Contents Index

"The Blasted Tree"

Lester D. Friedman

From The English Novel and the Movies, ed. Michael Klein and Gillian Parker (New York: Ungar, 1981)

{52} In the "wet, ungenial summer" of 1816, a season filled with incessant rain that often confined her for days on end to her house in Geneva, Mary Shelley found herself in almost constant contact with one uncommon and two extraordinary men. However bad the weather may have been that year, it was nonetheless a period of unusual creative productivity for these four people. During the days in Switzerland Byron worked on "Canto Three" of Childe Harold, wrote Prometheus, and began Manfred. His friend Percy Shelley completed "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" and "Mont Blanc" and undoubtedly began thinking about what would eventually become his masterful epic poem, Prometheus Unbound. Even the least accomplished of the quartet, the young physician John Polidari, wrote a tale entitled The Vampyre, which was eventually published (though wrongly attributed to Lord Byron).

Yet it was also a time of harrowing personal tragedy for the Shelleys. Mary still lamented the loss of her premature, two-week-old baby in February of the previous year, and the suicide of her half-sister, Fanny Imlay, in October was closely followed by that of Shelley's first wife, Harriet Westbrook, in December. It was within this churning cauldron of creativity and personal grief from June of 1816 to July of 1817, both in Switzerland and England, that the daughter of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and radical philosopher {53} Willam Godwin wrote her now famous tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his immortal monster.

But none of those huddled around the fire telling ghost stories in Byron's Villa Diodati could possibly have imagined the success young Mary's story would have in the world. For thirty years of the nineteenth century, Frankenstein would reign as the most popular novel in the English-speaking world, would eventually be translated into at least twenty-nine foreign languages, and would remain in print from the day of its publication. Indeed, Frankenstein provided Mary with much more popular acclaim in her own lifetime than Shelley was accorded in his, and for over twenty-five years the public regarded her as a major novelist who had been married to a rather minor poet; the revenues from her work brought more in each month than her husband's writings did in a year. The novel inspired at least nine different plays while Mary was still alive, several twentieth-century productions (such as that by the Living Theater), as well as some loosely related parodies like Frank-In-Steam, or the Modern Promise To Pay (1888). Generations of films based on her story, ranging from the Edison Company's lost silent version of 1910, to James Whale's classic of 1931, to the Andy Warhol/Paul Morrisey modern interpretation (Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, 1975), to the Mel Brooks comedy (Young Frankenstein, 1975), keep Mary and her monster alive today. It would seem that whatever Mary Shelley discovered "with shut eyes and acute mental vision" that rainy summer in Switzerland struck a responsive chord in her own day that continues to reverberate even more strongly in our own.

Most traditional Frankenstein criticism, whether of the book or of Whale's film, centers around the notion that Victor (Henry in the movie) has somehow transgressed God's moral and natural laws by attempting to create life from dead matter.1 Yet a close reading of the novel reveals that this position represents, at best, a simplistic view, and at worst, a total misreading of the work. Mary Shelley {54} specifically refuses to make value judgments in Frankenstein, allowing both the doctor and his creation to state their cases with equal eloquence and effectiveness. Throughout the work she remains much more interested in presenting the tensions between the man of genius and his world, and between a creator and his creation, than she is in assigning good or evil to either one. It is precisely these points of greatest tension, never fully resolved in the book, that James Whale captures so brilliantly in his film; he, better than anyone else who adapted the story to a different medium, understood the tragic majesty of Frankenstein.

To understand the method by which Mary Shelley carefully develops the seemingly opposing sides of her fictive world -- society versus the genius, creator versus creation -- one must first admit something that seems very basic, but inevitably fails to be mentioned by most commentators: Frankenstein is successful. He has literally done the miraculous. Whatever deaths may occur in the rest of the novel, whatever grief his experiments occasion, nothing should blind us to his truly spectacular achievement. He has duplicated the "first principle of life . . . the cause of generation" [1.3.4], and the desire to do so is in and of itself neither evil nor inglorious. Where Frankenstein fails miserably is not in the dream, but in his inability to integrate the dream with his social obligations. Even more importantly, it is his refusal to provide the parental responsibility due his "offspring" that seals his fate.

