Janice Hocker Rushing and Thomas S. Frentz examined the role of the Frankenstein Myth through artist express in their 1989 article, “The Frankenstein Myth in contemporary Cinema.” In the article they explore the human fascination with technology and the sub-conscience fears that are conveyed through cinema. The fear of technology seen throughout literature and films is considered as the Frankenstein Myth. The notion that as technology advances, it will eventually gain free will and begin to think on its own and retaliate against the human race. This fear lies what in Carl Jung’s refers to as the subconscience shadow. The three movies that were examined were Rocky IV, Blade Runner, and The Terminator. The use of technology is different in each film but explores the different levels of the Frankenstein Myth. For example with Blade Runner and The Terminator, in Blade Runner the technology still must rely on the human host while in The Terminator, the technology is free of the host and acts without any human influence. A topic within the article, I would like to explore more is its use of masculine and feminine traits as the examine the technology’s role with the storyline of the film. The use of gender traits seem natural as the technology take on human characteristics, but I’m not quite sure I understand the impact within the myth and the storyline of the films.
The use of the examination of cinema is used to convey the Frankenstein Myth. Rushing and Frentz state, “the most profound insight into how technology is and might be experienced by culture as a whole often emanate from the literary and cinematic genre of science fiction” (p. 61). I think it is ironic that they use a form of technology, film making to convey these thoughts. The film industry has relied on technology new and old to tell their stories. In order to examine technology we have to use it.
This article speaks to how sciencists can over come the Frankenstein Myth: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1998/dresselhaus-0401.html
The article also discusses the western assumptions about technology particularly with the film, Blade Runner. Blade Runner is unable to see his shadow. He blinded to the issues that the technology has caused within the story. He believe that if technology is a benefit, then it isn’t his problem. Only when technology is a threat, there is a problem that requires action. This shows the western assumption that, “that technology is essentially neutral, a means to an end” (p. 69). We first discussed a western prejudice in class when we discussed Clark’s view of technology. Clark discussed the notion that are brains are incapable of thinking somethings are true. The brain always thinks that it is right and has a hard time accepting some realities.
When I think about The Frankenstein Myth in regards to leadership, I believe the fears of technology could directly relate to the fears of leading a team or an individual. The article discusses the relationship between the human and technology as the agent (the human) and the agencies (the technology) (p64). If you think of the agent as the leader and the agencies as the subordinate, then you can see how the fears of the Frankenstein Myth can be seen in this relationship. The fears of the leaders could be due to a power struggle with the subordinate, not wanting the subordinate to take over and become a threat to the leader. If a leader has these fears, it would be important for the leader to examine why these fears exist and create a plan of action to minimize these fears to create a positive working environment.
1) What current films do you see incorporation of the Frankenstein Myth?
2) How does this article affect your view on technology and how we utilize it?