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In both Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein and Mel Brook’s movie Young Frankenstein, Frankenstein, the protagonist, is a scientist whose obsession with power and reanimation take over his life. In the book, Victor Frankenstein is the main character and in the movie, his grandson, Fredrick Frankenstein, is the protagonist. Throughout both Romantic works, Frankenstein strives to scientifically recreate the life of his “creature” and is obsessed with power. Although his character in both the book and in the movie strives for the same goal, the way he feels about the final creature differs. In both versions, the key elements that define Victor’s character his obsession with science and power, his relationships with others during his work, and the ways in which he resolves his issue and consequences.
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In both the book and the movie, the creature realizes on its own that it will always be rejected by society and different from humans. In the book, the creature is abandoned and forced to live life on his own, but in the movie, the creature runs away from Victor and also has to face society alone. Both versions of the creatures experience human feelings and come to the conclusion that they are different from humans, will not ever be accepted into society, and will always be unloved. However, in the movie, the creature returns back to Frankenstein’s castle after running away and being locked up like a monster by the town members. At the castle, the creature acts crazy and violent until Frankenstein explains to him that he loves him and thinks he is beautiful. Unlike the book, in the movie the creature is loved by his creator, not abandoned, and has someone to look after and help him. Also, in the novel, Frankenstein tries to keep his creation a secret and doesn’t want society to know about him. In the movie, Frankenstein wants everyone to know about his creation and puts on a show in which he shows off what he has accomplished. Although Frankenstein thinks his creation is amazing, this is another time that society views the creature as a monster.
In the novel and the movie, Frankenstein realizes that the creature’s feelings resemble those of a human’s and he notices that the creature will never be accepted for what he is. In both versions, Frankenstein is not sure of what the consequences of the creature may be. However, in the novel, Frankenstein tries to run away from what he did and views his work as a total mistake. He feels like he failed and does not know how to handle his creature. Due to a feeling of abandonment, the creature feels as though he has no purpose and turns from innocent to violent. Therefore, he burns himself in order to end his life and make sure nobody else tried to recreate life and make the same mistake of trying to recreate life. In the movie, Frankenstein loves his creation and is willing to risk his own live to save what he has worked so hard for. At the end of the movie, after he realizes society rejects it, Frankenstein transfers some of his own brain, risking his life, to the creatures in order give it the knowledge it needs to fit in with the rest of society. By doing this, Frankenstein allows his creature to be accepted and live in harmony in the town.
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To conclude, Frankenstein’s character in both the movie and the book has many similarities and differences. The development and outcome of the creature’s life differs in each work due to the relationship with his creator. However, in both works, Frankenstein obsesses over reanimating his creature.
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