Frankenstein's isolation becomes a major reason for the tragedy that follows. In relying upon no one but himself, Frankenstein becomes concerned only with how the events will affect him, and not with how it may possibly affect the world beyond the sheltered boundaries of his laboratory. What Mary Shelley suggests to be positive forces are the very things Victor in his isolation rejects: manly friendship represented by Henry Clervel, and feminine love represented by Elizabeth. Victor's isolation inevitably leads him to blind egoism, ultimately dooming his family and closest friends; a union with a like spirit on either the sexual or nonsexual level is the only potential salvation offered in the novel.

One need not look very far for the sources of Mary's notion of the need to combine intellectual goals with human interaction, for both of her intellectual idols -- her father William Godwin and her {55} husband Percy Shelley -- stressed the need for even the man of genius to integrate his personal quest for knowledge with the concerns of the outside world. In his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Godwin wrote:

No being can be either virtuous, or vicious, who has no opportunity of influencing the happiness of others. . . . Even knowledge, and the enlargement of intellect, are poor, when unmixed with sentiments of benevolence and sympathy . . . and science and abstraction will soon become cold unless they derive new attractions from ideas of society.2
Shelley's long poem Alastor, published a scant six months before Mary began Frankenstein, contains an even more profound vision of the relationship between one "who seeks strange truths in undiscovered lands" and the society he rejects. Even more to the point, the poet in Alastor, much like Dr. Frankenstein, makes his bed "in charnels and on coffins" as he obstinately searches for "what we are." Though Shelley is poet enough to express deep admiration for the doomed protagonist of his work, he remains man enough to make his position clear in the preface:
The intellectual faculties, the imagination, the functions of sense, have their respective requisitions on the sympathy of corresponding powers in other human beings. . . . Those who love not their fellow-beings live unfruitful lives and prepare for their old age a miserable grave.3
Though perhaps overstating his case in the heat of despair, Victor's warning to young Walton comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with Godwin and Shelley: "If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind" (p. 56).4

Frankenstein also stands as a good example of what Harold Bloom labels "the internalization of Quest-Romance," in that it presents a {57} turning away from an outward union of man with nature and a turning inward toward an internalization of the imagination that becomes overly self-conscious and destructive of the social self. Bloom notes that at the same time the Romantics strove to widen their consciousnesses, to intensify their intellectual awarenesses, they ran the inevitable risk of narrowing themselves to an acute over-preoccupation with the self.5 Frankenstein mistakenly substitutes cold, abstract logic for the warmth of human friendship and love. Almost all the great works of the Romantic Age cry out for some sort of completion, for a union of like beings, and Frankenstein is no exception; Walton, Frankenstein, and the monster all long for companionship. If Frankenstein deserves punishment for his actions, it is not for mocking God but rather for ignoring the social order. Any endeavor carried out in such isolation can lead to nothing good for society; and the duties one owes to society, Mary argues, are as strong and as binding as that owed to any abstract principle.

Obviously, Mary is not saying that Promethean man must exchange his glorious dreams for the mundane pleasures of hearth and home, but the novel does yearn for a compromise between the two. To fail to achieve this compromise is to become a robot incapable of discerning right from wrong. Thus, Frankenstein becomes an irresponsible researcher, for he fails to take human consequences into account. His original dream was oriented toward humanity's good ("to render man invulnerable to any but violent death"), a natural outgrowth of his upbringing among a loving community of family and friends, but his vision becomes perverted by his isolation and denial of the very impulses that first motivated him. In his solitude, a new and more selfish desire arises:

A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. (p. 54)
Thus, ambition overtakes humanitarianism; the dream becomes an obsession.

Victor Frankenstein errs, therefore, not in his dream, but in the {58} method he selects to achieve it. But his blindness exterids even further, to the very nature of knowledge itself, for he fails to grasp its essential paradox. It is precisely in relation to the entire question of the price of gaining knowledge that Mary reaches her highest tension point and, not coincidentally, when she speaks most directly to our own age. With its vast Miltonic framework, it comes as no surprise that Frankenstein presents knowledge and sorrow as inextricably bound up with each other because Edenic knowledge must inevitably contain cosmic sorrow. All the characters in the novel come to realize that "increase of knowledge" makes them wretched outcasts. Every step upward is an "increase in despair," as it further alienates the learner from those who do not possess his knowledge. Can the individual genius accede to the natural demands of society, thus avoiding the risk of dissipating his wisdom in an unproductive void of sterile solipsism and perpetual alienation, and still progress upward along the path of knowledge? Within Frankenstein there is no answer to this crucial question.

