Frankenstein and the Human Mind
The human mind is something scientists have been trying to comprehend forever. Science can not alter how the mind communicates with one’s body, or even how it works. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein uses the creation of a fake being to emphasize the fact that the human mind cannot be altered or replicated effectively.
Dr. Frankenstein thought he would be able to create and control the mind of a creature. He had tried many times, but to no avail. After talking with a professor, he finally figured out a way that he would be able to complete what he had been trying to for years.
But does Frankenstein pass that natural boundary placed before us by our peers? To create life, a being with its own mind, had never been done before. What are the consequences of his actions and was it truly worth it to go beyond those limits? Mary Shelley says no, it was not worth it. Frankenstein thought he would be able to control this creature, control his emotions and how he would act on them. He would quickly find out that that was not the case. Immediately after creating this unnatural being, Frankenstein had to act as a somewhat fatherly figure to teach the “monster” how to walk and stand on his own.
I don’t think it was what he intended, but by doing this the creature naturally looked at Frankenstein as being his sole “creator,” or “father” if you will. There was nothing he could say or do, and certainly nothing science could do, to change the thinking of the creature. He, by creating life, had attached himself to this being from the very beginning. When the creature is out in the streets for the first time, the whole town is completely against him, trying to bring him down, throwing stuff at him, etc. There is nothing science can do to take the anger and sadness out from the creature.
It is only natural to the mind that you will feel such emotions if a whole town is against you. That is just how the mind works. It reacts to certain situations in a certain way, beyond sciences control. Frankenstein tried to forget about the creature, but it crept right back up into his life with the murder of his little brother, William. The creature is angry with Frankenstein, angry for what he had done to him. Frankenstein made the creature much bigger and stronger than an average human being, and because of this, it isn’t necessarily easy for Frankenstein to say no to the creatures’ needs or wants.
He demands a female partner, which brings us to another argument brought forward by Shelley. When you venture into the unknown by creating life, by creating unnatural beings, you risk the threat of more than one being created. When you pass that boundary by scientifically experimenting with the human mind and life, only bad things can come from it. It is a loss-loss no matter how you look at it, from Shelley’s point of view. In the film, Frankenstein is put forth with a very dangerous task. Either creating a second unnatural being with it’s own mind, or telling the creature he has already made that he cannot do that.
Mary Shelley stresses that both of these outcomes are bad, and that it is impossible to avoid both circumstances. By giving an unnatural being its’ own mind, you are giving it the privilege to think on its’ own. This is incredibly dangerous, as you cannot control it after this point. If the being you gave life to is bigger or stronger than you, you are at the will of it to do what it asks. Because Frankenstein didn’t give in to the creatures’ wishes, the creature was not only responsible for the death of his little brother William, but also the death of the well loved servant, Justine, and ultimately the death of his wife, Elizabeth.
Frankenstein then proceeds to pass that boundary even further, by replicating the mind of his wife in the same manner in which he created the creature. His wife comes “back to life” but with little to no memory. The creature tries to bring her to his side, finally getting what he wanted, a partner. But, in a struggle over the possession of Elizabeth, she screams and commits suicide, hurting Frankenstein even more. What he thought would enhance science and bring innovation would ultimately be his downfall.
And that is because he ventured past that boundary by trying to create or replicate the human mind, something in which science has no control over. The human mind cannot be altered or replicated successfully in any way, and any attempts to do so will end in a disastrous manner. I agree with Shelley in this regard, as she proved in her film. The human mind is something so complex that scientists are still trying to figure it out entirely, let alone duplicate it, or create it from scratch. Frankenstein was attempting to use some brains from dead people in his attempts at creating life, but it is still all wrong just the same.
It is immoral and without a doubt beyond that limit that should not be passed. We saw a very clear example of what Shelley thinks would happen, and I think it is safe to say it is fairly accurate. You could theoretically try to pull something off like Frankenstein did, and you may even be able to control that being, but would it be worth it? Shelley says no, and I agree with her. The cons outweigh the pros indefinitely. You wouldn’t be able to control the created unnatural being, and it would cause havoc over society. The human mind is something not to be meddled with, and “Frankenstein” is a good example of this.
If you create someone or something so unique, it will naturally want to be among its’ kind. If you wanted to experiment, you would need two creatures, not just one, and that could become a very dangerous threat. Scientists do not fully understand the human mind, and thus cannot effectively control it. Mary Shelley’s Film, “Frankenstein,” effectively warns us of the consequences of what can come if you pass a certain boundary by meddling with certain things science does not fully comprehend. The human mind is a sacred, unique device that every human being has. It allows one to think, to feel emotion.
It is very dangerous to try to replicate this in the creation of an unnatural being. I agree with all the points Shelley is making in her film, in that it should not be attempted. It is immoral and very dangerous, and only bad things will come from it. Life is a natural thing that we are blessed to have, and we should not push our luck into trying to create beings in which we can control, because it can’t be done. The human mind cannot be altered or duplicated, and thus, scientists should not try to do so, especially not until they have a much better understanding of how it works so that they can learn how to control it. Word Count: 1,197