I want to talk about monsters. A scary story can be fun any time of year, but especially near Halloween. It’s good to know that a collection of ravens is an “unkindness” and a collection of crows is a “murder.” It’s good to know that there are these things called “ghost words,” which are typos in the dictionary, creating words that don’t actually exist.
Spooky, right? Maybe. Maybe not.
But today, let’s talk about “Frankenstein” vs. “Frankenstein’s monster.” I think a lot of folks are a bit confused.
Episode 6: Before You Say Anything Else About “Frankenstein”
You can definitely blame Hollywood for the confusion that’s become commonplace around Mary Shelly’s famous monster. Bookish types and horror aficionados are particular on this point, so it’s time you know the truth.
In the 1818 novel Frankenstein, the creature didn’t have a name. It was referred to as the “monster,” “creature,” “wretch,” and just plain old “it.” With a lack of a name or identity, it’s understandable why the creation was so mad. The creature also was significantly more self-aware and verbal in the book than Hollywood’s typical representation. He had intelligent dialogue far more than the groans and grunts he normally sticks to in movie form.
As for “Frankenstein,” this was the name of the creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. “Frankenstein’s monster” would technically be the correct way to refer to the monster.
The problem is, though, that after over a century of film adaptations, “Frankenstein” has become generally accepted as a reference to both the scientist and the monster. So, use it as you’d like, but be aware that you might be called out for it.
In other Frankenstein trivia:
- Did you know that this horror classic was written by not only a woman, but the daughter of early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft?
- Did you know it was written for a fiction competition among friends to see who could write the scariest story?
- Did you know that there is a Castle Frankenstein in Germany that most-likely inspired the famous name?
- Did you know that Thomas Edison was the producer of the first ever Frankenstein movie, which was released in 1910?
- Did you know that an awesome Halloween costume for a guy named Frank is to walk around with a beer stein all night? (Get it?)
Enjoy your horror books and horror movies on dark spooky nights, everyone. Just make sure you know what you’re talking about!
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