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I ran across an old copy of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley the other day. I started reading it again. I forgot what a good Victorian novel it was: dark and moody with all that  over-the-top dramatic angst. When you think about it, the narrator,  Victor,  isn't so different from Bella from the Twilight saga: going on and on about the  nightmare of his life.

Still, I enjoyed it immensely.

It raised  some of the same questions I had the first time I read it:

1. How did  the movies end up with a monster created in a castle?

2.  How did  lightening end up as the life force mechanism in the
movies?

3.  Where did  Igor come from?

4.  There is no  mention of body parts when creating either creature. Victor talks about his  chemistry tools. I wonder if he generates the flesh on his own and animates  it?

5. If Victor can restore life  to inanimate flesh, then why doesn't he bring back to life any of the people the  monster kills? Particularly Elizabeth? Instead he just moans about how he should  have never given life to the creature...hello!

Having asked  all this, I wish someone would make a movie that is true to the book. How he  created life could really be played with. I was thinking he perhaps found some  forgotten truth in those philosophy books he started off reading before getting  to real science. It would be as if some ancient druid had written down spells,  incantations and potion recipes that actually worked. Victor used chemistry to  recreate some spell that was hinted at in his earlier studies. When the light  came on for him it was while once again considering his first  studies.

Frankenstein is considered the first "science fiction" book. I can see why, although it is maddening how Mary Shelley doesn't give us any science to think about. No chemical, or electrical impulse is ever mentioned. We are really left to our imaginations as to how he was able to create the creature (body parts gathered, or did he form them somehow? Was it advanced cloning?), and how he gave it life.

Well, lots of  questions, but I still recommend the book. It's a great ghost story/science  fiction yarn either way.

I have a story concept which I began years ago called "Artificial Intelligence," which sort of explores similar avenues to Frankenstein. After re-reading the book, I'm thinking about having my story focus a bit more on similar themes. For  example, I want my Taggart character to be more like the evil monster character,  blinded by anger at his creator and bent on ruining his life, but he will try to  accomplish it by trying to track down and kill the "benevolent" monster  character of Genevieve for whom Taggart already has built-in animosity.

I also want to explore the idea of pain leading to  either cruelty or love depending upon how it is perceived and how one is exposed  to it. Or perhaps it is all determined because of some internal quality which  you either have or you don't...hmm.

 


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