Frankenstein (1931)



Vol. 2 Ch. 9

Vol. 3 Ch. 1

Fear of Being Forgotten

The Female Creature

Nature and Sublime

Reviews of Frankenstein





Works Cited

The 1931 Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, has become the iconic adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel. It portrays the creature as a completely unintelligent creature on a mission to destroy humanity. However, such psychopathic tendencies are hardly explained by the film. The highly articulate creature in the novel has much more to be angry about. He is lonely, lost, and separated from his father, or creator. The film makes a multi-dimensional character one-dimensional and thus diminishes the severity of Victor's abandonment. The pivotal scene on the mountain summit is left out, a scene that underscores the creature's need for companionship.

 The encounter between the creature and Victor is important on so many levels, but the because the adaptation leaves this scene out of the movie, the creature seems more animal than human. In the book, this scene establishes the creature as an articulate and highly logical being. His anguish and resulting destruction can be attributed to his separation from society and his creator. He has no way of living beyond his mortal life, and he will most likely drift into oblivion. Without the scene, the creature seems inherently evil, which can attributed to the "abnormal" brain he has. 

The adaptation  examines the origins of evil more than it examines the origins of anguish and loneliness. The book demonstrates that the creature does commit rather benevolent actions, such as resupplying the De Laceys. The creature become more and more isolated as the book progresses, and as a result, he becomes more "evil."