www.whyville.net Oct 6, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Who is Frankenstein?

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Halloween is in the air! Now's the time for eating candy, watching scary movies, and picking out costumes. Even if you choose not to celebrate this exciting little holiday, you're bound to see word of it plastered everywhere you go. If you happen to roam the aisles of a costume shop, or are even out grocery shopping at Walmart, you'll see tons and tons of witches, vampires, sumo wrestler ballerinas and, of course, monsters. One legendary monster can be seen every Halloween and is known for his pieced together green skin, square head, and bolts in his neck, but who is he really?

If you said Frankenstein, you're wrong.

Many people associate this monster with the title of Mary Shelley's novel, "Frankenstein", but after opening the book, many are surprised to find the name actually refers to the monster's creator, Victor Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein refers to his creation as many different things throughout the story such as "creature", "devil", and "thing", but never gives it a name. For this reason, many people agree that "Frankenstein's monster" is the correct way to refer to the doctor's creation.

Another common misconception about Frankenstein's monster is actually the picture above. Halloween costumes, window decals, and cartoons portray him as having green skin with bolts sticking out of his neck because of the popularity of Boris Karloff's portrayal in the 1931 movie. However, the author, herself, had actually described him as being much different. In the novel, Dr. Frankenstein put his monster together trying carefully to choose the best of each body part from deceased humans to make his creature "beautiful", but ultimately failing. The description can be found in chapter 5 of the novel.

"His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!-Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath: his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriences only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips."

So next time you hear mention of "Frankenstein", you'll know the truth! Want to find out more? Pick up a copy of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" from your local library. It's an awesome story and the perfect way to get in the Halloween spirit!

Author's Note: Source: http://www.percivalconstantine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/frankenstein.jpg


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