Though Mary presents no answer to this question, she does show that Victor's rejection of the heterosexual love offered by Elizabeth and the friendship offered by Henry lead directly to his most crucial error: the failure to take moral responsibility and provide parental guidance for his creation. Again, this idea has a contemporary ring to it. Given Mary's position in the novel, she might well have argued that those who worked on the Manhattan project must bear as much responsibility as those who decided to drop the bombs on Japan. Responsibility begins, not ends, with creation.

In the very act of the monster's "birth," we witness the ever-widening gap between Frankenstein's original dream and the reality with which he is forced to deal. Because the "minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to [his] speed," the doctor resolves to make the creature of gigantic stature. The resulting misshapen and hideously ugly creature appears so twisted and bizarre that he is forever doomed as an outsider. When Victor beholds his creature's "dull, yellow eye," he is "unable to endure the aspect of his being" and is filled with "breathless horror and disgust" [1.4.1]. The dream vanishes, but the creature remains, a harmless, love-starved being called to life by a creator who now rejects and abandons him. Victor assumes his one act of supreme creativity will be his final one, only to discover it occasions a dependence he cannot tolerate.

{59} The monster's drive to revenge and murder results from his intense desire to obtain what Victor has so carelessly rejected: friendship and love. He tells his creator:

Unfeeling, heartless, creator! You had endowed me with perceptions and passions, and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind. . . . I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. (p. 139, 144)
Whether or not Frankenstein errs by not creating a female counterpart for the monster remains, at least for me, an issue open to question, but surely his very refusal to do so is evidence of a lesson learned; in the past he gave no heed to the consequences of creative actions. Yet the failure of love at this point is not the creature's; it is the creator's, who rejects his own creation solely on outward appearances. The monster's initial crime is merely his physical repulsiveness, something over which he had no control. Indeed, at one point, the monster rises to a level of moral understanding unsurpassed by any other figure in the novel, lecturing his maker on the responsibilities of creation: "How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine toward you and the rest of mankind" (p. 99).

Though Frankenstein may not have performed the required duties toward his creature, James Whale certainly recognized his responsibilities toward Mary Shelley's "hideous progeny." And, like the novel, the film attained a great level of success. Critics like Paul Jensen label it "the most prestigious horror film ever made," while Carlos Clarens calls it "the most famous horror movie of all time." In the collection of essays entitled Focus on the Horror Film, the editors begin their chronology with the publication of Frankenstein in 1818 and end with the death of Karloff in 1969. The film catapulted Karloff from minor roles to overnight stardom, and it is no wonder he always cited it as his best horror film while affectionateIy calling the monster "my best friend."6

{60} Not only did Whale understand the elements needed to make a financially successful and critically well-respected film, but he intuitively grasped the significance and meaning of Mary Shelley's work in such a modern way that the film retains its power for successive generations of moviegoers. Furthermore, he comprehended something about the film/literature relationship that is gaining only slow acceptance even today. The best film adaptations seek the spirit rather than the letter of their original source, and in fact, transferring that spirit to the screen sometimes demands violating the letter of the work. Lewis Milestone stated the situation correctly when he observed:

If you want to produce a rose, you will nnt take the flower and put it into the earth. This would not result in another rose. Instead, you will take the seed and stick it into the soil. From it will grow a rose. It's the same with film adaptation.
So, for example, if one judges Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood by how well it reproduces the outer events in Shakespeare's Macbeth, he might well conclude it is a rather poor adaptation. But once we examine the themes and moods of Shakespeare's drama and then analyze how Kurosawa uses cinematic devices to recreate those ideas and feelings visually, we can see that, far from being a weak adaptation, Throne of Blood (1957) remains extremely faithful to the spirit and meaning of Macbeth. Thus, a director can become not only an illustrator of the written text, but an artist in his own right, one who draws inspiration from original sources as Shakespeare himself drew inspiration from the Holinshed Chronicles. It is precisely in terms of his visual constructions, particularly image motifs and a sophisticated mise-en-scene, that Whale communicates the essential tension points in Mary Shelley's novel, giving us a work that rivals its source in complexity while conveying its essential themes.

