Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography FrankenCulture

Brennan, Matthew C. “Mary Shelley’s Cinematic Progeny: The Fidelity of Young

Frankenstein.” South Carolina Review. Vol. 48, Issue 1, Fall 2015, pp. 195-202.

In his exploration into the fidelity debate in film studies, Matthew C. Brennan argues that Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein shares more with the novel Frankenstein than many previous (and yet to be made) film versions of Frankenstein have achieved. Brooks does this by achieving “a rich intertextuality with Frankenstein by assimilating its key themes,” namely parent-child relationships and psychological doubling (196). Brennan argues that by having Frederick Frankenstein stay and nurture his monster rather than abandoning him, Brooks is subverting the original text by truly turning tragedy into comedy. In the novel, Victor has a “psychological need to bring back his mother” by recreating the role “with the motherless monster” (197). However, he abandons his creation, and therefore his parental duties which brings about the tragic end. Brooks turns this tragedy into comedy by taking “Shelley’s motif of the absent mother and correct[ing] Victor’s parental flaw” (198). The next theme taken from the original novel is psychological doubling. Brooks’ parody does this in a very literal way, “To correct the creature’s abnormal brain, Frederick concocts an experiment that risks their lives but through which part of his brain transfers to the creature. Having accepted the monster as his own, unlike Victor, Frederick in effect corrects Victor’s flawed treatment of Shelley’s monster and

demonstrates how nurture can overcome nature” (200). This correction of the psychic split continues to have positive results for all of the characters, creating two happy marriages in true comic, happy ending fashion. In my second paper, I used Young Frankenstein to show the mythic nature of Frankenstein, but in my comparison stated that YF was a direct parody of the James Whale films. This essay argues that it actually takes more from the Shelley source material than it would seem at first glance. This additional information would have made my argument stronger, as the author delves into the parent-child relationships in both the novel and the film.

Bugg, John. “‘Master of Their Language’: Education and Exile in Mary Shelley’s

Frankenstein.” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 4, 2005, pp. 655–666.

In this essay John Bugg equates the creature’s experience with the institution of slavery. He uses the notion of difference that the slaves and creature is defined by, and relates the slave’s view of literacy to the story of the creature’s education. The creature turns the tables on Victor and the novel becomes a story of exile. “Walton describes the spectacular image he sees as not “European,” but “a savage inhab itant of some undiscovered island.” (659). “By acquiring literacy he only becomes more familiar, as did Gronniosaw and Equiano, with the terms of his own alterity.” (661). “Now that the creature has learned to assert his right to exist, Frankenstein would rather destroy him than recognize him as an individual being.” (663). This article will be very useful for my final project. It references the 1931 film adaptation, explaining how the film addresses racism, and it offers good insight into cultural studies in terms of racism through binary oppositions, language, and exile. Filthy Types deals with the other in terms of forming one’s identity according to similar people, so it is interesting to compare this to people’s reaction to people that are different. Facing the Ugly is all about ugliness and monstrousness, which is also applicable to the old projections of monstrousness and barbarism on other races of people.

Denson, Shane. “Marvel Comics’ Frankenstein” A Case Study in the Media of Serial

Figures.” Amerikastudien/ American Studies. Vol. 56, No. 4 (2011), pp. 531-553. Web.

The article, recently written in 2011, is still keeping the new idea of Frankenstein alive. Comics may seem a bit juvenile when thinking of Shelley’s novel, but it is another great way to interpret the text. A younger generation may actually appreciate the graphic novels more than the original. Either way, the author’s work is being taken into a new but respective form. “Marvel’s Frankenstein comics of 1960s and 1970s offer a useful case study in the dynamics of serial narration, both as it pertains to comics in particular and to the larger plurimedial domain of popular culture in general…I argue that Marvel’s staging of the Frankenstein monster mixes the two modes (linear and non-linear), resulting in a self-reflexive exploration and interrogation of he comics’ storytelling techniques” (Denson 531). This story is seen more as a narrative in comics’ and is open to many different interpretations. The amount of spin offs Frankenstein has led to in the comic book world seems countless. This particular graphic novel views Victor as a “mad scientist” creating the monster from scratch while lighting strikes and he endlessly cackles with laugher. Is it acceptable to stray so far from the original novel? Do either version carry the same traits to form the same genre? In Shelley’s novel the monster is shown to the reader as a very complex minded creature, with the want for love. In this comic, he is shown to his audience as nothing more than a mindless green brute. Can this influence the reader to view the monster as less than what Shelley wanted to portray him as, or should it just be taken as an entertainment purposes?

Duffy, Cian. “”the Child of a Fierce Hour”: Shelley and Napoleon Bonaparte”. Studies in

            Romanticism 43.3 (2004): 399–416.

This article focuses on a series of letters written by Percy Shelley speaking about Napoleon Bonaparte and alluding to ways he has impacted his work. This is not directly about Frankenstein but is of remarkable value when it is taken into consideration both facts that not only was Percy Shelley married to Mary Shelley but also since he was present for the writing of the novel his account of this interplay of art and politics is invaluable for placing the novel in its. This article shows without a doubt how Mary Shelley’s lover and contemporary was influenced by historical circumstance in his work, and as such shortens the logical leap that Mary Shelley was taking such things into account when writing Frankenstein.

Paulson, Ronald. “Gothic Fiction and the French Revolution”. ELH 48.3 (1981): 532–

This article discusses the artistic implications of political events such as the French revolution, and how the aftershocks led to the development of gothic literature. Though Frankenstein is not discussed explicitly in this article, it is of great importance as Frankesntein has many gothic elements. Furthermore the connection it establishes between the artistic and political sheds light onto an aspect of the novel which may seem trivial at first glance; the setting. This sets the stage for the interplay of Geography, much of the novel takes place in Geneva, but also Russia, and the Arctic. This also allows for the connection to Napoleon.