Thursday, September 1, 2011

Introductory / Frankenstein Post

Hello everyone!

My name is Anthony Garuccio and I am a senior mathematics and economics major here at Pitt.

The movie Frankenstein is a great example of a writer -- in this case, movie director -- addressing the schism between communication in the form of traditional spoken language and communication in the form of visual images.
Take for example the scene when the monster first comes into the laboratory. It is clear that the Monster lacks the ability of spoken language, so he is forced to attempt to communicate with the other characters through gestures and guttural noises. Dr Frankenstein is cognizant of the Monster's lack of speech, so he attempts to communicate with him through visuals as well. First Frankenstein uses hand gestures to move the Monster into the chair, then he opens the sky light to show him sunlight for the first time. These interactions all seem to go relatively well, until the monster is accidentally exposed to fire, which frightens him.
It is in this moment of panic that the fragile bridge between verbal and visual communication breaks down. Frankenstein attempts to calm the Monster with words, and the Monster tries to express his fear and confusion though his physical methods. Each is unable to understand the other and it is at this point that they become enemies. It is clear that the Monster's inability to communicate causes the subsequent accidents and misunderstandings that eventually lead to his death. I think the movie makes apparent the socially accepted view that visual communication is is inferior to the spoken word by choosing for the monster to be the one who must communicate though visual methods, which will eventually lead to his death.

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