Frankenstein Part II: Crash Course Literature 206

Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course
Literature, and today we continue our discussion of “Frankenstein”.
Oh, Me From the Past didn’t even come to school today. Isn’t that fantastic? Well
we’re going to learn something without him. Last time we talked a little bit about the
Romantics, “Frankenstein” is often cited as the definitive Romantic novel, but ehh…
let’s get a little bit deeper into it. Capital “R” Romantics don’t have a lot
to do with lower case ‘r’ romantics, unless your idea of romance involves like ecstatic
descriptions of nature and a revolutionary spirit that often ends in bloodshed.
And if that’s your idea of romance, don’t put it in your OK Cupid profile. However,
pro tip, do say that you’re 6’3”. Knowing more about the capital “R” Romantics will help you be better at lower case “r” romance so stick with me here. [Theme Music] So Romanticism was a movement originating
in the late 18th century and it’s typically understood as a reaction against both the
Industrial Revolution’s devaluing of the individual human spirit and embracing of like the soulless assembly line. And also the Enlightenment’s claims of scientific certainty.
Romanticism prizes intuition over rationalism, and nature and wildness over classical harmony,
and emotions—especially difficult emotions like horror and awe and terror and passion—are
preferred over intellect. And there’s an emphasis on the unconscious
and irrational part of humans. There’s a lot of talk of dreams and stuff.
So is “Frankenstein” a Romantic novel? Well, if you take a course in Romantic lit
in college then you will almost definitely read it. So, yes.
“Frankenstein” is interested in difficult, uncomfortable emotions the wonder and awe
and horror of encountering the radically other. And it’s certainly in many ways also a response to the
Enlightenment’s emphasis on scientific rationality. I mean people at the time really thought
that we would eventually be able to reanimate the dead and other people
were rightly troubled by that. Then again, you can also read the book as
a critique — and a pretty stern one — of the kind of thinking and acting that
Romanticism encourages, right? I mean Romanticism preaches a radical
self-involvement that privileges the individual’s pursuit of knowledge and glory but for all of Victor
and Walton’s encountering nature and going with their gut it’s pretty disastrous. .
Another popular reading is to interpret “Frankenstein” autobiographically, a reading that was encouraged
via 1970s feminist criticism of the novel. Earlier readings along these lines situates
“Frankenstein” as a tale of monstrous birth and look to Mary Shelley’s own experiences
with birth, which were pretty terrible.. I mean Mary Shelley’s mother died while
giving birth to her and Mary and Percy’s own first child, a daughter, died when she
was just a few weeks old. And in her journal, Mary recounted an incredibly
sad dream about this daughter: “Dream that my little baby came to life again; that it
had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived.”
So, of course, the idea of bringing the dead back to life had occurred to her even before
she listened in on Percy Shelley and Byron discussing new developments in electricity.
Mary Shelley even refers to the book itself as a child. In her intro to the 1831 edition,
she wrote, “I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper. I have an affection for
it, for it was the offspring of happy days.” That’s a very tempting reading, but it’s
also really literal and reductive. First off, and I’m saying this partly defensively
as a novelist, novelist don’t write exclusively from their own experience.
More importantly, I’m not at all convinced that making an author the central character
of a novel is a particularly helpful way to read it.
So if you read “Frankenstein” as merely as Mary Shelley working out her own personal
issues you miss the great and terrible questions at the center of the book. The questions that
really can change you. There’s in fact a term for trying to do
this kind of reading—“intentional fallacy”—in which we believe we can know exactly what
the author was thinking when they wrote a book.
But putting aside those biographical readings there are still some pretty interesting feminist
critiques of “Frankenstein.” For instance, the novel clearly shows what
harm comes to women (and families and relationships) when men pursue single-minded goals.
In fact, thanks to Victor’s lack of work-life balance, pretty much all the women in this
