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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

When we think of Frankenstein we think of the following phrase "It's alive, It's ALIVE!!! IT'S ALIVE!!!!! OH GOD!!! NOW I KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE GOD!!!"  As well as Boris Karloff in green makeup and bolts on his neck.  However the original story of Frankenstein is much more complex than that. Much like Dracula before it, Frankenstein started out as a novel. However unlike Stoker's Novel, Shelly's appeared first. Which is Ironic seeing as the adaptations that followed that novel appeared after Dracula.  However unlike Dracula, who was a complete monster, Shelly wanted to introduce a misunderstood monster, one that was judged in many ways imaginable.  From appearance, to the methods of which he was created.

The story begins with Victor being found half frozen by a sailor who was on the verge of reaching the North Pole.  Victor recounts to the sailor his story about how since he was a young boy, he found the secret to reanimating the dead.  His main dream was to create a human being made from dead parts of humans and animals.  The technique in his construction was unknown save for a few hints of scientific and supernatural means of doing so and the creature was alive.  What he thought was supposed to be a beautiful thing, was in essence hideous even to his standards.  He leaves the monster, who gets serious abandonment issues, which in turn gives him a vow of vengeance against his creator.

Could It Exist In Real Life?

Now to determine this, you have to look at two factors, one is the monster's construction, and two the means that brought him to life. Details of both were left ambiguous save for a few subtle hints, but there is without a doubt that a creation such as this could exist.  First there is the fact that its a corpse that has been put together.  As impossible as it may seems, we are still alive even when we die.  The human body continues to live despite clinical death.  Hair and fingernails continue to grow, new cells are produced, and the brain still functions with tiny electrical impulses.  There is also a known phenomena called the Lazarus Syndrome in which a person who is declared physically dead would sponteneously return to life. In fact many resuscitation techniques such as the defibrillator have been inspired by the movie's version of the rise of the monster. In which rather than unknown means, it was a bolt of lightning harnessed by electrical equipment.  As for the monster itself there is no way ever to make a human like creature out of body parts.  I once again advise no one to even attempt it, because not only is it illegal, but it is also unethical.  However there is one theory behind the Frankenstein Monster.  One of the hints in the novel was that the Doctor used Alchemy as part of the method of bringing the monster to life.  So the Frankenstein Monster is what is called a Homunculus, or an artificially made human. In fact what I am about to say cements that theory.

Now here is the big question. Can Doctor Victor Frankenstein Exist In Real Life?  Not only can he exist but he did.  In 1673 there was a man born in the real life Castle Frankenstein which the name came from.  The man Johan Konrad Dippel who claimed to have made the fabled Elixir of life. Both the Elixir and Homunculus are well known traits that come from Alchemy as well as similar to the techniques in which Victor used to make his monster.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed. Stay tuned next time.

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