklike geheim met niemand deel nie, en is dus heeltemal geïsoleer, 'n uitgeworpene van die menslike samelewing.


Het 'n werklike alchemis geïnspireer Frankenstein?

Sharyy word soms die moeder van wetenskapfiksie genoem omdat sy die verhaal van 'n laboratorium gemaak het wat 'n monster word, maar sy het moontlik 'n werklike alchemis in gedagte gehad toe sy die karakter van Victor Frankenstein geskep het.

Shelley & rsquos Frankenstein of, The Modern Prometheus is die eerste keer anoniem in Londen gepubliseer op Nuwejaarsdag, 1818, toe Shelley net 21 was (haar naam verskyn nie op die voorblad totdat 'n tweede uitgawe vyf jaar later gedruk is nie.)

Kritici met 'n psigoanalitiese neiging het Frankenstein & rsquos -monster gelees as 'n metaforiese figuur uit Shelley en rsquos se tragiese kinderjare en skandalige adolessensie & mdash, byvoorbeeld, as die verpersoonliking van haar skuld omdat sy 'n indirekte hand gehad het in die dood van twee mense: haar eie ma, wat gesterf het in bevalling, en Percy Shelley en rsquos se eerste vrou, Harriet, wat haarself verdrink het nadat Shelley haar, swanger en alleen, verlaat het om 'n Europese toer saam met Mary te onderneem.

Dit was immers tydens hul Europese reise, terwyl hulle saam met die digter Lord Byron in Genève gebly het, dat Mary Shelley Frankenstein opgedroom het in reaksie op 'n spookverhaalkompetisie onder die literêre groep. Maar sedert sy en Percy onlangs deur die bergagtige suidelike Duitsland gereis het, nie ver van die eeue oue Frankenstein-kasteel naby die stad Darmstadt nie, het sommige bespiegel dat sy waarskynlik ook die gerugte gehoor het van 'n eksentrieke uitvinder daar wat beweer dat hulle 'n & ontdek het #8220 lewensixer. ”

Volgens die History Channel -dokumentêr Dekodering van die verlede: op soek na die regte Frankenstein, wat in 2006 uitgesaai is, was albei Shelleys reeds geïntrigeerd deur die gebruik van elektrisiteit om ledemate en nuwe gewildheid in die wetenskaplike gemeenskap te animeer, en toe hulle op pad deur die donker woude van die Rynvallei waarskynlik verhale van die alchemis Johann Konrad gehoor het Dippel, 'n omstrede figuur wat volgens gerugte grafte beroof het en op lyke by Frankenstein -kasteel geëksperimenteer het.

& ldquoDippel was oortuig dat hy 'n liggaam weer lewend kon maak deur 'n mengsel bloed en been te spuit, wat dikwels uit soogdier- en menslike lyke gemaak is, en rdquo skryf Miranda Seymour in haar biografie, Mary Shelley. In Mary & rsquos -roman sou Victor Frankenstein dierebene gebruik om sy monsteragtige wese te help vervaardig. & rdquo

Terwyl Dippel na bewering beweer het dat hy 'n manier gevind het om tot die ouderdom van 135 jaar te leef, het hy self ver te kort gekom. Hy sterf op 61 en word deel van 'n repertoire van plaaslike legendes, skryf Seymour, insluitend wonderlike verhale van 'n kannibaalmonster wat in tye lank gelede die grimmige kasteel as sy hoofkwartier gebruik het. & Rdquo

Of Mary beïnvloed is deur die verhaal van Dippel en rsquos, die uitgangspunt vir Frankenstein dit lyk asof sy in haar onderbewussyn skuil. In haar 1831 -voorwoord van die roman skryf sy haar inspirasie toe aan 'n nagmerrie wat sy in Genève gehad het, waar die geselskap hul aande deurmekaar gemaak het met koue verhale.

