Geeking out can be fun, specially if you remember your childhood! There are some awesome books that inspired me, but one of the top ones was Frankenstein. Mary Shelley not only wrote an awesome horror novel, but she also described the adventures of a nerd. Victor Frankenstein was a nerd who had an incredible passion: technology. Not only he closed himself indoors to pursue his nerdy interests, but he also dreamt that he could create the ultimate robot: the Frankenstein. Alas, he was born in an unlikely era, and his Mazinger was flawed, and the town where he lived were a bunch of brainless jocks.
And that’s how I interpreted Frankenstein at the high school. For romantic eyes, Victor Frankenstein might have been a mad scientist in pursuit of ungodly affairs that brought his demise. Under my eyes, he was the misunderstood nerd-hero who had to deal with family, jocks, and bullies and try to make something work in the worse scenario possible. Poor Victor! [Now you can picture the horror face of the literature teacher when translating Frankenstein for her.]
The novel shocked me. Frankenstein is the story of a misunderstood nerd and people who feared him and his hobbies. Okay, maybe cutting bits and pieces of corpses isn’t a pleasant hobby, but remember that this is how romantics saw science. By the time Shelley wrote this masterpiece, many wealthy families had odd and doubtful hobbies, like bringing a doctor along with a corpse to tinker around. Yes, and that was in the same room where your guests would drink the afternoon tea. Gross. Tinker with the nerves and the corpse would move like magic. Applying some electricity or touching the right spots on corpses would make them move as if they were alive. [Think badly and you might get the gross inspiration Shelley had for writing Frankie.]
The stereotype of the nerd might have well been born with Frankenstein. Or at least, during that time. People who never go out home, who have devious hobbies, and who tinker with something similar to magic: science. Victor spent hours in his lab trying to make the ultimate robot. Granted, with bits and pieces of corpses. But, taking into account of the types of afternoon teas some wealthy families had, no wonder that writers thought first about the gory than the machine. Also: think about the times. For Shelley would have been terribly difficult to imagine Iron Man…
Very much like a modern nerd, Victor would spend too many hours in his lab. The stereotype of the nerd stands for someone who spends too many hours indoors playing games or reading comics. Or doing something on the computer. Seen as detached from the family, outsiders and creepy, their public image has been always quite eroded. Very much like Victor’s and his creation. Victor, the ultimate nerd, falls pray of his hobby, science. And in doing so he forgets the rest. But, is that the real image of the nerd?
When I first read the book, I got angry. Victor was bullied by his very author: Mary Shelley. She created a nerd who comes in horror with his own creation (okay, Frankie wasn’t exactly a model), a character that lacks empathy, someone who is just mad because he isn’t like the rest of society. Yes, it’s a horror story, but it depicts what happens when someone thinks out of the box.
So, how can something as shocking and horrid as Frankenstein been able to inspire me? Picture yourself living in a small town. You are used to thinking out of the box, you read comics and play games indoors. You get excited with science fiction, and prefer reading books and spending time watching Star Trek than playing soccer, or whatever they played outside. Then picture yourself reading the book and having the chills when discovering Victor’s mistake: he didn’t realize he was surrounded by jocks. And most of them, weren’t funny at all.
Frankenstein told me to look around and think twice about what would I talk about, and if I would talk at all about my hobbies in the lab. Some people aren’t just prepared to listen about the intricacies of castle lego building.
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