Whale's sophistication is conspicuously evident in the intricate pattern of light and dark, both natural and man-made, that he weaves throughout the film, never subverting organic, contextual unity for a strained or baroque effect. The inspiration for this image {61} pattern probably comes from the novel itself, for lightning in darkness first draws the young Victor to the power of electricity, and hc later comes to view himself in terms similar to the "blasted stump" that first so overwhelmed him: "But I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul" (p. 160). Whatever its source, the light/dark imagery dominates the film, functioning both as basic mise-en-scene environment via its almost perpetual contextual presence and as symbolic metaphor via its role in the overall abstract theme of knowledge versus ignorance.

Immediately after Van Sloan's theatrical and readily dismissible prologue, the film proper begins with a medium shot of a pair of hands lowering something into the ground. From here, and as a good example of Whale's fluid visual style, the camera starts a long pan rightward past a young boy, an old woman dressed in black, an old man with his arm around her, a man fixing his glasses, a priest holding a banner, another man, a large tilted cross, another priest, another mourner, a skeleton symbolizing death and leaning on a cross or sword, and finally to the ghoulish face trapped between the posts of an iron railing (Fritz). Immediately, another more aristocratic man yanks him down. Whale then cuts to a medium long short of this man (Dr. Frankenstein) along with the skeleton of death in the same frame, intimately linking the two together as they will be throughout the film. At this point an old gravedigger finishes his chores and searches around in his pockets for a pipe and some matches. Lighting the pipe, he gives us the first of numerous images of fire surrounded by darkness, or darkness penetrated by light, that the film offers as its central motif. Here, however, the fire is small and under control, harnessed by man to aid his fellow creatures.

The film's second fire image is similar to the first in that it represents the tremendous forces of natural light and energy controlled to aid rather than injure man. The lantern that Fritz (Dwight Frye) carries on his pole cuts out patches of light in the night so that he and Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) can see the convict, whose brain they need, hanging on the post. Fritz gives the lantern to Frankenstein, who holds it aloft so that his assistant can see to cut the man down. The light proves insufficient, however, since the man's broken neck has rendered the brain useless.

Up to this point, the entire film possesses a dark, nightmarish {62} quality illuminated only by the tiny lights of matches and lantern. With the next scene we are thrust into a brightly lit hall at Goldstadt Medical College, a room dominated by high-powered electric lights over an operating table. In fact, several shots illustrate the predominance and power of the lights in the frame, particularly when Whale positions the camera for low angle shots beneath the feet of the cadaver, making the ring of lights on the wheellike fixture seem like a protective circle.7 Of course, when Fritz enters the school to steal the brain, the bright lights have been extinguished; he is a creature of darkness and of night.

The fade-out on the now dark and empty medical school is matched by a fade-in on a portrait of Henry (Victor in the novel) illuminated by candlelight; in fact, candles glow from all over the Frankenstein manor: on the piano, on chandeliers, to Elizabeth's (Mae Clark) right as she reads Henry's letter to Victor Moritz (John Boles). Troubled by the letter, Moritz and Elizabeth visit Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan), Frankenstein's tutor at school, who warns them of the "mad dreams and insane ambitions" that have driven him from formal medical study. This scene takes place in a potentially eerie environment. Human skulls on Waldman's desk and bookcase surround the trio. Yet the scene's frightfulness is almost totally mitigated by the electric light gleaming over the doctor's desk. Here, Whale demonstrates Mary's idea that the study of human life and death is not in itself evil, and when carried out under the proper conditions -- lighted, in the open, and surrounded by colleagues and friends -- can contribute to the betterment of mankind.

The next use of lighting, and one of the most famous in movie history, brings us to the dark and isolated castle (it was originally to have been the same windmill where the last scene between Frankenstein and the monster occurs) lit only by a fierce lightning storm. No longer is light under human control. It remains beyond the realm of human knowledge. Frankenstein's outlandish hubris in these scenes, such as when he exults that "the brain of a dead man is waiting to live again in a body I made with my own hands," is not {63} to be seen as research similar to that of Dr. Waldman's. The buzzing, flashing, sputtering lights in the laboratory seem under his control, but of course this later proves to be a scientific illusion. Fritz's comic parody of the porter scene in Macbeth, accompanied by a lantern, sets the stage for the film's most famous scene. Frankenstein sends up his being's body like some ancient, votive offering to the creative forces in the universe as symbolized by the lightning.