Toe sy gaan slaap, skryf sy, en ek sien en kyk met toe oë, maar skerp verstandelike visie en ek sien hoe die bleek student van die nie -toegelate kunste kniel langs die ding wat hy saamgestel het. Ek het die afskuwelike fantasie van 'n man uitgestrek gesien, en toe, tydens die werking van 'n kragtige enjin, tekens van lewe getoon word en met 'n ongemaklike, half vitale beweging en hellip & rdquo roer

Lees 'n boekresensie van 1979 ’sThe Endurance of ‘Frankenstein, ’ hier in die TIME -argiewe: Die mensgemaakte monster


Hoe Real-Life Science Mary Shelley geïnspireer het Frankenstein

Mary Shelley se Frankenstein, wat vanjaar 200 jaar gelede gepubliseer is, word dikwels die eerste moderne wetenskapfiksie genoem. Dit het ook 'n deel van die popkultuur geword - soveel dat selfs mense wat dit nie gelees het nie, die verhaal ken (of dink dat hulle weet): 'n Ambisieuse jong wetenskaplike met die naam Victor Frankenstein skep 'n groteske maar vaag menslike wese uit die onderdele van lyke, maar hy verloor beheer oor sy skepping, en chaos ontstaan. Dit is 'n uiters vindingryke verhaal wat voortspruit uit die verbeelding van 'n uitsonderlike jong vrou en terselfdertyd die angs oor nuwe idees en nuwe wetenskaplike kennis weerspieël wat op die punt was om die lewensweefsel in die 19de eeu te verander.

Die vrou wat ons as Mary Shelley onthou, is gebore Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, die dogter van die politieke filosoof William Godwin en die filosoof en feminis Mary Wollstonecraft (wat tragies kort na Mary se geboorte gesterf het). Hers was a hyper-literate household attuned to the latest scientific quests, and her parents (Godwin soon remarried) hosted many intellectual visitors. One was a scientist and inventor named William Nicholson, who wrote extensively on chemistry and on the scientific method. Another was the polymath Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles.

At just 16 years old, Mary ran off with poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was married at the time. A Cambridge graduate, Percy was a keen amateur scientist who studied the properties of gases and the chemical make-up of food. He was especially interested in electricity, even performing an experiment reminiscent of Benjamin Franklin's famous kite test.

The genesis of Frankenstein can be traced back to 1816, when the couple spent the summer at a country house on Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. Lord Byron, the famous poet, was in a villa nearby, accompanied by a young doctor friend, John Polidori. The weather was miserable that summer. (We now know the cause: In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted, spewing dust and smoke into the air which then circulated around the world, blotting out the Sun for weeks on end, and triggering widespread crop failure 1816 became known as the "year without a summer.")

Mary and her companions—including her infant son, William, and her step-sister, Claire Clairmont—were forced to spend their time indoors, huddled around the fireplace, reading and telling stories. As storm after storm raged outside, Byron proposed that they each write a ghost story. A few of them tried today, Mary's story is the one we remember.

THE SCIENCE THAT INSPIRED SHELLEY

A lithograph for the 1823 production of the play Presumption or, the Fate of Frankenstein, inspired by Shelley's novel. Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Frankenstein is, of course, a work of fiction, but a good deal of real-life science informed Shelley's masterpiece, beginning with the adventure story that frames Victor Frankenstein's tale: that of Captain Walton's voyage to the Arctic. Walton hopes to reach the North Pole (a goal that no one would achieve in real life for almost another century) where he might "discover the wondrous power that attracts the needle"—referring to the then-mysterious force of magnetism. The magnetic compass was a vital tool for navigation, and it was understood that the Earth itself somehow functioned like a magnet however, no one could say how and why compasses worked, and why the magnetic poles differed from the geographical poles.

It's not surprising that Shelley would have incorporated this quest into her story. "The links between electricity and magnetism was a major subject of investigation during Mary's lifetime, and a number of expeditions departed for the North and South Poles in the hopes of discovering the secrets of the planet's magnetic field," writes Nicole Herbots in the 2017 book Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds.

Victor recounts to Walton that, as a student at the University of Ingolstadt (which still exists), he was drawn to chemistry, but one of his instructors, the worldly and affable Professor Waldman, encouraged him to leave no branch of science unexplored. Today scientists are highly specialized, but a scientist in Shelley's time might have a broad scope. Waldman advises Victor: "A man would make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to that department of human knowledge alone. If your wish is to become really a man of science, and not merely a petty experimentalist, I should advise you to apply to every branch of natural philosophy, including mathematics."

