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Tag: Frankenstein

Climate and Creativity

 

The eruption of Mount Tambora’s global weather implications and the coinciding birth of quintessential horror stories such as Dracula and Frankenstein highlight a relationship between climate and creativity that has inadvertently guided strands of human development for generations. For example, the harsh weather conditions, especially when they affect harvests and general public health, will incite an adequate amount of stress to keep peoples minds active. The social isolation and lack of mental stimulation when indoors for extended periods of time in the face of threatening conditions outdoors will lead people’s imaginations to run wild. When delving into the specific impacts of these conditions on the stories that came from that time period there is a clear influence. This is just one example of how weather conditions have guided movements in creativity and innovation throughout history.

Wood notes “It was in this literally electric atmosphere that the Shelley party in Geneva, with Byron attached, conceived the idea of a ghost story contest, to entertain themselves indoors during this cold, wild summer.” (Wood) This reminds me of Iceland’s public programs in support of the arts. Iceland has notoriously harsh winters with limited daylight and extreme winds that tend to keep people indoors. Iceland “has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world.” It is said that 1 in every 10 people in the country publishes a book in their lifetime, in large part due to government programs that facilitate it, and in turn keep moral and productivity up through the winter. I see these programs to be very similar to the ghost story contest in their aim and impact.

Additionally, people grow and learn from each other creatively. This is another impact of harsh weather because when many creative people get holed up together for an extended period of time it can inspire a wave of creativity that will just keep growing until it produces something substantial, this is the case with Frankenstein. “As Percy Shelley later wrote, the novel itself seemed generated by “the magnificent energy and swiftness of a tempest.” Thus it was that the unique creative synergies of this remarkable group of college-age tourists—in the course of a few weeks’ biblical weather—gave birth to two singular icons of modern popular culture: Frankenstein’s monster and the Byronic Dracula.” (Wood) Often writing is a relatively solitary pursuit but I believe the social aspect to these projects absolutely contributed to the direction and level of quality that they developed in.

Overall, It is a set of unique weather conditions that created the creative conditions that produced an equally unique set of stories. But I think extreme weather conditions across the spectrum are at the root of many major points in humanities development. The specific impacts of Mount Tambora’s eruption are obviously not the same as say, a summer without rain, but I think the concept remains the same.

Where The Line is Drawn

While living in a society in which we are always driving technology forward, there is a looming fear over many who wonder when we may go too far. It is inevitable that there must be a point where the line is drawn, and the introduction of certain technologies may no longer be beneficial. Where this point lies or what technologies it includes are unknown, and how to find them remains a mystery. 

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The Monster Inside All of Us

While we live in the most technologically advanced society in the history of mankind, we tend to neglect the fact that we as people have developed true relationships with technology. While our generation can be labeled as the most technologically savvy and advanced, we are also branded as the age of people who cannot live without it. While it is obvious any generation in the world today cannot survive without things like smartphones and computers, our age group has almost taken it to a disgusting extent. Our generation must realize that our obsession with new creations has made a monster inside all of us which needs to be dealt with. The most difficult part about the fixations with technology is that it has almost become a social norm for us, which makes it that much harder to address. Continue reading

Solitude Hinders Development

Humans are social beings, and we require interaction to learn, grow, and be happy. What happens when we are isolated from others? The novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, depicts the detrimental effects that solitude can have on people. The two main characters, Victor Frankenstein – the scientist – and his creature, both experience the effects of solitude; Frankenstein struggles to uphold the relationships he has because he is consumed by his experiment, and the creature is an outsider who is alone and longs for companionship. Their lack of social integration drives them both to become monsters, eventually leading to their demises. Throughout the novel, Shelley uses the characters’ storylines to touch on the importance of social interaction in education, relationships, and science. Shelley’s critique on solidarity is important to consider today, for we live in a world where we are experiencing a growing attachment to technology and scientific discovery, which is shifting our society towards being less social. Continue reading

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