Recently, there is a movie called Van Helsing, which has some very classic western deomons: Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein. Van Helsing is just like Chung Kwai in old Chinese stories, whose job is to get rid of those demons/monsters. Actually, I’m not so interested in this movie, especially for Frankenstein part.
Frankenstein is the very first science fiction, written by Mary Shelley. There are many movie adaptations of this story. I have watched one of them called “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (1994), where the creature is performed by Robert De Niro.
Frankenstein is not the name of the creature, but the creater: Victor Frankenstein. Victor is a doctor and one day he found that electricity is the key to create life. What he need is some freshes, so he collected different body parts from dead bodies and sew them together so that he got a whole body. He then applied electricity to the body to make it alive. So the creature is born.
The creature is tall, strong and muscular. But as he is joined by different freshes, you can see those sewing marks everywhere, making his look very different from normal human being. Victor just can’t bear that he has created such monster. He leaves it alone. Let him wander in the wild.
However, the creature has his own mind. He tries to enter the human world but get rejection everywhere, just because of his look. He hides in a small house’s barn, through the little gap between the woods of the wall, he learn how to read, write and various human emotions. Sometimes he tried to help them as well when they leave. He feels like he’s one of the family member. However, when he showed his face to them, all he got is just their fear and rejection. He is so disappointed and sad. He killed all of them. He wants to find Victor, asking him why he has created him and abandoned him:
Victor Frankenstein: There was something at work in my soul which I do not understand.
Creature: And what of my soul? Do I have one? Or was that a part you left out?
Victor Frankenstein: Materials. Nothing more.
The Creature: You’re wrong.
[Picks up recorder]
The Creature: Did you know I knew how to play this? From which part of me did this knowledge reside? From this mind? From these hands? From this heart? And reading and speaking. Not so much things learned as things remembered.
Victor Frankenstein: Slight trace waves in the brain perhaps.
The Creature: Did you ever consider the consequences of your actions? You made me, and you left me to die. Who am I?
Victor Frankenstein: You? I don’t know.
The Creature: And you think that I am evil.
He is a pitiful creature, created by Victor out of his curiosity and the attempt to play god. Victor is at a lost after he has created him. The creature is at a lost, don’t why he is born. This is the very first main topic of science fiction: a scientist creates something horrible without thinking the consequence, and so the tragedy happened. It’s a sad story.
What I don’t like the later Frankenstein stories is that the creature is described as a very bad guy, not mentioned why he become so bad. He has no intention to harm human in the very first place.
P.S. Sorry I have not grammar checked my words, so you may not be able to understand what I have written.