But the topic that most commands Victor's attention is the nature of life itself: "the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life. Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed?" It is a problem that science is on the brink of solving, Victor says, "if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries."

In the era that Shelley wrote these words, the subject of what, exactly, differentiates living things from inanimate matter was the focus of impassioned debate. John Abernethy, a professor at London's Royal College of Surgeons, argued for a materialist account of life, while his pupil, William Lawrence, was a proponent of "vitalism," a kind of life force, an "invisible substance, analogous to on the one hand to the soul and on the other to electricity."

Another key thinker, the chemist Sir Humphry Davy, proposed just such a life force, which he imagined as a chemical force similar to heat or electricity. Davy's public lectures at the Royal Institution in London were a popular entertainment, and the young Shelley attended these lectures with her father. Davy remained influential: in October 1816, when she was writing Frankenstein almost daily, Shelley noted in her diary that she was simultaneously reading Davy's Elements of Chemical Philosophy.

Davy also believed in the power of science to improve the human condition—a power that had only just been tapped. Victor Frankenstein echoes these sentiments: Scientists "have indeed performed miracles," he says. "They penetrate into the recesses of Nature, and show how she works in her hiding-places. They ascend into the heavens they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited Powers …"

Victor pledges to probe even further, to discover new knowledge: "I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown Powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of Creation."

FROM EVOLUTION TO ELECTRICITY

Closely related to the problem of life was the question of "spontaneous generation," the (alleged) sudden appearance of life from non-living matter. Erasumus Darwin was a key figure in the study of spontaneous generation. He, like his grandson Charles, wrote about evolution, suggesting that all life descended from a single origin.

Erasmus Darwin is the only real-life scientist to be mentioned by name in the introduction to Shelley's novel. There, she claims that Darwin "preserved a piece of vermicelli in a glass case, till by some extraordinary means it began to move with a voluntary motion." She adds: "Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated galvanism had given token of such things: perhaps the component parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endured with vital warmth." (Scholars note that "vermicelli" could be a misreading of Vorticellae—microscopic aquatic organisms that Darwin is known to have worked with he wasn't bringing Italian pasta to life.)

Victor pursues his quest for the spark of life with unrelenting zeal. First he "became acquainted with the science of anatomy: but this was not sufficient I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body." He eventually succeeds "in discovering the cause of the generation of life nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter."

A page from the original draft of Frankenstein. Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

To her credit, Shelley does not attempt to explain what the secret is—better to leave it to the reader's imagination—but it is clear that it involves the still-new science of electricity it is this, above all, which entices Victor.

In Shelley's time, scientists were just beginning to learn how to store and make use of electrical energy. In Italy, in 1799, Allesandro Volta had developed the "electric pile," an early kind of battery. A little earlier, in the 1780s, his countryman Luigi Galvani claimed to have discovered a new form of electricity, based on his experiments with animals (hence the term "galvanism" mentioned above). Famously, Galvani was able to make a dead frog's leg twitch by passing an electrical current through it.

And then there's Giovanni Aldini—a nephew of Galvani—who experimented with the body of a hanged criminal, in London, in 1803. (This was long before people routinely donated their bodies to science, so deceased criminals were a prime source of research.) In Shelley's novel, Victor goes one step further, sneaking into cemeteries to experiment on corpses: "… a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life … Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay, and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses."

Electrical experimentation wasn't just for the dead in London, electrical "therapies" were all the rage—people with various ailments sought them out, and some were allegedly cured. So the idea that the dead might come back to life through some sort of electrical manipulation struck many people as plausible, or at least worthy of scientific investigation.

One more scientific figure deserves a mention: a now nearly forgotten German physiologist named Johann Wilhelm Ritter. Like Volta and Galvani, Ritter worked with electricity and experimented with batteries he also studied optics and deduced the existence of ultraviolet radiation. Davy followed Ritter's work with interest. But just as Ritter was making a name for himself, something snapped. He grew distant from his friends and family his students left him. In the end he appears to have had a mental breakdown. In The Age of Wonder, author Richard Holmes writes that this now-obscure German may have been the model for the passionate, obsessive Victor Frankenstein.

