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Where did Dr. Frankenstein get the body parts for his monsters?

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zander | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 11, 2007 at 12:19 AM via web

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Where did Dr. Frankenstein get the body parts for his monsters?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted June 11, 2007 at 12:25 AM (Answer #1)

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"To make his creature, Victor Frankenstein "dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave" and frequented dissecting rooms and slaughterhouses. In Mary Shelley's day, as in our own, the healthy human form delighted and intrigued artists, physicians, and anatomists. But corpses, decaying tissue, and body parts stirred almost universal disgust. Alive or dead, whole or in pieces, human bodies arouse strong emotion--and account for part of Frankenstein's enduring hold on us.

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | TA | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted May 31, 2014 at 10:25 PM (Answer #3)

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He went through people's graves to find body parts. He dug up freshly made graves and dissected them for the limbs he desired. He had to do this in the secret of the night because, generally speaking, stealing from graves is frowned upon in many societies including Victor's society. 

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 19, 2015 at 8:30 PM (Answer #4)

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In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the main protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, built a humanoid creature in the lab and (quite literally) gave it life and called him the Monster. This creation was built from human body parts, but it was much larger than an average human being and stood at over eight feet. 

Dr. Frankenstein got the body parts he needed to make the Monster from dissecting rooms, slaughter houses, graves and morgues. He collected the bones, necessary for the work, from charnel houses. Much of this work had to be done at night, because stealing body parts from graves is abhorred in a civilized society. 

Whether he made the creature from whole body parts (one leg here and a hand there, etc.) or used the stolen/procured body parts in some other way is not very clear from the story.

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