Mary Shelley Frankenstein Comparison Essay

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein released in 1818 takes us through the journey of several of the most famous characters in literary and movie history from two perspectives. While Mary Shelley’s original interpretation is considered a very popular and successful literary work, it wasn’t until James Whaley’s movie interpretation that the character of Frankenstein became so famous throughout the world. The movie which was adapted from a screen play written in the 1920’s became one of the pioneering horror films due to James Whaley’s inspiration of essentialist styles originating from Germany. Both works bring different elements to the table with Shelley’s novel involving complex but interesting moral debates involving the characters and their decisions…show more content…
James Whaley is an English born director whom participated in several films for Universal studios where he eventually took up the task of directing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel following the popular release of Dracula that same year. The success of Frankenstein was rooted in it’s genre being a horror film and the immediate success it brought to movie producers. The interpretation by Whaley is highlighted by several plot transitions which are not shown in the movie as well as certain alterations like Henry Frankenstein (Victor in the book) using a criminal brain rather than any other brain collected as implied by Shelley. Other major differences in the plot of the movie compared to the novel involves the monster Frankenstein himself and everything about the character. In the movie Frankenstein is portrayed as an impulsive monster only capable of fulfilling his most physical and animal like actions. The actor who performs as the first Frankenstein was Boris Karloff. Boris turned in a masterful performance but the Frankenstein in this interpretation bore no resemblance to the Frankenstein in Shelley’s novel neither physically or in thought capacity. The Frankenstein in Shelley’s version has long black hair, white teeth, and even learns to speak and think eloquently enough to have philosophical insights and or discussions. Meanwhile the Frankenstein in James Whaley’s production gave off the intended monster vibe sought out in an attempt to instill fear among audiences. The reason for these two contrasting styles in the plots can be attributed to influences that both artists were inspired
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