A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT HUMAN NATURE, NOT SCIENCE

A Plate from 1922 edition of Frankenstein. Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In time, Victor Frankenstein came to be seen as the quintessential mad scientist, the first example of what would become a common Hollywood trope. Victor is so absorbed by his laboratory travails that he failed to see the repercussions of his work when he realizes what he has unleashed on the world, he is overcome with remorse.

And yet scholars who study Shelley don't interpret this remorse as evidence of Shelley's feelings about science as a whole. As the editors of Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds write, "Frankenstein is unequivocally not an antiscience screed."

We should remember that the creature in Shelley's novel is at first a gentle, amicable being who enjoyed reading paradys verlore and philosophizing on his place in the cosmos. It is the ill-treatment he receives at the hands of his fellow citizens that changes his disposition. At every turn, they recoil from him in horror he is forced to live the life of an outcast. It is only then, in response to cruelty, that his killing spree begins.

"Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded," the creature laments to his creator, Victor. "I was benevolent and good—misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous."

But Victor does not act to ease the creature's suffering. Though he briefly returns to his laboratory to build a female companion for the creature, he soon changes his mind and destroys this second being, fearing that "a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth." He vows to hunt and kill his creation, pursuing the creature "until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict."

Victor Frankenstein's failing, one might argue, wasn't his over-zealousness for science, or his desire to "play God." Rather, he falters in failing to empathize with the creature he created. The problem is not in Victor's head but in his heart.


The Gruesome, True Inspiration Behind 'Frankenstein'

On January 17, 1803, George Foster sat in a grim cell of Newgate Prison, in London, awaiting execution. Having been arrested, indicted, and found guilty of murdering his wife and child, gallows had been erected, from which he would hang. January 17th dawned bitterly cold, much like that frigid morning when the bodies of the two Foster women had been found.

Foster had argued his innocence: he had been traveling to visit his other children at the time of the deaths. True, he had wanted out of his marriage, but not by killing his wife and his child. He had been relatively drunk that evening, but that didn't necessarily lead to murder. Those who spoke on his behalf agreed: he was a decent man, good in his soul but otherwise poor. He worked hard to care for his children and wife.

Despite those who spoke on his account, the juries were not convinced: George Foster would hang, and worst still, his body would be anatomized. Dissection had been added to the Murder Act of 1752 to inflict "further terror and a peculiar mark of infamy." So distasteful a procedure, it was believed that the mere notion of it would deter criminals from committing illegal acts.

English laws only allotted a few bodies for dissections, so arguments erupted from the medical schools eager to perform experiments. These ordeals were not pretty: oftentimes the bodies were skinned, eviscerated, and cut to pieces, what remained either burned or disposed of like refuse.

For many who awaited the procedures, the fear was palpable. All over London, stories of people who'd awaken while a dissection was being performed were heard. These people were then taken to the gallows for a renewed hanging, then properly dissected. And for those who believed in an afterlife the implications were even greater. If the dead physically arose from their graves on the Day of Judgment to meet the Lord, then, how was a hanged and dissected man supposed to do that with his remains scattered who-knows-where?

George Foster approached his final hours with trepidation, even though there were those outside his cell who looked toward his death with glee.

The body of George Foster was going to an Italian, Giovanni Aldini, who had approached the college members with a claim almost as big as his ego: if they would find him a perfect corpse, he would bring it back to life.

Though Aldini knew that his proposal seemed farfetched to some, it had not come about without assiduous study and experimentation. Hailing from Bologna, which boasted one of the greatest universities in the world, The University of Bologna, he was the nephew of the doctor and scientist, Luigi Galvani. It was Galvani's experiments into animal electricity that had sparked Aldini's interests in the field.

