Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29 – National Frankenstein Day

Frankenstein – always depicted as a green giant with bolts out the side of his head. Today I was on a mission to learn more about the TRUE Frankenstein.

My sister, Erin, is here visiting and in honor of the day she began reading the real Frankenstein book by Mary Shelly written in 1816. Mary wrote Frankenstein when she was only 19 years old!

Did you know: Frankenstein is actually the last name of the doctor (Victor) who built the monster who really is never given a formal name, and that Frankenstein built the monster from human parts.

I was wondering how Frankenstein – who really isn’t even Frankenstein – came to be known as green and have bolts out of his head. I found out that really that just comes from the makeup guys in Hollywood along with the flat head, but in chapter 5 of the book the monster is described as having yellow skin, black hair, really white teeth, watery eyes, and a shriveled complexion with straight black lips.

Other Interesting facts about the Frankenstein Story:

• As a houseguest of Lord Byron, Mary Shelley was invited to participate in a challenge. Byron, Shelley, and the other guests set about writing the most frightening story they could. Shelley won; she claimed that her inspiration came from a vision she'd had, wherein a pale student of science knelt over a body which he had just imbued with artificial life.

• Victor Frankenstein was based on a real person: Johann Konrad Dippel, who was a physician and mad scientist obsessed with creating life through scientific means. His birthplace? Castle Frankenstein, near Darmstadt, Germany.

This was a very educational day for me. To think I would have gone my whole life thinking that that big green monster was Frankenstein himself! These holidays are so educational; I feel I should receive some sort of advanced degree for all of this!

Enjoy National Frankenstein Day!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michelle! I just read this book this month too. Actually, Friday night my book club discussed it--we had no idea it was Frankenstein day the day before :). Fun, interesting book, and amazing that she wrote it when she was only a teenager! There is one theory that Frankenstein's monster was really just his "Mr. Hyde"--a creation in his own imagination to justify his own horrific acts. I'm not convinced that is what the author intended, but it was an interesting theory to consider. Thanks for posting!! :)