Categories: Non-US

Just how monstrous is the Sun’s ‘Flakensteins’ story?

From The Guardian:

As Sun headlines go, “Flakensteins” isn’t really up there with the classics such as “Gotcha”, “Up Yours Delors” and the immortal “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster”, but it’s causing something of a stir nonetheless.

“Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ – and is in fact a VICTIM” trumpeted the Sun’s story on Tuesday, echoing an earlier Times article that drew from a new edition of Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old novel. In its foreword, Exeter University’s Nick Groom writes that many students are sympathetic to the creature given life by Victor Frankenstein, despite the fact that the tortured monster then, as the Sun succinctly puts it, “murders his creator’s brother, pal and bride”.

Howls of social media derision ensued, as the villagers of Twitter jovially took up their pitchforks and torches to point out that, yes, this was the whole point of Shelley’s book.

On first glance, the Sun article seems to be conflating the true and the popular images of Frankenstein’s creation. In the book he is horrific to gaze upon, but intelligent and emotional, teaching himself to read and speak, tortured by his desire to live as other men do, all the while wrestling with whether he is human at all. But through the wider cultural lens, Frankenstein’s monster is a green-skinned, flat-topped colossus, tombstone of brow and heavy of eye, who grunts and groans his way through several lissom maidens. It’s interesting where that version of the monster came from, because even the early movie adaptations of the book, including the classic and instantly recognisable Boris Karloff take in the 1931 film, still present a tortured and conflicted soul. The popular idea of Frankenstein’s monster being dumb seems to stem from Scooby-Doo cartoons.

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Some of my best friends have worked on the Sun.

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It’s attacking empathy, because empathy has no place in the world today. Forget about the other. Look after yourselves. This thing we don’t understand is coming for us. Don’t feel sympathy for it! Lock your doors! Close your borders! Head for the hills!

Link to the rest at The Guardian

PG :