novel die. I mean Victor’s creation of the monster leads to the hanging of the servant
Justine, the murder of Victor’s bride Elizabeth on their wedding night.
And occasionally in the novel Mary Shelley refers to nature itself as female, suggesting
that Victor is violating it, as when Victor discusses how with “unrelaxed and breathless
eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places.” I mean you can say I’m reading sex into
that if you want but “unrelaxed and breathless eagerness.”?
And there are also plenty of suggestions that Victor might not like women very much. The
creature says that he will leave Victor and all mankind alone forever if Victor just creates
a mate for him and Victor begins work, but then he gets freaked out over what it will
mean to create a lady monster. Now admittedly that’s partly because it
might mean monster progeny but just look at the text, “She might become ten thousand
times more malignant than her mate,” thinks Victor, “and delight, for its own sake,
in murder and wretchedness.” He worries, “a race of devils would be propagated
upon the earth who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious
and full of terror.” So Victor destroys the female creature while
the monster watches. He recalls, how “trembling with passion, [I] tore to pieces the thing
on which I was engaged.” I don’t think I’m being too weird to point
out the sexy stuff there: “trembling with passion.” Anyway, Victor claims to love
his cousin, Elizabeth, but he deserts her for years at a time and even though the creature
says—really, really, really clearly—“I will be with you on your wedding-night,”
he leaves her alone on his wedding night. Now we can all wonder why Mary Shelley didn’t
create any strong female characters here and instead a collection of suffering, passive,
doomed ones, but we can certainly read the novel as an exploration of what happens when
men fear, distrust, or devalue women so much that they attempt to reproduce without them.
I mean in some ways Victor is trying to bypass the feminine altogether. He’s creating life
without recourse to egg or womb. Now you could counter this by saying that Mary Shelley’s
original Creator—God—did the same thing. But that’s precisely the point. Victor is
not God. And perhaps this is where “Frankenstein”
is still most relevant, in its discussion of “playing God,” of the single-minded
pursuit of science without an accompanying concern about you know, morality.
Now, obviously, the experiments that Victor undertakes are extreme, but Mary Shelley was
basing them on some of the scientific debates and discoveries of her day. And even if the
book is largely science fiction, there’s a certain amount of scientific fact in it,
and a lot of scientific questioning. And part of why this book has survived is
because the questions she was asking were important in her day, but they’re also
pretty important now. I mean there was a recent book on genetic
modifications in animals called “Frankenstein’s Cat”, those who object to GMO foods often
label them Frankenfoods, which only makes them sound like Franken-berry cereal – which
is delicious! So Mary Shelley was influenced… oh… it
must be time for The Open Letter. Oh look, it’s Frankenstein’s monster.
No, wait, it’s the Hulk. It actually occurs to me that they’re quite similar.
Both monsters created by failed scientific experiments who only really become monstrous
when they’re rejected by society. Anyway, an Open Letter to scientists: Dear
Scientists, here’s a little rule of thumb. Anytime you’re doing any kind of experiment,
ask yourself the question, “Could this create a monster?” Even if the chances are relatively
low, I’m going to advise against that experiment, because what I have seen from the movies and from
books is that if it can become a monster it will! But I will say scientists that I think you’ve been a bit unfairly maligned by poor readings of “Frankenstein.” Frankenstein is not like the Hulk because
his story isn’t, at least not simply, about about science run amok.
It’s an oversimplification scientists. You are doing good work with you lab coats and
your chemicals and I thank you. Don’t turn anyone into a monster. Best wishes, John Green.
Right, but anyway, Mary Shelley was influenced by several scientists, but chief among them
Erasmus Darwin, grandfather to Charles, and Luigi Galvani.
Darwin published a long poem called “The Temple of Nature,” because back then poetry
was a totally reasonable way to share scientific ideas.
He had an idea that life—at least on the microscopic level—could be restored to seemingly
