Writing Accurate Frankenstein Essays
Ever since Mary Wollenscroft Shelly wrote the original tale of the monster, the story had inspired numerous Frankenstein essays, movies and theories as to why such a story held a lingering fascination. There are many angles to take on the story as well as aspects to present. It is important to reveal your main focus points in the introduction to an essay.
First, let’s think about the era the story came from. Modern medicine was more science fiction than science (at least by our current standards) and pretty much anything seemed possible. Cadavers were routinely stolen for medical research, sometimes from completely unwilling donors. The term Burking to describe suffocation by chest constriction comes from a man named Burke who routinely “found” dead people to sell to the medical school. (He ultimately was arrested, tried, convicted and executed for his crimes, finally winding up on the same dissection table he had filled with others!)
The mysteries of life and death were just being probed and anything seemed possible, including creating life from the dead. The idea that a dead brain could be reanimated by a jolt of electricity was pure fantasy, of course, bit it sounded plausible at the time. This would be a perfect angle to take for a short 250 word essay.
The mad scientist, filled with his “vision” of being god-like made a very believable protagonist. Collecting body parts and bringing them back to life was a chilling notion (as it would be today) and has inspired generations of writers to out “creep” each other. This would be one aspect to include in Frankenstein essays.
Some people forget that the scientists name was Frankenstein, and the monster had no actual name of its own. Just the word “Frankenstein” connotes a scary image. Maybe that’s why the story has lasted through so many retellings… people just love to be scared witless and visualize the monsters hiding in the shadows.
In writing Frankenstein essays (or more accurately, Frankenstein’s monster) it is necessary to choose one aspect of the story and its impact. Was it the time and the newness of science? The psychological implications where the reader can be either a mad scientist or his helpless creation? Could it be that the monster was easily identified and less real than the denizens who walk the streets today, preying on the innocent victims of their wickedness? Perhaps the meaning of the story is to beware of unintended consequences… the good doctor didn’t really mean to create a monster. His intention was to be the first to bring life out of death. Maybe it is the analogy that beauty is automatically good and ugliness is automatically evil…? Whatever view you have of the story, it isn’t hard to find plenty to say in defense of your idea. This will help you create 1000 word essays or longer.
If you’re going to use a movie to base your Frankenstein essay on, the first is still the best. It was black and white, made in the 1930’s and starred Boris Karloff as the monster. He had a unique way of being both terrifying and sympathetic at the same time. The innocence of the viewing audience was more like that of the days of the original story and very low tech in the making. In its own way, it was a story of Beauty and the Beast, but that’s for another essay altogether!