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Frankenstein – book vs. movie

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Although in both movies and the book “Frankenstein” is portrayed as a monster there are many different perceptions about of him. In movies the monster will not stop at anything he was only out to hurt or destroy others as appose to the book where he tried to make friends and find someone to cherish and love. The book and movie both show different characteristics which the monster possesses and how they directly or indirectly relate to one another.

In the movie, “Frankenstein” has a green complexion and bolts coming out the sides of his neck. The bolts symbolize the way the monster was brought to life, through electricity. Also he usually wears a black suit and pants, this shows the darkness which surrounded the monster. In most of the movies Frankenstein walks like a zombie and moves very slowly. Movies portrayed Frankenstein as very stupid, he couldn’t talk or read. The horrific monster would just roam the world looking for people and families to torment and kill. There was one man in the movie Frankenstein played by Boris Karloff which he did befriend, he was a blind man. I think he had this friend only because the man could not see his scary face which others were so terrified of.

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” the book was very different from the movies and TV shows. For one the monster was not even called Frankenstein. He was only being called that because of his creator Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Before the doctor created him he was supposed to be a great work of art, a new creature in the making , and invention which could possibly change the world. ” I had selected his features as beautiful, beautiful!”, This is what Victor had said before the monster had come to life. But after the doctor exclaimed “it was the ugliest creature he has ever laid eyes on”. Unlike the movie the monster was very bright and could do anything an actual human could. Frankenstein killed Victor in revenge because no one would show love or care for him.

The intelligence of the monster was much greater in the book than movies, he was able to read books and talk like any human being. But the monster felt isolated and alone. No matter how hard he tried he could not find a mate he could love and cherish. After asking the doctor to create another being like him, becoming furious than causing the doctor to kill the mate therefore causing the monster to kill the doctor, the monster felt remorse because the only person that acknowledged his existence was now gone.

One other very significant comparison takes place in the story and it is not between the movie and movie but between Frankenstein and the creator himself. Neither of the two are understand by the people around them, they are both on a quest for revenge. And none of their problems were able to be solved throughout the story and their actions. Although these two characters seem to be completely different in appearance the direction in which their lives lead them are still similar.

There are about 26 different editions of the novel of Frankenstein, and every movie that has been made based on the novel is different from the next. What you read in the novel is not exactly what you see on the movie screen. There are a lot of good moments in the book that “get lost in the translation”. many parts of the novel aren’t even mentioned in the movies.


Bennett, Betty T. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction. Baltimore MD:

John Hopkins University Press, 1998. 823.7 B439m 1998



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