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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Frankenstein on trial in Indiana

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

VALPARAISO | The chains around the waist of the massive creature clanked noisily as he lumbered through the courtroom. Too large to fit easily into the witness stand, he flopped clumsily into the seat. "He left me, he abandoned me," the creature said, abdicating responsibility for the four murders in question. All the while, Victor Frankenstein, the creature's creator, sat at the defense table with a blank stare. The debate over who was to blame -- Dr. Frankenstein or his creation -- played out in the Porter County Courthouse on Tuesday evening. The mock trial, conducted by the Valparaiso High School Speech and Debate team, was part of the annual "VALPO Reads a Book!" civic event to encourage reading and conversation in the community. Organizers chose Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" as the book this year because of its universal themes.
What a great idea. You'll have to read the full story to find out the verdict. Before you do though, if you're familiar with the book, is Dr. Frankenstein guilty or innocent of the acts committed by his Monster in your opinion?


Blogger Linkmeister said...

"You broke it, you bought it."

Where have I heard that before?

4/27/2006 01:04:00 AM  
Blogger HP said...

Without reading the article? (And without having re-read Frankenstein recently?)

In Shelley's novel, the creature possesses consciousness and moral knowledge. He knows the difference between right and wrong. Frankenstein's rejection of the creature, and subsequent abdication of responsibility is what drives the creature to increasingly violent acts in order to a) get Frankenstein to acknowledge him and b) attain some twisted semblance of a "normal" life.

Under the law, as understood in common-law nations, I would say that the creature is morally culpable for his actions, although the judge should consider the extenuating circumstances in passing sentence.

If it were me, I would find the creature guilty, but I would stop short of capital punishment, and banish him to the frozen arctic.

(On preview, reading linkmeister's comment: Am I reading this as Frankenstein:Bush::The Creature:Civil War in Iraq? 'Cause that's all kinds of interesting.)

4/30/2006 12:30:00 AM  

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