For more than a decade, Luigi Galvani had studied the properties imbued in dead frogs. He had became aware that when the amphibians' legs were touched by an electrical arc, they twitched, clearly indicating that a vital fluid circulated through all living creatures, running from head to toe, and this could be manipulated with an outside metal apparatus. If this happened, vitality could be restored.

Inevitably, upon Galvani's death Aldini took his uncle's ideas a step further: didn't it stand to reason that sheep, pigs, cows and oxen would react to the electrical arc in the same fashion as frogs? Crowds flocked to his laboratory to watch as animals' heads convulsed from side to side, eyeballs rolled back and forth within their sockets, tongues protruded ghastly, feces dripped from the anuses. The experiments became notorious, fashionable even.

But for a man like Aldini, there was only so much satisfaction in dead animals. Soon he began to stand in the cold shadows of Piazza Maggiore, awaiting a criminal's final date with the executioner. Then, he would lug the body beneath one of Bologna's many peach-colored porticoes to his laboratory, and there fire up his battery. He faced only one issue: Bologna beheaded its criminals, thus, despite his battery, it was impossible to restore life to a body drained of blood and missing its head.

But George Foster was intact. Unlike Italy, England hung its criminals, though the law required the body to dangle for an hour. When the body finally arrived at the Royal College of Surgeons, the officials surrounded it as Aldini attached probes and electrodes to arms and legs, chest and forehead.

Aldini powered the machine and began work on Foster. Right away "the jaw began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted and the left eye opened." For those in attendance, the movements on Foster's body must have seemed like an indication of its returning to life. Aldini continued his ministrations, hours passing, at a certain point Foster seeming to inhale sharply. But eventually the battery ran out and the body stilled. Silence reigned for a few minutes until all recognized the outcome of the ordeal: Foster had died at the gallows, and dead he remained.

The experiments on George Foster's body became well-known throughout London. Giovanni Aldini returned to Italy, blaming the battery for his failure. The doctors who had witnessed the experiments disbanded and on their own discussed them with family, friends, and acquaintances.

One member of the party believed to have witnessed George Foster's galvanization was the medic, Anthony Carlisle. For Carlisle, as for others at the time, reanimation was a fashionable topic of conversation in salons and informal get-togethers, particularly those he attended on Sundays at the home of his friend, William Godwin. These Sunday events were often attended by poets, writers, doctors, scientists, and all around natural philosophers, and had become an intellectually stimulating environment in which to discuss subjects of interests to all.

The house was a busy one. Aside from Godwin, there was his wife, the second Mrs. Godwin, Jane Clairmont Godwin's daughter, Mary, born with his deceased wife, Mary Wollstonecraft his adopted daughter, Fanny Imlay and Jane Clairmont's two children, Jane and Charles. Mrs. Godwin ran a strict household, ushering the children upstairs when the Sunday soirées took place, as she fearing the men's conversations would be inappropriate for the youngsters. Not surprisingly, the children often hid behind sofas or sat on steps, listening to the stories the men told.

George Foster's story made the rounds in London and the suburbs in 1803, as it did in every household, and Carlisle must have spoken of what he had been privy to, to friends and those in his circle. He must have described Foster's cheeks and jaw twitching and convulsing he must have told of the arm that had lifted slowly and then slammed back onto the table he certainly must have described the moment when Foster's eye had opened, as if gazing at all that was occurring. The sparks that flew from Aldini's electrical apparatus, the crackling sounds the machine made, Aldini's excitement upon beginning his experiment, and the depletion of it in realizing his failure. Did Carlisle mention the morality or immorality of the acts they were performing and witnessing? The idea of overriding nature in the pursuit of scientific knowledge?

There is no indication that Carlisle, or anyone else, ever asked those questions, nor that Aldini ever thought of the consequences of his actions. But someone else did. Some years later, the little girl that lived in the Godwin's household, Mary, took off where Aldini left off and completed his mission, albeit in fiction. Mary Godwin Shelley's fantastically mad and flawed character, Victor Frankenstein, bears a striking similarity to Giovanni Aldini: both are scientists bent down a path of forbidden knowledge both have a streak of showmanship about them both, they say, begin their ordeals with benign intentions only to be overcome by boastful pride. Both try to restore the dead. One difference separates the two men: in Mary Shelley's account, the dead return, and Victor Frankenstein fatally pays for his actions.


