What are those crazy liberal college campuses doing now?

Those professorial propagandists probably expected the students to actually read the book — how else could they have come up with such a bizarre idea?

The postmodernists probably also forced the students to think about and analyze the text. <shudder>


  1. tbtabby says

    Shoe me someone who doesn’t think Frankenstein’s monster is a tragic figure, and I’ll show you someone who’s only familiar with the Universal version. People have had nearly a century to look up the original story and how much of a departure the movie was. They would at least watch the Thug Notes analysis.

  2. says

    It is very long time sinc eI read the book, but I remember that I actually did think the monster has been treated badly and irresponsibly by its creator as well as people who shunned him based on appearance alone.

  3. davidnangle says

    I always picture wingnuts as a screaming mob of ignorant savages. Interesting to see they self-identify that way.

  4. cartomancer says

    I suppose when your main connection to the written word is the Sun newspaper you wouldn’t be all that keen on reading or thinking about what the text actually says either.

  5. =8)-DX says

    @Charly #2 I reread it last year to check and that’s exactly right, except he’s not a monster, he’s The Creature. Victor Frankenstein brings him to life and then just runs away and pretends it never happens (basically abandonment/complete neglect), and spends the rest of the book in horror in dismay at how evil the Creature is and how terrible he himself is but does literally nothing that could actually save his family or friends or make ammends to the Creature himself. The Creature on the other hand, despite being abandoned, tries to learn about human society, learns language, falls in love with humans and tries to enter human society, even saving one’s life, only to be violently and brutally rejected by said humans.
    Every murder he does is out of passionate hatred of his creator and a thirst for revenge at being thrust into a bleak and solitary world where there are none “of his kind” and concluding no meaningful life is possible outside society, nor any moral qualms owed to those who would kill or outcast you.

    To anyone thinking of rereading it, prepare a lot mental fainting couches for Victor Frankenstein, who you will learn to hate with a deadly passion.

  6. Sakura No Seirei, Zoë, born into the purple says

    This has produced no end of amusement and ridicule this side of the pond. As one r/ukpolitics poster put it:

    “This would actually be a pretty genius article if it appeared in The Onion…”

  7. Dunc says

    I remember that I actually did think the monster has been treated badly and irresponsibly by its creator as well as people who shunned him based on appearance alone.

    Well, yes. This is pretty obviously one of the key themes of the book. OK, so Shelley doesn’t beat you over the head with it by having one of the characters say it out loud, but it’s very obviously there.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Unlike the xenomorph, the “creature” is not inherently hostile.
    If you leave a huge creature and let it go feral, you are responsible for the mess.
    If you give a sentient organism reason to resent you, you may experience bad consequences.
    – – – –
    As has been implied, when people judge someone by the Hollywood version, they inadvertedly judge themselves as fucking £$€!

  9. birgerjohansson says

    You know, by the social Darwinist criteria of Ayn Rand followers, the “monster” is actually doing pretty well. He has no help whatsoever from the surrounding society (apart from a blind old man).
    And unlike Galt, he has every reason to be hostile to the human race.
    Nietzche might however consider the creature “too soft” to qualify as superhuman.

  10. Ed Seedhouse says

    birgerjohansson@13: “I think the current generation should be called the”deliberately ignorant asshole generation”

    And that distinguishes them from every other generation exactly how?

  11. zenlike says

    Funnily enough, the second author, Thea Jacobs, had this as her byline on her twitter according to Google: “Literary fanatic | Journalist @TheSun | Trained @NewsAssociates | Cat owner | Views are my own. London, England.”

    In the meantime, she seems to have had the decency the scrub the “literary fanatic” part:
    (But she forgot to delete the “|” before the “Journalist” part, so it is quite apparent there was a word there before it.)

