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Frankenstein - Movie Vs Novel

Essay by   •  January 22, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,198 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,044 Views

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Throughout my life, I am told that novels are better than their movies because they are more detailed. In the case of the Divergent series or the Narnia series, I agree. But there’s cases where it’s the other way around. For example, Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley, which was made into a film, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), directed by Kenneth Branagh. Although the book and the screen version of Frankenstein tell the story of the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, and his creation, the movie is far more satisfying than the novel. A comparison of the characterization, the plot lines, and the theme of each will explain my desire.

To begin, in terms of the characterization, I believe the film is more effective. Both, book and movie versions of the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, have multiple character traits in common, such as dedication and being extreme. Although there are many traits to the protagonist, there is one trait that stood out, ambition. The definition of this adjective is to have a strong desire for success or achievement. Victor shows more ambition in the movie than the novel. In the book, he doesn’t show as much ambition because of the slight differences of the plot line. Victor’s ambition to leave an imprint on human history leads him to “deprive himself of rest and health and he desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation” (5) During the end of the book, he states clearly that he is ambitious while giving advice to Robert Walton, a captain whom Victor tells his story to, by telling him to “avoid ambition”. By telling him to do so, he is speaking out of his own experience, meaning he knows he is too ambitious. In the screen version, Victor shows more of his ambition while pushing his close friend, Henry Clerval, and fiance, Elizabeth, away while creating his monster and by doing so, he is making it obvious that succeeding at creating life through electricity is more important than his family. He does so multiple times, in the movie, but in the novel, Elizabeth and Henry aren’t as popular therefore they don’t get pushed away in the book. Also, in the movie, he tries to bring his wife back to life instead of letting her rest in peace, and he doesn’t do so, in the book, which is another piece of evidence to prove that he is putting his ambition to stop death before his family, and proves, also, that the characterization is, therefore better portrayed in the screen version than the novel because of the scenes that are added into the movie.

Secondly, in terms of plot line, the movie is more effective. The novel Frankenstein has many films based on it. To do this essay, I have chosen to compare the novel to a Frankenstein screen version with a similar plotline; he creates the creature, it kills his family, he tries to kill it, dies while doing so and then the creature kills himself. Although the movie is essentially similar to its novel, it does have a few differences. For example, the book states that “Elizabeth was saved, but the consequences of this imprudence were fatal to his mother”, meaning his mother, Caroline, had the scarlet fever passed onto her and she did not survive. But in the film, within the first few minutes, his mother dies while giving birth to her second son, William. A second difference would be during the end of both. In the novel, Victor uses an unknown process to create what would have been the creature’s bride but “tore to pieces the thing on which he engaged” (154).Then later on, to get his revenge, the creature strangles Elizabeth to death. In the screen version, Victor does begin to create the bride but then, quits. On the night of his and Elizabeth’s wedding, the creature rips out Elizabeth’s heart. Victor, then, revives Elizabeth and the creature tries to make her his bride. In terms of plotline, I prefer the movie because it was more dramatic because of the changes made. The plotline is better portrayed in the film.

Last but not least, in terms of theme, I believe the movie is more effective. Both, book and film, start with one theme then endwith

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