dead matter or created out of inert matter, a phenomenon he called “spontaneous generation.” And Galvani, became famous for conducting
experiments with electricity, in which he showed that electrical impulses could animate
the muscles of dead creatures like the legs of a deceased frog.
Did you get it? “.. conducting experiments in electricity”, anyone? Conducting electricity?
No? OK. Galvani’s followers did even more macabre
experiments, like in 1803 test in which several scientists attached electrodes to the body
of an executed murderer in the hope of restoring it to life.
Because they were like, “Oh, man. Who should we bring back from the dead? I know, a murderer!”
Anyway, they,of course, didn’t succeed, but they did succeed in making a few of the
murder’s muscles convulse. These experiments clearly influence Victor’s
attempt to reanimate dead flesh and in fact Victor’s experiments weren’t that much
radical than ones that were actually happening at the time.
That said, the novel itself is clearly pretty skeptical about these pursuits. I mean even
before he animates the monster, it’s clear that his studies are exacting a tremendous
toll on Victor’s health, and his well being, also that of his friends and family.
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Victor describes how “My cheek had grown
pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement,” which is a
pretty good passage to show your parents when they’re pushing you to go pre-med.
And things only went downhill once he began to assemble the creature. Victor, “dabbled
among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal…collected bones
from charnel-houses; and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human
frame,” But Victor thinks that this digging around
in slaughterhouses and graveyards will be worth it; he says “I might in process of
time…renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption.” And that’s
an amazing and laudable goal (unless you’ve ever seen any zombie movie ever, in which
case you would know that it’s a TERRIBLE idea).
But in that same passage, Victor says that the creatures he makes “would bless me as
its creator and source…. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely
as I should deserve theirs.” So it’s clear that his desire is actually
selfish and that he’s pursuing this knowledge not for universal good, or so that the dead
may live again, but for his own gratification. And then of course there’s his reaction
when his experiment does succeed. I mean, even though he’s assembled every facet of
the creature and made him huge on purpose so that all these fiddly bits like veins and
eyelashes will be easier to work with, he responds to his creature with utter horror.
And what is Victor’s mature, responsible, heroic reaction to this situation? He runs
away, making all the dads on “Teen Mom” look amazing by comparison.
Thanks Thought Bubble So, the monster blames this initial abandonment
for all the murders that result, right? And Percy Shelley agreed, writing that while
the creature was initially affectionate and moral “the circumstances of his existence
were so monstrous and uncommon, that… his original goodness was gradually turned into
the fuel of an inextinguishable misanthropy and revenge.”
But is the tragedy inherent in the creation of the monster or is there a way to pursue
knowledge without responding in horror? Frankenstein is more than a little relevant
today as we struggle to figure out where technologies like stem cell therapy, or genetically modified
foods, or cloning land on the ethical and moral scales of the social order.
The pursuit of knowledge is good, right, because that’s how I’m even able to talk to you
through like the magic of the Internet. That’s why we aren’t hunger/gathers anymore.
But we don’t actually know the outcome yet. Sometimes we forget that we’re still in
the middle of history. I don’t think Mary Shelley condemned science
outright, or explicitly discourages learning the secrets of life and nature.
Now the experiment definitely fails. The question is why?
Is it because Victor’s aims are just unnatural and evil? Is it because he can’t love the
creature he’s created? Or is it because he let’s his ego run amok dictate his motivations?
That’s a non-rhetorical question by the way. I look forward to reading your answers
in comments. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you next week.
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100 thoughts on “Frankenstein Part II: Crash Course Literature 206

