Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-settings.php on line 232

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-settings.php on line 234

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-settings.php on line 235

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-settings.php on line 252

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 49

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/cache.php on line 403

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 553

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 674

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505
Ceterum censeo… » Why Frankenstein’s Monster is a horrible person.

Ceterum censeo…


Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/classes.php on line 400
  • Michael's Blog
  • Michael's Curriculum Vitae

  • Warning: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 11

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 20

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 22

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 24

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

    Warning: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 11

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 20

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 22

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 24

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25


    Warning: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 11

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 20

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 22

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 24

    Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25
    11/01/2014 (12:55 pm)

    Why Frankenstein’s Monster is a horrible person.

    Filed under: Stories ::

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /hermes/bosnaweb19a/b2387/nf.birchgrovecreative/public_html/michael/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 75

    My RSS feeds came up with an review of Shelley’s Frankenstein, which mostly went on about how horrible Victor is. I agree that Victor is a horrible person, and that Shelley’s writing has many flaws stemming from the fact that she’s basically an amateur author. But I’ll take up this point:

    Seriously, the monster should be the protagonist of this piece. It survives without any guidance, teaches itself language, and pursues its goals successfully across multiple countries and several years.

    I challenge the idea that the monster is any better a protagonist than Victor. I present two arguments to support this claim.

    Argument the First: The monster is really boring.

    By which I mean: it’s not that his dialogue lacks spark, or that he doesn’t get enough action sequences, or lacks a name, or anything meta. It’s that in-universe, he has the primary characteristic of being boring. He rambles on and on with using flowery turns of phrase to describe the misery of his life. If you met him at a party, you’d make excuses and slip away. The monster would think it’s because he’s ugly, and add this to his list of grievances which he’d recite to the next one who crosses his path. But nope, he’s just tedious. Get a hobby, dude. Better yet, show an interest in other people.

    Interestingly, this sticks with him across tellings. It’s baked deep into the archetype. The author needs to show that the monster is only a monster on the outside, and to show it they have him speak like a Romantic hero. But they also have life kick him in the teeth, because he needs to be miserable. And then it all needs to be recounted to Victor, so a proper guilt trip can be laid. So you end up with this self-absorbed droning using horribly overblown language to relate how unfairly he’s been dealt with.

    A recent story (which I’ll not name for spoilers) had the monster appear in an excellently shocking reveal, and then had him ramble on to the point that I wanted to skip ahead till the story picked up on something else.

    Argument the Second: The monster has some horrible gender views.

    The monster’s primary motivation is to get himself a bride. His logic is: a) I’m alone because I’m ugly, b) if I had another partner then we could be alone and ugly together, c) that’s happiness, therefore d) I should force Victor into doing this by killing people. It doesn’t enter his mind that maybe he shouldn’t inflict his horrible, horrible life upon someone else. Neither does it enter his mind that this second monster might have agency of her own, and not want to be with him.

    Again, this is baked into the archetype. The bride is a trophy to be won that will grant happiness. Typically, this aspect of the monster is only implied, because the bride is never created. Now, it could be that this is a feature which is ripe for deconstruction. Say, it could become the basis for a redemption story line. But it’s going to be a pretty grim storyline. Under ‘show don’t tell’, you need to have the monster rage at the bride exercising choice in partners. And given his standard reactions to being abandoned, I don’t think he’s going to settle with a yelling match.

    Leave a Reply