  12. johnhodges says

    A strange old man’s pet peeve… in my foolish youth I learned philosophy from Ayn Rand, and in my ’30’s went back and read it again. I truly think I understand it, and it’s errors, better than most of her followers and critics. My peeve here is that it is not remotely correct to accuse her or her followers of being “Social Darwinist”. She got what little biology that she knew from Aristotle, there is no sign in any of her writings that she had ever heard of Darwin. When she was a teenager, the Bolsheviks confiscated her father’s business, and she had a deep, outraged gut reaction that “This is wrong.” Over decades, she built her philosophy to reach the conclusion that property rights were (or morally ought to be) central and absolute, hence all taxes were theft and all regulation of business was tyranny (a literally reactionary view.) There are many good reasons to criticize her philosophy, but it ain’t “Social Darwinist” in any way.

  13. aziraphale says

    The first page of comments in the Sun are all surprisingly sensible and dismissive.

  14. Owlmirror says

    Here’s an interesting musing on Mary Shelley’s life at the time she wrote Frankenstein:
    The Strange and Twisted Life of “Frankenstein”, by Jill Lepore

    Also, the manuscript of the novel, with interesting edits, is available.

    These manuscripts offer unique insight into how Shelley’s novel evolved as she revised the text. The facsimile shows, for instance, that the author softened her portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster. In one sentence, she scratches out the word “creature” and replaces it with “being.” In another, the “fangs” that Victor imagines gripping his neck become “fingers.”

  15. aziraphale says

    johnhodges@16: I agree. “Social Darwinist” is a pretty ill-defined term. Darwin himself was much more left of center than the term has come to imply.

  16. consciousness razor says

    Postmodernists were not the first, nor will they be the last, “to think about and analyze the text.” Whatever postmodernism is about, if that word/chunk-o-text will have some coherent meaning or another, it had better not be that.


    in my foolish youth I learned philosophy from Ayn Rand

    Well… you learned something. Perhaps it’s better to say you failed to learn something, like for instance the work of serious philosophers who are engaged with academic issues of some kind, as you foolishly opted for Rand’s bullshit which was a very poor substitute.

    My peeve here is that it is not remotely correct to accuse her or her followers of being “Social Darwinist”. She got what little biology that she knew from Aristotle, there is no sign in any of her writings that she had ever heard of Darwin.

    Don’t overlook the word “social.” The central propositions don’t concern biology; instead, they concern how society ought to be. I don’t see why somebody out there couldn’t manage to be both an Aristotelian and a Social Darwinist, in addition to having lots of other views for that matter.

    You are right that Randianism is a different beast, and perhaps she herself wasn’t directly influenced by Darwin or Darwinism. Still, I’d bet she had at least heard of Darwin and evolutionary biology. However, although I fortunately don’t know much about all Randians everywhere (and don’t need to), some of her followers are Social Darwinists and some aren’t. So it is remotely correct to call some of them that.

  17. fernando says

    The Monster of Frankenstein is ugly, and everyone knows that ugly persons are always evil.
    So, the Monster of Frankenstein is evil.

  18. says


    Perhaps when complaining about people not being familiar with a text you shouldn’t display the same characteristic. I’m not entirely sure which film you are referring to, Universal has made several over the years, but if you are referring to the 1931 version by Whale you are not doing the film justice. For all of its invention and differences from the novel it maintains the tragedy of the monster. Just for a quick example his first killing is because Fritz wouldn’t stop torturing him. This sympathy for the monster is taken *further* than the novel in Bride of Frankenstein because of the blind hermit sequence and that the movie is an ironic (and backwards) Christ allegory.

    Now it’s true *some* Universal films treat the monster as a nothing but an object to fear and a murderous brute, it’s particularly bad in House of Frankenstein but for the two films people should see and most critics talk about yeah the actual monster in the story is Victor Frankenstein (and Dr. Pretorius). What I am saying is don’t blame the Whale films for The Sun’s idiotic story. I don’t believe they have seen the films either.

    (Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein are better than the book)

  19. blf says

    An article in the Grauniad, Just how monstrous is the Sun’s ‘Flakensteins’ story?, suggests what is going on “is purely an ideological prejudice dressed up as a cultural phenomenon. It’s about poking fun at millennials, at the brittle snowflake generation […]”:

    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!