  1. When I first read it, and even now, I feel like the reactions and treatment made the monster. You raise a human child in an atmosphere of pure hatred and disgust, you'll as surely get a monster as in Frankenstein.

  2. my English teacher loves the theory of gay victor and i'm totally behind it. obviously being gay was wrong in the early 1800s so he wanted to create a human to be gay with however as he was ugly victor wasn't attracted to him so disowned the creature which is so sad. i seriously love the monster( wish he had a name so i don't have to call him a monster)

  3. Why was the section with cottagers overlooked? Some parallels could have been drawned between the DeLaceys and the Frankenstein family.

  4. Why did you not mention the cottager's once, they take up quite a large portion of the book, and they could be quite an interesting thing to talk about for the question you just left.

  5. I feel like it wasn't JUST Frankenstein's fault that the experiment failed. I hate to say this because I do feel bad for the Monster, but EVERYONE in life has a choice. He taught himself to read and write, had interactions with the cottagers that were at least somewhat kind, and yet, in the end, was still a Monster. Did Frankenstein do wrong? Yes. But was it ENTIRELY his fault? No. I grew up with an abusive mother, but that doesn't mean that I became abusive towards other people. Why? Because I CHOSE not to let the abuse that happened to me affect how I interact with my world.

  6. My AP Lit teacher told us we weren't allowed to call Frankenstein's creation "the monster" because it immediately labels him as so. Because Frankenstein ran away in horror when the creation first came to life, it allowed the creation to turn into a monster because no one ever gave him the chance to be anything else. What he did was indeed wrong but his creator never taught him what was right and what was wrong. Frankenstein is to blame in a lot of this, like creating the creature in the first place and then not facing his consequences and repercussions. if someone refers to the creation as "the monster" then you're automatically agreeing with the people who say he is indeed a monster when in fact he's just a creation who was never taught morals and never really given a chance.

  7. (paraphrased) "You were so focused on whether or not you could that you never considered…whether or not you SHOULD." "Playing God" is pretty much the first interpretation I came up with–that he failed so horribly because he was trying to do something that is not meant for us mere mortals. There's more to it of course, but that was my main interpretation when I read it (well, other than "I kinda feel for the monster…" and "FRANKENSTEIN's the real jerk here!") that all this horror and punishment came about from what worshippers of much older gods would've called hubris.

    About him not wanting to make the mate, another thing that came to mind is that in that time period, could you get away with describing a man handling and touching even dead female body parts?! Think about it–I mean, this is awfully close to the beginning of Victorian times.
    Sure, there's also the "the female of the species is more deadly than the male" interpretation that Frankenstein himself pretty much says (not entirely untrue if you consider stuff like lionesses, preying mantises, etc. and also that the most direct, just-kill-you form of martial arts was invented by a woman) but it also occurred to me that 19th-century EEEEWWW, BODIES! GROSS! squickiness might've come into play.

  8. After watching this video I remember a part in the book where the creature was described and to me the creature was beautiful. I read the book with others at the same time and they agreed with me.
    Main point here is that I saw the beauty of the creation while Victor did not for a reason that I think is because the stress of his work blinded him. With over work you do not think clearly and thus when you realize what you think is a mistake is when you snap out of it.

  9. Anyone and everyone has the potential to turn out into a huge plethora of things. Mix environmental and genetic factors and you or I could avoid misdeeds or have going towards them become more likely. That 'monster' had intelligence, and could have been cared for, taught and loved. But he was neglected. You can argue that he had it in him to kill but so does anyone. If you are a mother, you might kill for your child. You might kill for self defense or with the intention to cause harm. When in the position of power and responsibility for a dependant, Victor failed to fully see through the experiment.

  10. It speaks to the nature of humanity. The monster gave humanity a chance not once but twice. If the family he watched had accepted him he would've been happy. He even waited long enough to talk to the blind man and he almost succeeded. All he wanted was love. That's why he wanted a mate.

    When people are rejected by their caretakers and society it creates monsters.

  11. To anyone saying "Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is not the monster. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein IS the monster", I think it is kinda wrong. Viktor is not a monster either, he is a scientist that commits a lot of mistakes, sure, but he is not a monster, just like the monster itself isn´t either. There are no monsters in this novel, only two main characters (Viktor and his creation) who both commit mistakes and suffer either injustice or the consequences of their mistakes.

  12. Thank you for pointing out how sexist the book is. I was struck by how none of the women in the book really have any agency. And that practically all the women in the book are described as being perfect, beautiful, even angelic. I noticed this particularly with Elizabeth. She never does anything wrong. She has no flaws or faults. I suppose this is to make it seem that much more tragic when she is murdered on her wedding night, but it just makes me want to knock her down from that pedestal Victor has placed her on, to bring her down to the level of human being.

  13. Does Dr Frienstien's mother die in the novel and is he distraught about that death, and that maybe part of the reason the he makes the monster because he cant accept his mothers death? The question of mortallity/immortallity. This may also reflect the authors own personal story.

  14. Does Dr Frankenstien get given a book, not quite sure who gave it, that is the story of the sorcerers apprentice? He gets given the book at the time that he is deciding to go and study science or not. He chooses not to read the book and goes to the science school upon which was his fathers suggestion to go to. Dr Frankenstien's father also sends his son away at the time of his mothers death because he couldnt deal with the death of his wife, leaving his son to work through the grief process unguided. This could also convey aspects of power and responsibility.

