Friday, November 14, 2008
I am here working with Frankenstein.
Although, that is one of those inaccuracies with which we all live. Frankenstein is not the monster. Frankenstein is the doctor. But when we say "Frankenstein" we don't mean "doctor".
I haven't been away. Our computer here at home slowly, ever so slowly, kicked the bucket. But since so many parts of it were still working, the eighth grade boys kept trying to keep it going, replacing things with salvaged parts and downloading things and streamlining things.
So here I am with this pieced together machine. I just want to mention that things weren't going very well until I prayed for the intercession of Mother Frances Cabrini. It suddenly dawned on me that the St. Cabrini car prayer, which works marvelously on cars (at least to get them to start long enough to not block traffic when they die in the middle of the road), might work on any machine. "Mother Cabrini, put down your linguini, look down from heaven and fix my machini."
And here we are. Will wonders never cease?
One summer a few years ago, I realized that although I've seen all the great monster stories in some movie form over the years, I had never actually read the original works of fiction. So I spent the summer reading them all. I started with Dracula. Is it even called that? Then I read Frankenstein. From there I plowed through Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and for the finale, The Invisible Man. The only one I didn't much care for was the Invisible Man. He's just such an unpleasant fellow from the word "go" and he just gets crankier and crankier as the story progresses. Someone needs to introduce him to the concept of offering it up. He would have done alright with his unusual potion had he been able to do that.
Dracula, although an interesting story told in the form of diaries and letters, is overly long. I don't believe any movie has ever done it justice, however. It is ultimately a love story, in which the two lovers must overcome this terrible evil (Count Dracula and his mesmerizing charms). It is their love that gives them the strength to overcome. Their love and a big wooden stake.
I really enjoyed the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, the best, I think. For one thing, it is to the point. Dr. Jekyl, unlike the rest of these jokers, has good intentions. He's simply trying to separate man's evil nature from man's good nature, so one could attempt then to eradicate evil. Unfortunately for him, evil is like heroin and he can't stop indulging himself until at last his evil side wins. Too bad he didn't meet the folks from Dracula.
And too bad no one introduced him to the concept of Original Sin. That would have saved him so much time. You would think an educated man like him would have heard of it.
Of everyone, both Dr. Frankenstein and his monster are the most normal. Perhaps normal is not the word we want to use. Dr. Frankenstein builds his man because he realizes he can. There is no other motivation. I used to feel that way when disciplining an entire room full of second graders who were just a little noisy. I knew all I had to do was say two words and give them a look, or slap my ruler on the desk to have absolute silence. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to do that, but I did it because I could.
Who knows what monsters I created?
Frankenstein builds his man on the floor of his apartment, not in any fancy lab with things going zizzle and pop. When he sews on the last piece, the man he has built opens his eyes and looks at Frankenstein. It is only then that Frankenstein realizes what a bad idea this was.
He runs into his bedroom and locks the door and hides. He stays in there for a while, kicking himself for not realizing what a horrible stupid thing it was to build a man out of old body parts and what would he do with the guy after he did build him and how does he get rid of the thing and such. Frankenstein finally just runs away from the problem. He packs his bags and skedaddles.
The Monster, poor thing, spends the rest of the book looking for someplace where he is accepted. He's a smarty pants and learns to speak from hanging around outside the window of a family he would like to join. He really would have been a nice fellow if someone had just loved him. All manner of Hades breaks loose after he formulates a plan to force Dr. Frankenstein to build him a companion. Everything goes downhill fast after that. I believe at one point the monster rips the head off of Dr. Frankenstein's new bride to get the doctor to take him seriously.
Dr. Frankenstein does build his monster a girlfriend, but that is a total disaster, too. The girl doesn't like the monster either, to put it mildly. I can't remember what becomes of her. She probably has a reality show on FOX, trying to become Paris Hilton's new friend.
Ah well, let's hope my "new computer" fares better.
We have questions to answer!