Two hundred years ago on New Year’s Day, a third-rate publisher issued an anonymous novel with an outlandish premise, quickly discounting most of the 500 print copies after slow sales. Despite this inauspicious beginning, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus,” has haunted us all the way to a time when life is routinely reinvented in a laboratory.
Let’s change the story a bit. What if the Frankenstein Monster was really a nice guy? The Monster who was played by Boris Karloff in a series of 1930 films was a bully, who went on a murderous rampage but in the end he solicited the audience’s pity as the towns people tracked him like a dog because of his abject cruelty. The bully became a victim and in an unknown hamlet in some lot at Universal Studios the crowd trapped him and burned down the building where he sought his escape. They thought they killed him but, this was only 1931 and they had to leave room for several sequels. No doubt the monster was different, which is one of the reasons they had to get rid of him. Weakness and difference are the two reasons why victims today get bullied; well the monster wasn’t weak but he sure was different.