  15. Is it true that when Dr Frankenstien is acused of killing his family members and spends time in jail, he pleads his innocence and states the monster killed them (up to this point only Dr Frienkenstien knows of the monster), and the people in the comminity feel sorry for him because they believe he has gone mad, and that he cannot be redeemed because of the murders that he himself has committed? And is it true that the novel never really describes the reanimation process, and why would the writer do that? Maybe…Frankenstiens monster is really a shadow element of the Doctor himself..but that doesnt explain the monster being witnessed by the arctic explorer…mmm? Maybe this could allude to the process of creation or making something real, or what only existed within mind at first then generated into a physical form or being through belief. In other words, creation through and from the mind. I suppose that would make Dr Frankenstiens monster an illusion, like a dream, but a dream that comes true. Be careful with what you wish for.

  16. I am only now noticing the similarities between Frankenstein and Jurassic Park. both novels are about a scientist (and technically an entrepreneur and his team of scientists) Who create something monstrous without pausing to question the morality of bending life to their will. Both are about reanimating something which was once dead, (even extinct), and both involve using several different animal parts (technically genetic code) in order to make the experiment work. both involve the monstrosity escaping from the control of their creator and killing many many people. both novels feature the arrogant creator character putting his relatives and loved ones in immediate risk. John Hammond is Victor Frankenstein. If you still don’t see it, consider this quote from JP: “ God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates man, man destroys God.”

  17. there was a scientist who brought a dog back to life after a few hours of being dead. It was permanently blind though. He also got fired from the university he worked at. Whoops.

  18. One way I understood the novel is the attempt to question the idea of what made the Frankestein monster truly a monster. In appearance, the Frankstein monster is hideous and repulsive but he was really gentle and educated. Only when the humans rejected him because of his appearance, he turned into a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy; a monster both in both looks and behaviour, therefore I feel that the novel questions our conventional ideas that good is related to beauty and evil to hideousness, because the Frankstein monster started as a potentially good being but because of his ugliness he could never be accepted by society.

  19. Given that frankentein could be seen as the monsters father, and sons usually carry the name of their fathers, couldn't the monster also be named frankentein?

  20. Mary Shelly was in a contest to make a scary story. She won.

    Each generation looks into Frankenstein and sees what scares them: is it A flawed man with the powers of God (19th C.), A Scientist who creates a monster (20th c.), A Belief in God which stops science from curing death (21st.c). What scares me is that we look into darkness and it's always there, but different. It is as if we can't help but think we must be evil and fallen, even though what we call evil changes all the time.

  21. Victor is an even stronger parallel to god when you consider that according to many scriptures and interpretations god made man in order to be worshipped by them.

  22. A key to the understanding of the novel is the motifs of judging through physical appearance vs. judging the character of the person, the acceptance of non-biological parenting, and the desire of friendship. Characteristics that are assumed developed naturally through natural management of the person. Whereas the creature is absent of this natural development mixed with virtue, but not absent of its luster of desire. Which some might argue is the very secretive flaw of Victor Frankenstein.

  23. I think Mary Shelley's ambiguous attitude toward scientific discovery is one of the more enduring and fascinating aspects of this work. It's also what clearly identifies it as the first science-fiction novel. After all, nearly all science fiction (even the most dystopian) first revels in the idea of scientific progress–without which no futuristic dystopia could exist, after all. But it is science fiction's nearly universal ability to question the intent of discovery, the social impact of that discovery, and the enduring consequences of that discovery, that make science fiction arguably the most important genre in literature. I think it's particularly important now, given that certain things that were only science fiction in my youth (the 1980s) are now common consumer goods. We really don't know what the enduring consequences of these discoveries will be–what good, or what evil, will come of any particular technology we have created. Pesticides and fertilizers, starting in the 19th century with arsenic and bat guano, revolutionized agriculture and gave societies hope of overcoming the Malthusian paradox (that as food supplies grew, so would population, leading eventually back to starvation). But as we all know, each pesticide (and some fertilizers) came with its own Pandora's box of horrific consequences. This is only one small example of how discovery and scientific achievement can turn on us if we are not applying some amount of forethought and responsible debate to it. I think Frankenstein is the first, and in some ways best, example that shows us why that debate and forethought is necessary.

  24. How to reanimate the mind or conscious. He should of focused on that aspect more. If I'm unconscious or asleep my body might move. What happens when are minds are half asleep? Like dreams. When we die we loose sensation in our bodies. We stop breathing our heart stops. If the human heart is jolted awake before we loose consciousness. I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone.

