Frankenstein

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1. Novel: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley visited Lord Byron in Switzerland during the rainy summer of 1816. They, together with Byron's physician John William Polidori decided that each of them should write a ghost story to pass the time. Only Polidori and Mary Shelley finished their stories; he produced The Vampyre (1819) and she created Frankenstein.

The novel Frankenstein, written in 1818 (but more often read in the revised and corrected third edition, published in 1931) is an early example of science fiction. Some (led by Brian Aldiss) claim that it is the first science fiction novel. In it, the scientist Victor Frankenstein successfully animates a body created from parts taken from various corpses.

The book is largely allegorical, and was conceived and written at a time of dramatic change, the Industrial Revolution. Behind Frankenstein's experiments is the search for ultimate power or godhood: what greater power could there be than the act of creation of life? Frankenstein, and his utter disregard for the human and animal remains gathered in his pursuit of power are indicative of the rampant forces of laissez-faire capitalism at loose at the time and there basic disregard for human dignity. Moreover, the creation rebels against its creator: a clear message that irresponsible usages of technologies have possible unconsidered consequences.

NB. In current usage, Frankenstein is usually (and incorrectly) used to refer to the created monster rather than its creator.

2. Films

The first film of Frankenstein was made in 1910. The "classic" film from 1931 stars Boris Karloff as the monster.