Compare and contrast the "Hollywood" creature to Mary Shelley's creature.Physical appearance, abilities, actions, etc.

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mrpoirier eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "Hollywood" creature, as it is most stereotypically portrayed, is a sort-of zombie like creature with large feet, a flat head and bolts in his neck to indicate that he was "put" together by Victor Frankenstein.  He is often portrayed as being able only to make moaning noises and walk slowly with his large arms outstretched.

In the actual novel, Frankenstein's monster is of huge proportions and he was assembled from various parts of cadavers that his creator collected and sewed together.  He is portrayed as huge and ugly, which leads to his withdrawal from society and his ultimate misery.  However, the similarities, for the most part, end there.  Frankenstein's monster, through his observations of the natural world as well as his "interactions" with the DeLacey family, is initially a very gentle creature trying to figure out his place in the world that he had been thrust into without any sort of help from his "father."  Becuase of his ugliness, he is rejected again and again.  On one occasion, he is even scorned after selflessly saving a young woman from drowning.  This superficial view of the monster is based solely on his appearance and has nothing to do with the gently creature that exists underneath his rough exterior.

So, the monster is slowly turned against man and society and seeks revenge upon his "father" who created him only to desert him and leave him to fend for himself without any sort of guidance or explanation.  He is very, however, very human and civilized mentally.  It is the fault of Victor Frankenstein's unnatural desire to play God and an unfriendly society that the monster is jaded and becomes a dangerous figure in the novel.

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous poster covered many differences, but I'd like to add a few more. The creature of the novel is literate, and has taught himself how to read and communicate. He reads complicated histories and philosophy, and is a very sophisticated conversationalist. Contrast this with the hulking, grunting, groaning monster of the movies. The Frankenstein monster of Hollywood has no human understanding and no ability to verbally communicate.

The creature of the novel is also capable of rational thought. In fact, he is a great rhetoric, using his knowledge and innate understanding of human rights to convince Victor to create a female companion. It is his pleas for compassion and equity that are some of the most moving passages in the text. Again, the movie monster has no ability to speak, and there is no suggestion that he is capable of rational thought. Whereas in the book, Victor's rejection of the creature is more heart-wrenching when juxtaposed with the monster's reasoning, the creature of the movie is simply something to be feared. We don't have to be compassionate, because there's no way to know or understand it.

wekstedt | Student

One of the most shocking differences between the Hollywood monster and the monster from the novel is the creation. In most movies there is a bolted man on table while the lightning strikes the instruments and shocks him into life. It is a very visual experience in the movies.

In the book, however, there is very little description on what brought this monster to life. Within a few lines he goes from lifeless to alive. There is very little description of the event. This is explained later as a way to keep Victor's knowledge a secret that will die with him.

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