  25. It fails because after creating something the scientist didnt take the time to develope his creation in a positive manner. I think thats the point i get out of her novel- We as a society should be careful what we wish for.

  26. In less than ten seconds, this video has a nod to Diablo and another to Shaun of the Dead. I've found my home in the universe, it is this video.

  27. We're reading this in my English class right now and the thought struck me: If Victor was so concerned about the she-monster proliferating new life, could he then just not have grafted a vagina on the bride with the monster unawares? It's not like the monster explicitly states he wants a ladyfriend to copulate with, and hell, we don't even know if the MONSTER'S own horror-hose works properly. Hell, we don't even know if the monster pair could conceive and carry a child to term, let alone birth one or multiple. I'm sure it's already been hotly contested here and elsewhere but just something I was wondering. Maybe the world isn't meant to know.

  28. While Victor may not have an excuse for leaving Elizabeth alone for so long, the fact that he left her alone on their wedding night does not mean he did not love her. He left her alone because he believed that the monster would confront him and he didn’t want to fall before Elizabeth or get her involved. At least this is the case from what I remember.

  29. Yet in modern times men are out to produce sex bots. It's safe to say that these dumb asses never read Frankenstein. >_> Your creation will develop self awareness and fight back. We see this in Frankenstein, The Hulk, Terminator with Skynet as head of the machine army, The Matrix, A.I., etc. The creations will develop the same emotions, ambitions, and behaviors as their creators.

  30. When Mary Shelly was conveying this story, I believe that she was talking about her experiences, but conveyed them 'to life' as a way to cope with what she was feeling. While influenced by Dr. Darwin and Lord Byron of Geneva, I personally do believe that Shelly intended this to be a ghost story, never heard again for centuries to come. What's so great about this horror story is that "knowledge is not knowing that Frankenstein is the monster", when she was however conveying the true fact that "wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the monster,". Victor definitely influenced the monster, as he was 'the Creator' and the monster was the 'Fallen Angel' from John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. It's no wonder that Shelly conveniently mentioned the monster reading this book, as it shows the monster had an understanding of good vs. evil, though the monster believe what it was doing was actually 'good' for itself, but not good for the whole of society.

  31. Elizabeth wasn't really Victor's cousin. At least not by blood. She was offered to the family by her mother and raised so she can become Victor's wife when they become adults.

  32. I very much appreciate all of your Crash Courses in literature. I teach AP Lit and use your videos to supplement student analysis and understanding. The week before the AP exam, I used your Crash Course on Frankenstein, Part I and Part II to review the themes , plot and character analysis. On the exam, Frankenstein was listed as a possible text to address the open question prompt! Again, I greatly value and appreciate your insight into classic literature.

  33. I think it's more relevant to the development of AI – you can construct an independent and powerful intelligence for selfish reasons, and then be horrified by the results. Like if you have a large corporation, and you develop an AI to make you more money, and the best way to make you more money is to start a war. And it would be really easy for the AI to do you harm; even if it can't mess with your cryptographically-secured finances (shoutout cryptocurrency), it could conceivably change a stoplight to cause an accident, send harmful emails on your behalf, doctor photos and video…

  34. Victor Frankenstein wasn't evil, he was weak. The Monster was not misunderstood, he was malevolent. Neither were good people, but both are constantly misinterpreted.

    Victor is self-absorbed, scared of consequences, can be both blinded by ambition and too scared to act, and whines a lot about how hard it is to live with the mess he created. But his intentions are never evil. His actions are unforgivable, seeing as though they caused the deaths of everyone he loved, but as he breathes his final breath, Victor's last words to Robert Walton are to not do what he did, which was probably the best advice he could give anyone.

    The Monster starts out innocent and tragic, but his constant mistreatment turns him into a murderer. By the end of the novel, he is not misunderstood or an anti-hero, he has killed three people (and by extension, three more) with the full awareness that he's doing a bad thing. He lets the misfortune of being treated poorly manifest itself in the worst possible way, and it hits everyone in the novel hard, either directly, or indirectly.

    In the end, all it really means is that Clerval was screwed over by both of them.

