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Ah I fell ill two days ago. NowI'm stuck in bed all day with a hot water bottle, a throat inflection and I'm on 3 and a half hours sleep I spent the time I was awake last night reading Frankenstein. Okay the contrast between hollywood's monster and the original is surprising even to me. Having read Dracula I decided totalk about them. Yeah "spoiler alert" in order.
Where to start?
I guess with the books themselves. Out of the two, Frankenstein wins for the easier to digest, and even though both regard women in the eyes of the victorian man, Frankenstein doesn't flatter itself with calling females with intelligence as like a woman born with a man's mind. And a contrast between now and then, Frankenstein's leaves medical possiblities still a little bit open to the imaination while Dracula's can be disproven in a instant. For example, at one point the character Lucy is denied a blood transfusion from two chambre maids because "she needs the blood of a strong man". These days, we know blood is blood no matter what source it comes from its all the same (aside from blood types).
There are some similairities in the books too. Jim Harker is left as a sufferer of horrors, while Frankenstein himself is made miserable by his own creation. The cause is, of cause different. Dracula is Harker's nightmare, a demon who is a bane to man, Frankenstein's suffering is his own undoing. Whereas Dracula was a beast who prayed upon the living, the monster of Frankenstein's was created with passions and ambitions that led him to be capable of concieving ideas and concepts such as warmth, sorrow and anger. Both creatures were incapable of affection; Dracula's because he was a demon and the creation because it was denied that chance. Both monsters had, a somewhat, childish perception of the world. For Dracula, he had the cunning mind of one of the greatest tacticans and for the creature it was his desire to long for the simplest of things.
I kind of read them both to see what the original authour had made each one as. Modern perception had vampires turning into only bats but Dracula was a nightmare capable of becoming wolf or mist too. Of hyponising one to do his bidding, of bringing forard plagues of beasts to tempt madman. Yet never once was Dracula unstoppable, in the climax of the book he perishes due to his own weakness and in death there is a brief sight of relief on his face. For the creature of Frankenstein, its much the same. In the end he makes Frankenstein's life a living hell; but in the process reduced himself to lower then even beasts and found peace too only in death.
As for their enemies, Dracula and the creature both failed to "win". Mina was made to drink Dracula's blood and in the process slowly become a vampire, but he was killed before she was converted. Frankenstein dies a miserable death denying his creature once last act of vengance upon mankind in his suffering.
Who was the better monster? Dracula was the most powerful, that cannot be denied. He was pretty much the representation of evil, for this reason he is the better monster. But... If I had to choose which monster was BETTER as a concept, Frankenstein's creation wins hands down. It is literally a metaphor from start to finish upo concepts and ideas thought of at the time and one of the most referenced stories of all. Even now, things like the game "Rise of Nightmares" probaberly owe a LOT to this book. Its a pity Hollywood destoryed the image the book made of the monster, you are led to sympathise with it in the books, in the movies, fear it. It was reduced to a moaning barely able to talk thug, devoid of its agility and only its fearsomeness was kept.
The other issue, was I had was Dracula droned on constantly filling its pages with things that said exactly the same thing. Like it was trying to meet a word count. And whereas the Frankenstein book leaves you comtempt that you know the ending story, Dracula finished abruptly and suddenly leaving gaps between the Vampires death and the "7 years later" epilogue. The other thing is, in Frankenstein, the monster allows the reader to judge him once last time and account for all his crimes and decide if his existence was fair. Sure he killed people; but the few attempts to make himself more then what he was were rejected and he was reduced to being nothing more then a creature of anguish, and the one chance he had of happiness was denied when Frankenstein destroy his second creation, the creatures mate before she was even half done based on his own fears. The creature itself even deduces that when he sees Frankenstein's lifeless body, who perished by natural courses instead of the monsters own hands, he concludes if Frankenstein was alive he would still be trying to kill him.
With Dracula we get nothing. We are always left with with 1 side of the story; the humans, there is no moment where Dracula justiefies himself and the one time he speaks about his life before a vampire, the book later condeems it as nothing more then ramblings of the demon recalling its host lost life. He is portrayed as a demon, but by the end of the book we're left to make him feel like a giant child with all the greatest cunning of Dracula which survived in death, but he was not Dracula and was just a creature using what he could from memories and thoughts of the real Dracula from life.
And from ashes to ashes, both monsters meet theirs in this form. Dracula crumbles upon his death since he died centuries ago and death catches up to him, Frankenstein's monster burns itself. Both perish alone; Hellsing kills Dracula's allies in his castle and the creature of Frankenstein's was never allowed to be a position where he had such things as family or friends.
So thats about it... If I had to recommend one, go for Frankenstein, it will change your perception on hollywood's version and make you realise the original was better. As for Dracula, I think its better by far then any Lovecroft or Twilight crap, but we're so used to Vampires by now their not as fearsome as they once was concieved as. Thank you modern culture for destroying that species of nightmares; and for making another monster only one step above a zombie in terms of intelligence. ^_-