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Robert Horton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167437

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167437.001.0001

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The Monster’s Place

The Monster’s Place

(p.84) 5 The Monster’s Place

Robert Horton

Columbia University Press

This concluding chapter discusses the more contemporary permutations of the Frankenstein story (and its monster) in various films, spin-offs, and even merchandise. The 1931 film known as Frankenstein (more so than Mary Shelley's novel, or any stage adaptation, or any sequel/spin-off) has contributed an image to world culture that is familiar even to people who have never seen the film. The process by which something disreputable becomes something mainstream is a complicated one, and the 80-years-plus timeline of Frankenstein provides a large history with which to study. A story about the creation of life has itself continued to create life, leaving its traces of the uncanny on each generation; in its shadowplay we perceive the outlines of our fears of family rejection, social abjectness, death, and the less controllable parts of our own nature. It's alive, and it always will be.

Keywords:   Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, world culture, film history, human nature

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