English 10C Honors
14 February 2016
Compare and Contrast Essay: Frankenstein and Its 1994 Movie Version
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published in 1818, telling a story of a scientist being tormented by the monster he created for his whole life. The novel has been recognized as the first scientific fiction in history, making it iconic enough to achieve great success and motivate movie directors to make adaptions based on the novel, aiming to provide audiences a better interpretation through visual presentation. Among various versions of adaptions of the novel, the 1994 version of Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh, purports to be the one that stays the closest to the original text. The novel and the movie…show more content… The story begins in the same way in book and movie, with Captain Walton sailing to the North Pole and coming across Victor Frankenstein, who tells his tale. As described in the book, Victor develops the way of creating life through his own study, while in the movie he creates the monster by studying Professor Waldman’s research after Waldman’s death. The depiction of the creation of the monster in the film accurately matches that in the novel, in the sense that Victor is frightened by his creation. In the book, Victor was isolated for years at school in Ingolstadt before he has any contact with his own family. Yet in the movie Victor is visited by his fiancée Elizabeth right in his laboratory when he is trying to create life, and after the creation they have a joyful time together. The most significant deviation from the text is the revival of Victor’s beloved Elizabeth, or in a sense, the creation of the monster bride. In the movie, the monster murders Elizabeth on their wedding night by taking out her heart. Victor then takes Elizabeth's body back to his laboratory, where he attaches her head to the body of Justine and brings Elizabeth back as a horrific bride. However, the monster approaches her, thinking that the bride is meant for him. Victor is not ready to let go of her…show more content… In the novel, after the experiment of creation and Victor’s recovery, the depiction of Victor’s new life is extremely joyful thus creating a suspense atmosphere foreshadowing horrible things may happen soon. In contrast, the movie has been given an overall atmosphere of being gloomy and frightful, excising the life of Victor after his heal and focuses on the monster’s bitter life. In the novel, the author describes the monster’s life after being created through his words to Victor, whereas in the movie it’s depicted from an objective point of view.
Generally speaking, the movie and the book are in common in most parts, while modifications are made in order to present the most interesting bits of the story to impatient readers and audiences before they get frustrated by the long-winded style of writing of the original text. Some characters and plots are extended slightly, making the movie logical and the theme clearly enough to attract people. However, partly because of the limitations on screen, the movie fails to create the dramatic atmosphere and well-paced storytelling as they are in the