In this essay I will aim to compare “Frankenstein” and “Jurassic Park. Frankenstein”. “Frankenstein” is a pre-1900 book and “Jurassic Park” is a pro-1900 book. I have chosen these two books because they have a similar theme, which is to attempt to create life, they share many ideas which are the same and although both books are written in different centuries and time periods, both books share the same ideas, just that they are communicated differently. I will focus on each authors attempt to create life in each book.
I will attempt to compare how each author’s ways of doing things has changed over the times. The book Frankenstein is written by Mary Shelly, it is set in Switzerland in the late 1700s. The principal characters in the book are, Robert Walton, an explorer attempting to sail to the North Pole; Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a “monster”; Clerval, Frankenstein’s friend; The Monster, Frankenstein’s angry, frustrated, and lonely creation. The book was based on a nightmare, which the author had when she was 18, which she then told as a story to her friends and decided to write a story.
At the time she wrote the story the knowledge of science was very low. The book Jurassic Park is written by Michael Crichton, it is set on a small island off the coast of Costa Rica in the late twentieth century. The principal characters in the book are John Hammond, a scientist who creates dinosaurs; palaeontologist Dr. Alan Grant; his partner, paleo-botanist Dr. Ellie Sattler, and the brilliant-but-cynical mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm; Hammond’s two grandchildren, Tim and Alexis who are both dinosaur lovers too.
This book was written at a time when the knowledge of science was very high, the author Michael Crichton himself was very involved in the new discoveries in science, when he heard about genetic engineering and what it could do, he decided to write this book to convey his thoughts about what he thought was possible. When the book Frankenstein was written, it was at a time when knowledge of science was low and when Jurassic Park was written knowledge of science was very high. Also the two authors reasons for writing the books were very different.
Mary Shelley had a nightmare, which was so terrifying, and horrific she decided to write a book about it, the book was based on her nightmare. Whereas Michael Crichton was a very well educated man who went to Harvard University and became a medical doctor, his reason for writing the book was that, at the time when he wrote the book, he heard about genetic engineering and he thought of the potential use and misuse of this discovery. He wrote about the devastation that the new life forms made by genetic engineering could bring.
But one thing is for sure that both authors had the same idea that the manufacturing of new life forms through human intervention and the role of playing god was wrong and how this such act could provoke devastation and destruction from the new life forms, as shown in each book. Jurassic Park is set mainly on a tropical Island near America; Jurassic Park is placed on that island so that the dinosaurs will be able to survive. The days are warm and nights are wet, this is perfect for the book because the day is used to show the pleasant thing aspects and night to show the unpleasant aspects.
Crichton creates the settings using characters in the book to explain the layout of the park. The people who do so would be people like John Hammond who would explain how the environment sustains the dinosaurs. This is effective as the reader is told exactly how the park is. It is also realistic as it is easy to imagine how the place is, as we are familiar with a tropical environment. This setting is very different from that in Frankenstein. Shelly uses two different settings in her book, one is in the university in Geneva, and the other is in the Antarctic.
Both places seem not very nice, this suits the kind of story being told and the way it is told too and the language used as it gives the story a gloomy atmosphere. The two settings are very different in each book; the first is more pleasant than the second. The settings are made this way for the purpose of the book, as I have said in Jurassic Park the tropical setting is needed as the dinosaurs need to survive and in Frankenstein the setting needs to be dull and ugly to make the atmosphere gloomy.
The atmospheres in each book are very different, the atmosphere in Jurassic Park is fuelled with suspense and the atmosphere in Frankenstein is not so fuelled with suspense. Suspense is need in Jurassic Park for the death scenes to make them more gripping and appealing to the reader so that the reader wants to keep on reading on and is attracted to the book, whereas in Frankenstein the suspense is not needed for the death scenes as the monster is very predictable in what he aims to do and we know what is going to happen.
Shelly writes her scenes in first person from both the two main characters views, Victor and his creation both have sections In the book when they talk, this is to show what both persons point of view is on the situation. This gives the reader an insight into how each man perceives each other and gives the opportunity to judge for themselves who they think is the better man. An example of this is when Victor in his words describes his creation as a barbaric being, causing mindless destruction.
Whereas his creation writes about how he thinks he is an outcast in society and find it hard to survive. This is good for the reader as it broadens the issues in the book and makes the reader understand each mans view. This writing of both sides creates suspense, but not in the same way as in Jurassic Park. There are many things that show us the historical context of each book; these things show you how different the stories are due to the times they are set in. Crichton’s Hammond uses scientific technology at its peak to manipulate nature and create his creatures.