All posts tagged modern

Today, with my son, I watched the Disney and Tim Burton movie Frankenweenie. The connection I’ll make is, of course, to the Frankenstein novel written by Mary Shelley.  My son was home from school with a sore throat, so I tucked him in the couch with the covers around him and together we watched this story unfold via pay per view.  As an English teacher, I appreciated that the name of the little boy protagonist in the movie was actually Victor.  So much of modern culture has transformed the name of the creature himself into Frankenstein, when in reality, Victor Frankenstein is the creator (which I made sure to tell my son).  Since this is not a movie review, I don’t intend to comment more on the movie; but instead, I’ll comment on our culture’s fascination with this book and the book’s creature through the ages.  Think of all the movies, TV shows, comics, costumes, and other Frankenstein paraphernalia you’ve seen.  Almost none of it bears any true resemblance to the original book, whose other title is The Modern Prometheus; but that doesn’t stop us from interacting with the idea of Frankenstein in all its forms because that idea has become infinitely famous. Instead of lamenting about this fact, I will rejoice that literature is not extinct! Literature still affects us today, even if we are not aware of its original intent right away. I choose to think that the vast multitude of loose references to the novel Frankenstein, is a serious testament that somehow, somewhere, somebody has understood the importance of the questions young Mary Shelley evokes in her novel and maybe the rest of humanity will too, eventually.  Who is the monster, really? And why should we care? Those are important concepts that affect the present just as much as the past.