  35. It seems as if Frankenstein's mistake was that he created a creature equal to himself, or if to refer to the biblical story of creation – he did not expel the creature from the garden of Eden after the Original Sin, but rather created him as if he already committed the sin – with the same intelligence and mortality that Frankenstein himself had. Unlike the myth of the Golem, Frankenstein does not try to make his creature obey him, but rather abandons him.

  36. animation at 9:30: Somebody's been playing Diablo!

    Oh, and Mary Shelley's birthday is this August 30th in this, the year of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein.

  37. Does Frankenstein really refuse to create a mate for his monster because he rejects the feminine ? Isn't it in a Utilitarianist concern ? He says says several times that he'd prefer not to unleash monsters on the human species, because doing so he'd make more people suffer

  38. I think thought bubble failed with the animation I thought the monster was mostly normal looking (huge but normal) except for his glowing eyes

  39. I had never done intentional fallacy before. Authors have an unique problem, where their stories are not personal personality tests and results, and they are products of an artist. Because it is a product, there are many more than one of them. Authors do project their personalities into their stories (How can you not use yourself to write something?), but it is all skewed to tell a story. My favorite all time author is Robert A Heinlein, and he wrote science fiction stories, and he was a U.S. Navy academy graduate and served on one of the first aircraft carriers (I believe it was the Lexington). Heinlein became a writer after he was medically discharged for some disease that he had contracted in the Navy, and he wrote, wrote, and wrote. Even though many of his stories gets into science fiction technology (that is a reflection of his learned technology, such as being a human computer and memorizing all of the trigonometry tables to interstellar navigation in pre-electronic computers, the Navy actually had people like this on warships) and these stories reflect what he understood about technology, but it is still an unique story. In conclusion, the authors are artists who shall be original, and this means they are always playing with ideas to push forward a new book, and we do see patterns in their writing as each author has an unique personality that writes the stories.

  40. I don't condone robbing graves but I absolutely condone creating golems. Victor's sin is that he made his goyishe golem fend for itself. Felix having the same reaction to the golem implies that Victor's reaction isn't an unusual or unreasonable one, and I read the blind De Lacey's ability to speak with and reason with the golem as a condemnation of the sort of passionate, unreasonable terror that caused Victor to abandon his creation.

  41. I think that his experiment failed because of his ego AND his fear of his creation.

    If victor had shown love to his creation, the monster wouldn’t have gotten so vengeful as to murder people. In fact I think he would’ve turned out like the morally apt, sweet thing he was as he was first created.

    But then, if victor hadn’t been so egotistical, he would’ve taken responsibility for not supporting his Big Son and maybe even given him the companion he wanted. And if he had done that, then it would’ve saved Elizabeth at least.

  42. He let his ego beat him and could not love his own creation for that exact reason. His ego made it so he couldn't love anyone or anything but himself. EVER!

  43. Was anyone else upset that after Victor let the creature kill off all of his family and friends except for his younger brother, he then goes on a rampage after the creature–leaving that innocent younger brother behind and completely alone, and never mentioning him again?

  44. Please come to Trinity College Dublin and make a lecture on whatever book/poems/essay you want and enlight me irl 🙂

  45. victor and the monster have daddy issues. when victor first discovers Agrippa's work, his father puts him down for believing in it, which only pushed victor to pursue that science more. when creating the monster he mentions wanting to be revealed as someone's creator, mattering to another male figure and being in charge of them. because victor abandons the monster at its birth (???), the monster has no positive connection to his creator/father figure.

  46. Elizabeth isn’t Victor’s literal cousin; she was adopted by Caroline and Alphonse to provide her with a better life, cousin is simply a term of endearment

  47. 4:35 Victor's reasoning isn't sexist, it's logical and earnest. 'There's no reason to assume this creature won't turn out as bad, if not worse, than the first one'. Also: Victor didn't ditch his wife on their wedding night. He asked her to go to bed without him because he didn't want her to be mentally scarred by his confrontation with the monster; he mistakenly assumed it was coming to kill him, not her, and was armed with daggers and pistols.

  48. I think he spent more time thinking about bringing life to the corpse and neglected to think about what if it really did come to life. He wasn't mentally prepared to accept the rotting, discolored person he created, let alone teach it right from wrong. The creature wasn't even given the guidance that every young person needs in life. He was left with a bitter heart.

