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Comparing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein And Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein

1201 words - 5 pages

Comparing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein

Most Americans have some idea of who Frankenstein is, as a result of the many Frankenstein movies. Contrary to popular belief Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a scientist, not a monster. The "monster" is not the inarticulate, rage-driven criminal depicted in the 1994 film version of the novel. Shelley’s original Frankenstein was misrepresented by this Kenneth branagh film, most likely to send a different message to the movie audience than Shelley’s novel shows to its readers. The conflicting messages of technologies deserve being dependent on its creator (address by Shelley) and poetic justice, or triumph over evil (showed by the movie) is best represented by the scene immediately preceding Frankenstein’s monster’s death.

In Shelley’s novel, the final picture of Frankenstein’s monster reveals important qualities of his inner nature; he is shown in the last moments of his life to be felling, fully conscious of his guilt, and firm in his decision to end his life. This is the conclusion of a long series of events providing insight into how the monster changed as a result of his creator’s actions and the actions of the people with whom he came in contact. Up until this final point, he has changed from being good and hopeful to being caught up in the desire for a companion, to being evil and only focused on revenge. All these changes are recounted by the monster himself in this scene. (Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine)

He was at one point motivated by many good things like as virtue and honor, so much so that he wanted a companion to share in his happy life. “When I first sought it [sympathy], it was the love of virtue, the feelings of happiness and affection with which my whole being overflowed, that I wished to be participated. . . . Once my fancy was soothed with dreams of virtue, of fame, and of enjoyment. . . . I was nourished with high thoughts of honor and devotion.” (154) He did not start out as an evil being, but rather was good by nature and exposed early in his life to good things. (Allen, g.s)

Frankenstein’s and society’s rejection of the monster, however, drove him to an uneven passionate pursuit for a companion. He forced Frankenstein to create a female monster, and he provided motivation by killing Frankenstein’s loved ones and threatening to kill more of them. The monster recalls in this final scene of Shelley’s novel how his desire drove him to evil. “. . . do you think that I was then dead to agony and remorse?--He . . . suffered not more in the consummation of the deed;--oh! Not the ten-thousandth portion of the anguish that was mine during the lingering detail of its execution. A frightful selfishness hurried me on. . . .” (153) At that point in the novel, the monster has changed from good in nature to evil in nature. His own desires are more important to him than the well-being of others and he is willing to commit murder in order ensure the...

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