In Frankenstein, the human society that rejected the monstrous-looking creature triggered his killing spree

We learn that the real monster is both of them: Victor for his cruel refusal to make a female companion to assuage his creation's loneliness, and the creature for the trail of death he leaves before heading for his final solitude on the Arctic seas.

Ever since Shelley set the trend, other writers have enthusiastically explored quasi-human creations, all the better to explore what makes us human. One of the latest is Paul Braddon, whose debut novel The Actuality was published last month and has already been optioned for a TV series by BBC Studios.

The Actuality by Paul Braddon explores a future world from the viewpoint of Evie, an advanced "Artificial Autonomous Being" (Credit: Sandstone)

The Actuality is set around 150 years from now, and told from the viewpoint of Evie, one of two surviving, highly advanced Artificial Autonomous Beings (AABs), when such creations have been outlawed due to problems with earlier models. She lives in hiding with her human husband, and initially believes herself to be human: "She'd persisted in denying the truth even when the evidence had begun to stack and stack". (Ironically, a very human trait.) The tension in the story comes both from her own growing discovery of her true nature, and from her pursuit by the authorities and her need to flee or fight to protect her existence.

Braddon tells BBC Culture that he sees parallels between Frankenstein and Evie's story. "Like the monster, she becomes an outcast people fear her because they assume the worst. Like Frankenstein's monster, in theory Evie has the potential to be anything, but is limited by how her maker made her. She has to escape the bonds of her existence."


Hoekom Frankenstein Is Still Relevant, Almost 200 Years After It Was Published

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Can I be totally honest? All I remember about Frankenstein is that Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster. What happens in it?

That’s harder to answer than you would think, because the book is studded with framing details and seemingly extraneous characters, but it goes something like this: Victor Frankenstein is a rich Genevan who shows great promise in scientific research. After his mother’s death, he somehow figures out how to endow dead flesh with life, but the being he makes is nightmarishly ugly, so he abandons it. In the wilderness, it manages to educate itself, becoming an astute thinker but also coming to resent its creator.

Soon enough, the man-made monster begins to take revenge on Frankenstein by lashing out at his loved ones, a process that only accelerates after the scientist fails to meet the creature’s (relatively civil) demands. Before long, almost everyone is dead, everything’s on fire, and Frankenstein and his creature are chasing each other across the Arctic on sleds.

Wait, the Arctic?

OK, fine. I get that this book is important, but why are we talking about it in a series about emerging technology?

Though people still tend to weaponize it as a simple anti-scientific screed, Frankenstein, which was first published in 1818, is much richer when we read it as a complex dialogue about our relationship to innovation—both our desire for it and our fear of the changes it brings. Mary Shelley was just a teenager when she began to compose Frankenstein, but she was already grappling with our complex relationship to new forces. Almost two centuries on, the book is just as propulsive and compelling as it was when it was first published. That’s partly because it’s so thick with ambiguity—and so resistant to easy interpretation.

Is it really ambiguous? I mean, when someone calls something frankenfood, they aren’t calling it “ethically ambiguous food.”

It’s a fair point. For decades, Frankenstein has been central to discussions in and about bioethics. Perhaps most notably, it frequently crops up as a reference point in discussions of genetically modified organisms, where the prefix Franken- functions as a sort of convenient shorthand for human attempts to meddle with the natural order. Today, the most prominent flashpoint for those anxieties is probably the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR, gene-editing technique. But it’s really oversimplifying to suggest Frankenstein is a cautionary tale about monkeying with life.

As we’ll see throughout this month on Futurography, it’s become a lens for looking at the unintended consequences of things like synthetic biology, animal experimentation, artificial intelligence, and maybe even social networking. Facebook, for example, has arguably taken on a life of its own, as its algorithms seem to influence the course of elections. Mark Zuckerberg, who’s sometimes been known to disavow the power of his own platform, might well be understood as a Frankensteinian figure, amplifying his creation’s monstrosity by neglecting its practical needs.