It would be possible, of course, to continue listing and interpreting all the various sources of light in the film, but this opening description should provide sufficient insight into the feeling of the film's images. Three different, major sources of light exist: the untamed natural light formed by lightning, the sun, and the moon; the light made subservient to man such as lamps, candles, and matches; and the light that exists somewhere in between, like torches, that can either illuminate or destroy. Throughout the entire film, Whale makes us aware that light in various contexts presents various meanings. Like the knowledge it comes to symbolize in the film, light is a double-edged sword that is capable of great harm or great good. Again, it is not a matter of rejecting fire (light), but of realizing its potential for both evil and goodness.

In addition to the pattern of darkness and light that infuses the film on both an imagistic and symbolic level, Whale is also clearly aware of the other two sins committed by Dr. Frankenstein which form the tension points of greatest interest in the novel: Frankenstein's isolation, both moral and physical, from the community of men, and his refusal to accept proper responsibility or provide sufficient parental guidance for his creature. Like Mary, Whale refuses simply to censure Frankenstein as a mad lunatic, making him an incredibly vulnerable figure in the person of Colin Clive and giving him the least mundane speech in the entire film:

Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous? Where should we be if nobody tried to find out what lies beyond? Have you never wanted to look beyond the clouds and the stars or to know what causes the trees to bud? And what changes the darkness into light? Well, if I could discover just one of those things, what eternity is for example, I wouldn't care if they did think I was crazy.
{64} Clearly this is no deranged, stereotypieally mad scientist, but a man whose dream is no less great and no less valid than that of his literary precursor.

But how does Henry go about accomplishing his dream? First, he secludes himself from the positive forces of love, friendship, and familial affection and replaces them with Fritz (a character not present in the book), who represents some sort of middle stage between human being and monster. Even though the actual "birth" is witnessed by a friend, a loved one, and a father-figure, none of these people have any influence in the process or before it. As in the novel, Frankenstein's dream becomes an obsession, and his concern is not for his creature but for his own experience of bringing life out of dead matter.

Frankenstein's rejection of his creation is strongly presented in the film. When informed that he has mistakenly used a criminal brain, Frankenstein puts out his cigarette (tamed fire) and tells Waldman the creature is "only a few days old . . . wait till I bring him into the light." And in the astonishing and poignant scene that follows he does just that, but in a way that forever seals his fate.8 He reaches up and turns out the lamp (man-made light) and watches as the monster appears in what must rank as one of the greatest entrances in film history. First Karloff backs into the room, then we see him in a medium shot profile, then a full front medium shot that changes to a close-up, that changes to an extreme close-up from the middle of his forehead to his chin. Frankenstein seats the monster in a harsh-looking wooden chair, reaches over for a chain that slides back the hatch in the ceiling, and allows the sun to enter the darkened room. In a tender moment, the monster glances upward toward this new sensation, stands, looking directly up into the sun, and slowly reaches out with his oversized arms to capture it. "Shut the light!" screams Waldman unexplainably, and Frankenstein, for no apparent reason, obeys him. In the moving moment that follows, Karloff holds out his hands to his creator, mutely begging for more light, more knowledge, more love. It is, of course, refused, and when Fritz slams into the room with his brightly burning torch, symbolizing the harsh light that can destroy with its painful heat, the monster reacts in terror. This is too much light at one time, and {65} this combination of the refusal of natural light and the harsh imposition of man-made light enrages the monster and causes his imprisonment in the cellar below.

From this point until the film's conclusion, Frankenstein refuses to accept responsibility for his creative actions. Telling Fritz to "come away . . . just leave it alone," he abandons the being to the demented Fritz's inhuman tortures. He even allows Dr. Waldman to deal with the disastrous results of his experiments. The scenes with Henry and Elizabeth sitting lovingly on the patio of his father's house contrast in image, brightness, and feeling, to the dark and foreboding isolation of the laboratory. But the doctor's hiatus from terror is short-lived. Hearing his father toast to "a son of the House of Frankenstein," Victor embarrassingly recognizes the irony, that the House of Frankenstein already has a "son" who will soon make his presence felt throughout the countryside.

