Frankenstein As A Historical Metaphor Analysis

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Frankenstein as a Historical Metaphor, written by Elizabeth Young, is a strong article centered mostly around race relations and U.S. foreign policy. Susan Tyler Hitchcock’s piece, The Monster Lives On, focuses more on previous events and how the myth has been misinterpreted throughout time. However, both authors agree that the Frankenstein metaphor is an effective way to bring attention to world issues pertaining to politics especially. Hitchcock references political cartoons to demonstrate the changes in political power worldwide. Contrarily, Young argues that issues related to politics, science, technology, and race can all be explained through this metaphor. Even though my views align more with Hitchcock’s article, Elizabeth Young presents …show more content…
She starts by stating how contemporary ideas were considered “misguided ambitions” or “mistaken idealism” in relation to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. She then transitions into how the metaphor was widely accepted in politics. For instance, the 1832 Reform Bill was viewed as a “good idea gone wrong” since it stemmed from such pure intentions. Hitchcock states this as being a very fitting comparison; “together they were bringing to life a monster, a new voting population with the potential of rising up and destroying them-- and with them, the old social order” (Hitchcock, 263). Hitchcock also brings in John Tenniel’s political cartoon, The Brummagem Frankenstein, to specifically show how “the working-class monster” was illustrated at the time. Throughout her writing she expresses that the creature is the victim and the man who created it should be portrayed as the monster; she also tells the reader the meaning is vague and has been misinterpreted on many …show more content…
She promptly brings up current affairs and how they can be related to the Frankenstein monster. She calls Saddam Hussein, along with other terrorists, the monster the U.S. created. Pertaining to this specific issue, she quotes Michael Moore; “The United States is extremely gifted in creating monsters like Frankenstein. Then one fine day they discover that these Frankensteins are dreadful” (Young 271). "Blowback" is contemporary violence against the United States, most commonly due to foreign policy (Young 271). She shifts over to other widely known issues such as: cloning, genetically modified foods, stem-cell research, and other scientific advancements considered “monstrous creations.” Young states that her examples are dissimilar and hard to compare. She wants to bring attention to the reader so that he knows to focus on the effectiveness of the metaphor building a case against the elites, or whatever else the author may be trying to compare by pairing Frankenstein with the issue of their choice. She closes with her strongest point about slavery as a "pet monster" of the American people. This is a topic many do not associate with relating back to Frankenstein, but she ties it in by discusses how slavery still influences America in the present

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