But this book is almost 200 years old! Surely the actual science in it is bad.

Shelley herself would probably be the first to admit that the science in the novel isn’t all that accurate. Early in the novel, Victor Frankenstein meets with a professor who castigates him for having read the wrong works of “natural philosophy.” Shelley’s protagonist has mostly been studying alchemical tomes and otherwise fantastical works, the sort of things that were recognized as pseudoscience, even by the standards of the day. Near the start of the novel, Frankenstein attends a lecture in which the professor declaims on the promise of modern science. He observes that where the old masters “promised impossibilities and performed nothing,” the new scientists achieve far more in part because they “promise very little they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera.”

Is it actually oor bad science, though?

Not exactly, but it has been read as a story about bad wetenskaplikes.

Ultimately, Frankenstein outstrips his own teachers, of course, and pulls off the very feats they derided as mere fantasy. But Shelley never seems to confuse fact and fiction, and, in fact, she largely elides any explanation of hoe Frankenstein pulls off the miraculous feat of animating dead tissue. We never actually get a scene of the doctor awakening his creature. The novel spends far more dwelling on the broader reverberations of that act, showing how his attempt to create one life destroys countless others. Read in this light, Frankenstein isn’t telling us that we shouldn’t try to accomplish new things, just that we should take care when we do.

This speaks to why the novel has stuck around for so long. It’s not about particular scientific accomplishments but the vagaries of scientific progress in general.

Does that make it into a warning against playing God?

It’s probably a mistake to suggest that the novel is just a critique of those who would usurp the divine mantle. Instead, you can read it as a warning about the ways that technologists fall short of their ambitions, even in their greatest moments of triumph.

Look at what happens in the novel: After bringing his creature to life, Frankenstein effectively abandons it. Later, when it entreats him to grant it the rights it thinks it deserves, he refuses. Only then—after he reneges on his responsibilities—does his creation regtig go bad. We all know that Frankenstein is the doctor and his creation is the monster, but to some extent it’s the doctor himself who’s made monstrous by his inability to take responsibility for what he’s wrought.

OK, hold up. I’m paging through the book now, and this is how Shelley has Frankenstein describe his creation: “yellow skin,” “watery eyes,” “shriveled complexion,” “straight black lips.” Plus, it’s like 8 feet tall. That sure sounds like a description of a monster.

What matters most there isn’t the creature’s terrifying appearance but how poorly the doctor responds to it. In his essay “The Monster’s Human Nature,” the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould argues that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Frankenstein’s goals. Instead, Gould writes, “Victor failed because he followed a predisposition of human nature—visceral disgust at the monster’s appearance—and did not undertake the duty of any creator or parent: to teach his own charge and to educate others in acceptance.”

In other words, Frankenstein stumbles as a science educator, not as a scientist. Some academic critics have taken issue with that reading, arguing that the bad doctor’s faults run far deeper. But it may still be helpful to reckon with the connection between Frankenstein and Adam, a man given stewardship over the creatures of the earth. Shelley’s protagonist is monstrous because he doesn’t take his own similar responsibility seriously. The book’s subtitle—The Modern Prometheus—also contains an important mythological clue: Prometheus brings fire to the mortals and unleashes dire consequences in the process, granting them the ability to burn down the world.

That last association is fitting, since Frankenstein is, to some extent, a story about the unintended consequences of our actions. That angle on the book has helped turn it into a prop for those driven by anti-scientific skepticism, an interpretation of the text that’s been circulating for decades at the least—probably much longer. It’s been especially central to debates around genetic engineering, for example. There and in other contexts, it’s often colloquially cited (“You’re going to create a Frankenstein’s monster!”) to cut off scientific inquiries before they even begin. Indeed, as Romanticism scholar Richard Holmes has suggested, though many describe Frankenstein as the first major work of science fiction, we should also recognize it as “one of the most subversive attacks on modern science ever written.” For all that, Shelley spends far more of her book worrying over inadequate parenting than railing against bad science.


Kyk die video: Mary Shelleys Frankenstein 1994 - Bride Elizabeth