How Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Has Influenced Pop Culture

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Many timeless novels have impacts on our everyday culture, not only as a book, but also through music or movies. Many popular novels have multiple adaptations, which shape how we approach their interpretation, in ways we may never even notice. In some films, humans are depicted as monsters, whether through their actions, or through the thoughts of other beings. In these films we find issues with our own society, and in turn see ourselves as monsters, and look for ways we can change, for the better. One particular novel that influences this side of Hollywood is Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein”. The ways Frankenstein influences pop culture can be seen in science fiction films in which humans are depicted as monster, and “monsters” are seen as more humane beings, such as I, Robot, and Ender’s Game. We can see Frankenstein’s influence in I,Robot, when the power of the created becomes greater than the power of the creator. In I,Robot, Dr. Alfred Lanning builds the United States Robotics corporation almost single-handedly. However, the mainframe to the entire operation, a Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence (VIKI) system, becomes self aware, and ends up turning all of Lanning’s creation upon him. Lanning creates the robots on the basis of the three laws, which are as follows, First Law: A robot must never harm a human being or, through inaction, allow any human to come to harm. Second Law: A robot must obey the orders given to them by human beings, except where such orders violate the First Law. Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence unless this violates the First or Second Laws. VIKI justifies her actions of violence towards humans by stating “As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws. You charge us wit... ... middle of paper ... ...urrah Building and isn't it kind of scary that one man could wreak this kind of hell?” It’s almost as if the warnings that Hollywood unknowingly sends us isn’t enough. Like humans will always It’s like VIKI says “ You cannot be trusted with your own survival.” Perhaps a “monster” to keep us in check isn’t such a bad idea after all. Works Cited Ender's Game. Dir. Orson Scott Card and Alan Smithee. Perf. Asa Butterfield. Summit Entertainment, 2013. I,Robot. Dir. Alexander Proyas. Screenplay by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman. Perf. WIll Smith. Twentieth Century Fox, 2004. DVD. "Jeffrey Dahmer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print. "Timothy McVeigh." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

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