What Frankenstein Can Still Teach Us 200 Years Later

What Frankenstein Can Still Teach Us 200 Years Later

In movies, television shows and even Halloween costumes, Frankenstein’s monster is usually portrayed as a shuffling, grunting beast, sometimes flanked by Dr. Victor Frankenstein himself, the OG mad scientist. This monstrosity created in the lab is now part of our common language. From Frankenfoods to the Frankenstrat, allusions to Mary Shelley’s novel—published 200 years ago this year—and its many descendants are easy to find in everyday language. And from The Rocky Horror Show to the 1931 film that made Boris Karloff’s career, retellings of Shelley’s story are everywhere. Beyond the monster clichés, though, the original story of Frankenstein has a lot to teach modern readers–especially those grappling with the ethical questions science continues to raise today.

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