Frankenstein Was Not A Monster
By, Donna M. Monnig
Frankenstein was not a monster, he was a man, a fictional one at that. He was Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and he proved that being intelligent is not the same as being wise. He showed that just because you could do something does not mean that you should do something.
Mary Shelley’s epic novel Frankenstein (often considered as the first science fiction novel) is the story of the ambitious and arrogant scientist who creates a living creature out of dead bodies. The creature, or wretch as he is often refered to in the novel, was the creation of Frankenstein, the nightmare of Frankenstein, indeed, the bane of Frankenstein, but he was not Frankenstein.
The creature was never named in the novel, yet popular culture has us referring to it as Frankenstein. You hear Frankenstein and you think: monster. Although, it could be argued that Victor Frankenstein, though a man, was a bit of a monster.
The creature was not named Frankenstein, yet Halloween costumes that look like the wretch bear the name. Halloween music also makes this assumption.
The song Igor’s Party, by Tony’s Monstrosities, makes the reference, “Up one side and down the other, Dracula was dancing with Frankenstein’s mother.” Now, while it is possible that Dracula was dancing with the actual mother of the man, Victor Frankenstein, it is highly improbable that she would, and I don’t think that’s the message the song is trying to convey.
The song Frankenstein’s Den, by Hollywood Flames, says, “Frankenstein’s got a den, you won’t come out after you’ve went in.” Again, while Victor Frankenstein could of had a den, I don’t think he’d have had a party there in which a chocolate covered octopus was served, or that Jekyll and Hyde would have been part of the entertainment.
The song Frankenstein’s Party, by The Swingin’ Phillies, is about a party at Frankenstein’s where mummies and monster’s of all kinds are in attendance. And the song Screamin’ Ball (At Dracula Hall), by Duponts, mentions Frankenstein being at Dracula’s party where there’s “acid in the soup and poison in the wine” and “witches cackle up a storm of fiendish glee.”
I’m just having trouble picturing the prideful, cowardly, scientist fairing too well at these events, let alone being there in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, I like all of the aforementioned songs, and I like the novel Frankenstein, but I don’t like how popular culture has ignored the meaning that I think Mary Shelley was trying to convey in her story. Which is that man shouldn’t play God, there’s some knowledge that no one should be privy to, and that someone is not a monster simply because they are terrifying to look at.
Have you read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? What do you think she was trying to say? Have you ever mistakenly called the monster, Frankenstein?
Related Posts: Tales Telling Tales – Rhyme N Review