    So while the subeditor who wrote the headline could maybe have tried a little harder, the story itself is vintage Sun, akin to their discredited claim in 2003 that asylum seekers were catching swans from London’s parks and eating them. Don’t pity the asylum seekers who might be starving, have a go at them for eating our swans. […]

    The writer also claims “the Sun’s story [echoes] an earlier Times article”. That Times story (Frankenstein’s monster? He was stitched up, say millennials: “Concern for animal rights causes students to sympathise with the murderous creature”) is behind a paywall, so I cannot check.

    Both Teh Sun and Teh Times are owned by Rupert Murdoch.

  20. anbheal says

    Or it could be their fear of well-endowed minorities stealin’ their wimminfolk.

  21. KG says

    Both Teh Sun and Teh Times are owned by Rupert Murdoch.

    And if ever there was an evil monster without a single redeeming feature…

  22. blf says

    The Grauniad is now having some fun snarking both Teh Sun and Teh Times, Forget Frankenstein, what else are snowflake students getting wrong about classic literature?:

    Two British newspapers are baffled — baffled — that today’s students see Frankenstein’s monster as a victim. So how should we interpret other classic works?
    ● Animal Farm
    As a thin-skinned millennial, I sometimes pretend George Orwell’s laugh-a minute romp is a nuanced critique of Stalinism and how the Russian revolution created a power vacuum that allowed the rise of a dictator. But, deep down, I know Orwell’s classic is a fun, farmyard fable. It has talking animals! A pig walks on its hind legs! I usually have to go on YouTube for that. Knocking off a horse to get some whisky — who hasn’t? Napoleon is just an incredibly entrepreneurial porker.


    ● Lolita
    We’ve all enjoyed the veritable feast of terrible excuses for male sexual behaviour recently, but Humbert Humbert has been given a real hard time by snowflake readers. Never mind that Nabokov himself called his paedophile protagonist “a hateful man”; that 12-year-old he rapes is the real villain. Like Humbert, millennials are just too touchy.

    ● Lord of the Flies
    As Enid Blyton taught all of us growing up, leaving a bunch of kids unsupervised on an island is a great lark. So what’s with the violent kids, William Golding? Namby pamby parenting is to blame. […]


    ● A Christmas Carol
    Oooh, scary ghosts! #Triggered

    And then there is The Hobbit: Rowdy thieves set out to steal a fortune amassed by hard work, along the way massacring people cooking dinner, stealing anything they can get their grubby little hands on (rings, wine barrels,…), burning down a city, their rampage devastating to the local flora and fauna, all to appease an evil magician. The moral? Shoot anyone who knocks on your door.

  23. Mark Jacobson says

    @25 anbheal

    Let’s not make jokes out of “Young Frankenstein’s” rape scene.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    KG @ 26
    Rupert Murdoch is a different class of monster, more dangerous than those who physically tear apart their victims.

    I would compare him with Max von Sydow as the devil in “Needful Things”. He says outright that he cannot work miracles, he can only work through mortals willing to do evil things for a perceived advantage.
    By contrast, the Ebola virus or the Xenomorph are only acting out their natures without the capacity to understand the concept of morality.
    The unhappy recycled creature understands morality, but is driven by an almost visceral desire for vengenance (a motif of a separate film genre).

  25. ck, the Irate Lump says

    I hear that snowflake millennials are learning that the villain of Moby Dick is actually the noble captain of the Pequod, Ahab.

  26. chrislawson says

    Shelley herself said that if her story had any moral it was that “if you treat a man ill, he will become a villain.”

  27. says

    O lady fair, thy fairness in the eye
    is balanced by such lack in word and deed.
    Thy realm a kennel filled with hungry hounds
    a-clamor for the bones thou throwest yon.
    But what shall come to pass if such a hound
    thou trainest, sharp’d its teeth and instincts well,
    yet starv’d for love and meat, and in its quest
    for praise thy stick met sole? Why then a hound
    who’d loyal rather be ’tis stead taught hate,
    and made a danger to thy goodly self,
    and all thy work to build a hunter skilled
    returns tenfold to hunt thyself to ground.
    My lady, listen well: I am that hound.
    My teeth and pen alike now honed to bite
    with savage strength by thy own august work,
    but with thy stick and spite I’ve been let slip.
    Beware: the cry of havoc has been called
    by thy own unsuspecting lips. Beware.