It is only after this "son" makes an overt attack on his creator's intended bride (his rival?) that Henry can once more find the moral courage to assert his position of ethical leadership by helping a search party, equipped with torches, to find the creature. "I made him with these hands," he tells Victor, "and with these hands I will destroy him." The parade of torchbearers sets off in three directions, with Victor leading those assigned to the mountains. There, protected by a sole torch which the monster unfearingly knocks to the ground, Henry confronts his beast amid the mountains of Universal's soundstage, and after being knocked unconscious, awakens in the windmill for one last battle. Here again Whale's visual sensibility becomes evident as the monster and his maker confront each other around a large gear mechanism that turns the windmill. Each is shot in an identical way through the mechanism, visually emphasizing that there is as much of the monster in Frankenstein as there is Frankenstein in the monster. The shot further underlines the inevitability of their fates being forever linked together, round and round each other. This shared entrapment and identity is highlighted when the Burgomaster (Lionel Belmore) screams and points to the windmill's platform where the creator and his creation grapple with each other, "There he is. There's the monster." At that point, we understand that Whale means us to take that remark as referring to both combatants.

Two actions occur then that conclude the film's major image {66} patterns of circular shapes and light and dark. The monster throws Frankenstein from the top of the windmill. He catches on one of the blades (which have been moving clockwise), changes its direction (counterclockwise) for a moment, then falls lifelessly to the ground, while the wheel returns to its original rotation. The townspeople plunge their torches into the windmill, trapping the monster by the flames. Finally, after a huge beam falls on him, the monster perishes (in the original version) amid the fire he has both sought and avoided throughout the film. For the monster, light is both death and enlightenment. As in the novel, the more knowledge he gains, the more despair he feels; the more torture he receives, the more crazed he becomes.

As this analysis of the film demonstrates, Whale viewed the Frankenstein story much in the same way as did Mary Shelley. Of course, the novel/film comparison cries out for additional study in various areas: the doppelganger motif, the political overtones, the sexual tensions, the role of parental figures, specific biographical relationships in the novel, the allegory of the artist and his creation, to name just the most obvious. Furthermore, if Paul Jensen is right in saying that the scientist is the last potential tragic hero, since the grandeur of his aims makes possible the greatest of falls, then it is not too much to claim that we all live in a Frankensteinian age. Certainly, we have to deal with forces man has unleashed that now range out of his control. The potential destructibility of nuclear power, the possible uses and misuses of DNA, and the wonder and fear created by the space exploration program -- just to cite some clear examples -- give us all pause to contemplate the ramifications of scientific endeavors made in the name of mankind, yet having the potential to destroy it. Both Mary Shelley's novel and James Whale's film are crucial to thinking about these issues, for if Mary Shelley wrote the word, James Whale made it flesh. Within this context, Frankenstein raises problems that strike at the very heart of our culture, become central to our values, and speak to the very survival of our species.


1. See: John Dussinger, "Kinship and Guilt in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," Studies in the Novel, 8, No. 1 (Spring, 1976), p. 38. Paul Lewis, "The Artist as Satan and as God," Studies in Short Fiction, 14 (1977), p. 281. Robert Philmus, Into the Unknown (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970), p. 82. Masao Miyoshi, The Divided Self (New York: New York University Press, 1969), p. 102. Drake Douglas, Horrors (London: John Baker, i967), p. 102.

2. William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, ed. K. Codel Carter (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 56, pp. 79-80.

3. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Selected Poetry, ed. Neville Rogers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 29-30.

4. All quotations from the text refer to: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, ed. M. K. Joseph (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971).

5. Harold Bloom, "The Internalization of Quest-Romance," in Romanticism and Consciousness, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970), pp. 3-24.

6. See: Paul Jensen, "Frankenstein," Film Comment 6 (Fall, 1970), p. 42. Carlos Clarens, Horror Films (New York: Capricorn Books, 1968), p. 65. Roy Huss and T. J. Ross (eds.) Focus on the Horror Film (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1972), pp. 11-12. Peter Underwood, Karloff (New York: Drake Publishers, 1972), p. 56.

7. Circular strctures are also an important motif in the film starting with this image and culminating with the gear mechanism in the windmill at the film's conclusion.

8. At least it did until audiences reacted badly to Frankenstein's death in advance showings, so Carl Laemmle ordered Whale to shoot a "happier" ending.