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Why is Frankenstein such a popular text? Essay

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Why is Frankenstein such a popular text?

Frankenstein is a science fiction novel written by Mary Shelley during
the time of the Romantic Movement. It has remained popular ever since
it was first published and still sells well today, with many reprints
of the book since the first edition.

One of the main characters of the story and probably the most
(in)famous, Frankenstein's monster, has become an icon of all that is
monstrous and wrong. The story has been adapted and interpreted many
times all in different ways, causing the monster and the stereotypical
view of him to become intertextual. The most popular and well
recognised representation of the monster and the one that most people
would attempt to draw for you if you asked them what he looked like,
is that of a huge green man with bolts coming out of the side of his
neck and a flat, broad head. This was created for film by Boris
Karloff as his interpretation of what the monster should look like. He
would typically move very laboriously, with his arms outstretched as
if chasing something. His speech is slow and primitive.

This, however, is not the true Frankenstein's monster as described in
the book, but one created for television and primarily the cinema, as
the book centred more on the issues and moral conflicts when dealing
with such a creature, whereas cinema and the media tend to concentrate
more on the action and thrilling sides of the story. Various other
representations of the monster, including characters in television
films such as "The Adams Family" and "The Munsters", as well in comics
such as "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Fantastic Four", have occurred
throughout the twentieth century, causing the image of the "real"
monster to becom...


... middle of paper ...


...xtent of what the
is doing as sees that the lengths he is willing to go to are not
acceptable or justified at all. This culminates two stories, that of
Frankenstein's adventure and Captain Walton's giving the reader an
increased feeling of cathagy.

In conclusion, the two reasons I believe to be why Frankenstein has
remained such a popular text are:

a. That the central theme of the story and the issues and situations
the arise throughout it are becoming more and more relevant in
everyday society so people can relate to the story and

b. That it is the first true science fiction story ever and so has
been promoted as such that it has grabbed everyone's attention. There
are probably a number of stories quite similar and perhaps of even
better quality than Mary Shelley's work but few people have heard of
them and so they remain in Frankenstein's shadow.


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