  49. Since not loving the creature made it go rogue I would say that he made MANY mistakes but not loving his creation was the greatest even if that meant never getting married because what woman is going to accept that you created a monster and raise it as her little cute baby? o.õ

  50. I believe Frankenstein is both a commentary on the pure nature of humanity at birth and it's corruption of this nature from it's environment and mistreatment. I also believe it is a commentary on following through with goals as Frankenstein didn't commit to raising his creation as a person after raising it from the dead and he then encouraged the expeditionary crew to persist in their goal as there is no half achieving greatness, there is only failure with drastic consequences.

  51. 9:33 Would anybody be kind enough to know and inform me what game this references? It looks very fun to play.

  52. It's almost like a metaphor for black youth in America. Abandoned by their father and because of their environment, they lash out. Being regected by society, how could you call them monsters when you don't take care of them. Just a thought

  53. Thought Bubble, was the gathering corps parts animation a reference to the FATE videogame? The audio in the background gave me a flashback

  54. We could be spending a few billion or trillion and actually end the age of willful alienation we have been enacting on one another.. Amongst the things that could possibly happen, inequality could vanish-, The weight of poverty and indifference could be removed from our collective conscience-, everybody could fully take part in the system creating greater value, there would be no haves and have-nots only those who have-, and the Injustice of which poverty creates would possibly vanish-, economic slavery could finally come to an end-, or we have found another way that it didn't work. Unless tested we will never know how great and good we as human beings can be… We talk of the value every life intrinsically represents so if we never act out our truly good collective values then how honorable and righteous have we treated the only value we represent .The value of a person is talked about in all of the founding documents of this great nation one way or another….Today we take the human value and crush the person the value comes from… We and our environment are one….Take the Human being out of the supportive environment of this planet and the human dies…. People have intrinsic value and if that value is stolen…every person not being allowed to be creative or the actions of those who would limit anybody else's opportunities creates economic and opportunistic slavery making more harm than meets most people's eyes…Homelessness is a symptom of a much deeper and more taboo subject…How should we in the affluent 1st world assign value to the priceless gift of life and how do we treat that priceless gift…after all, our most valuable commodity is not money…it's human beings. how much is your time worth to you??? Funny how we always seem to want a dollar value there, when in fact our time is priceless….And who has the time to do as they choose??? The masters seem to have that time… Dollars and time sheets have collared and shackled our fundamentally understood rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..

    The sad truth of today is everyone is so distracted by their distractions that no one gets to see what's going on. That's a difficult place to get out of. The communal blind spot is one of the most deadly and vacuous places to have to pull one's life out of. The weight of indifference and inaction, The constant efforts that get little attention or rest. The only thing that keeps the self going is the need. I speak in the third person not to sound cool but to gain a distance from a very emotional subject that if I reference in the 1st person, it is so overwhelming and out of control, that it becomes impossible to communicate.

    Communication is connection, and if there is any connection from my perspective then the responsibility I have in it is reflected in the environment I find around me. I see it and wish to point out that the responsibility of that

    environment is everybody's responsibility. Every person who effects that environment is responsible for the outcome of the aggregate actions that we as a whole enact. Not just myself in where I have found myself. If I have a choice I have to know that I have a choice to be able to choose. That is true for everybody. And if you have no context to understand a choice,then you don't have that choice.

    Argument is a choice; as is not arguing. Today there are more arguments than ever. And I find few arguments I agree to because the arguments being voiced are of a quality most questionable.

    If in making an argument that the homeless are themselves the reason for its existence then I would bring to mind the act of wilful alienation. To make a person an alien all you have to do is learn to see them as “other” and not like self. As a consequence of the acceptance of this argument then the value of that person or persons becomes vacated. An additional consequence of this is, in extension to the argument of making that person ‘other’, you can conceive of taking the “other's” value for the self. I argue that a person who holds this position, of the constructed argument, no longer considers the “other” a person in their mind. This constructed argument is the problem.

    The problem in today's world is not that there is homelessness, it is the fact that as people, we, are willing to use an argument of willful alienation on one an”other” then in extension assume the value of that “other” for the personal value of oneself. Given that problematic set of circumstances that we as people act out, the “other” is no longer a person in the perception of the person or persons enacting the argument of willful alienation.

    Jason M. Decker

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