Mary Shelly?s Frankenstein – Movie Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Differences and Similarities
Differences and Similarities are used to emphasize certain aspects of things. This idea is commonly when a movie is made that is based on a book. The director of the movie may choose to keep details in his movie that adheres to the details in the book that the movie is based on. He may also choose to change some details from the book to what he perceives to be more fitting. In the case of Frankenstein the novel and the 1995 movie version of Mary Shelly?s Frankenstein, there were notable differences and similarities. The differences dealing with the education of the monster and the ending of the story, and similarity dealing with the turning point of the story help create a better understanding of this complex story.
A notable difference between the book and the movie was the education of the Monster. They both focus around the Monster?s time spent watching the De Lacey?s. In the movie his time was devoted mostly to just watching the family and how they acted towards each other. He learned quite quickly how to speak and read and learned to understand the different emotions people possessed. The only justification of the Monster?s rapid learning process is that in a movie not a great deal of time can be spent on this or else the movie would drag on. Although not a lot of time was spent on showing the development of the Monster?s education in the movie, the book however went into great detail in describing its education. During his stay in the shack near the De Lacey?s cottage the Monster came across four books that would enlighten him and show the reader the learning of the Monster step by step. The first book was Volney?s Ruins of Empires. This book ??gave [the monster] an insight into the manners, government, and religions of the different nations of the earth.? (Shelly 147) It also gave insight of the origins of humanity. The second book that the Monster came across was a volume of Plutarch?s Lives. This book ? taught [the Monster] high thoughts; [Plutarch] elevated [the Monster] above the wretched sphere of [his] own reflection, to admire and love the heroes of past ages.? (Shelly 156) The book also expanded the Monster?s horizons to the political. The third book the Monster read was the Sorrows of Werter by Goethe. This enlightened him on the domestic world. The last book that the Monster read was Paradise Lost by Milton. This book introduced him to the cosmic world. Through this book he learned the most about himself and his creator. He was able to compare himself to the characters of Adam, Eve and Satan. With all of this newly acquired knowledge, the Monster was able to understand his surroundings and the interactions that took place in them. The development of the Monster?s education is reflected better in the book because the reader grasps the step by step progress of the learning. In the movie, this process occurs very fast and it is hard to get a good understanding of what the Monster is truly feeling.
A similarity that exists between the novel and movie is the Monster?s actions after the De Lacey family shuns him. The Monster finally decides to show himself to the eldest De Lacey first. He believes that since the old man is blind, he will not be judged by his physical appearance. The Monster waited until everyone was out of the cabin except for the blind man. When he entered the cabin he asked the blind man if he could rest for a bit. They began talking and the Monster was especially happy because it was the first time in which the Monster was not being chased away. Things took a turn for the worse when the rest of the De Lacey family returned home and saw the Monster with the blind man. They immediately feared for his safety. The monster was struck violently with a stick by one of the family members. Just like that, the Monster was shunned again. He never saw the De Lacey family again because they moved out in fear of him. The Monster now realized that he would never be accepted and this was his creator?s fault. In his rage the Monster set fire to the De Lacey?s cabin. This important detail was not altered in movie because it is really the turning point in which the Monster vows revenge on Frankenstein and his family.
One of the largest differences that exists between the book Frankenstein and the movie?s 1995 version titled Mary Shelly?s Frankenstein is the ending. The location of the deep North holds true for both versions but the Monster?s final ending is the difference. In the book, after Victor Frankenstein has passed away, Captain Walton re-enters the cabin. He finds the Monster right beside Victor Frankenstein. Although quite afraid the Captain alerts the Monster that he is in the room by some noise that he makes. As soon as the Monster sees Walton he begins to utter words of sorrow to his deceased creator and of anger towards himself. The Monster continues to speak of his sins and then comes to the point that he will leave the ship?s vessel and seek the most northern extremity of the globe and then ultimately die there. ?He is dead who called me into being; and when I shall be no more, the very remembrance of us both will speedily vanish.? (Shelly 246) The Monster believes that the only thing to do now is to dispose of himself. Soon after he is done speaking with Walton he jumps out of the cabin window onto the ice raft that carries him away into the darkness and distance, ending the story. The movie follows most of the story but differs in the Monster?s departure. In the movie, Walton and his crew build a stretcher for the deceased Frankenstein and hold a funeral for him. After the funeral the ice that the men are standing on breaks away and they rush back to the boat for safety. Walton sees the Monster in the water and extends his hand and asks him to come aboard with him but the Monster refuses and swims to the ice raft that his creator lies on. In the end the Monster is seen floating away on the raft with his creator. The director of this movie decided to have the Monster and its creator finish the story together unlike the book?s version of the Monster going off to die on his own. Choosing to end the movie like this creates a deeper feeling of sympathy for the Monster. Even though Frankenstein committed horrible deeds towards his creation and in effect the Monster sought out revenge for them, the Monster still felt a sense of belonging to his creator. Frankenstein brought the Monster into the world, so in return the Monster will leave the world with his creator. The ending in the movie provides better closure between the two characters.
When making a film version of a novel it is sometimes necessary to change certain parts of it, but it is also important to some parts the same. In the case of Frankenstein altering the education of the Monster and the ending of the story showed the differences between the book and movie. The book and movie were similar when revealing the turning point of the story. When doing these differences and similarities it helped bring about a better understanding of the entire story. Because there are many versions of this story that have been made into movies, it is important to familiarize yourself with both sources to get a complete awareness of the classic tale of Frankenstein