“Science fiction is that class of prose narrative treating of a situation that could not arise in the world we know, but which is hypothesized on the basis of some innovation in science or technology, or pseudo-technology, whether human or extra-terrestrial in origin,” once said a man by the name of Kingsley Amis. With this said it can definitely be determined that Frankenstein is a science fiction novel. However, what elements make this piece of literature a work of science fiction? To begin, Frankenstein bestows life in a lifeless creature made from the bodies of corpses.
This is the first example that shows how this story is an example of a science fiction. The example can be found in the fourth chapter of the book and reads as, “With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs. It is clearly impossible to create life, such as Victor did in the story. Robotics is the closest thing in this day of age that even slightly resembles the monster in the story. Yet a robot is still nowhere near as advanced as the Frankenstein creature was. Giving life to a dead object is impossible at least for now, which is why this part will remain to be fiction in this book. Intelligent conversation and the ability to read are both skills that people have to learn to be capable of using them.
The Frankenstein creature does devote himself to learn these things for two years; however I do not think this to be very realistic, showing another example of fiction. The creature of this story really never had any real human contact yet he was still able to pick up the language. I admit that after watching a family for two years in secrecy that the creature might have picked up a few words, but I seriously doubt his talking skills would be anywhere near that of intelligent sounding. I base my reasoning on a documentary I once saw that was about feral children, children that were raised by dogs.
In the documentary they talked about how they took the children away from the dogs and tried to teach them the basics, like speech and reading. Even with the one-on-one human contact, some of the kids were never fully capable of learning. With that said I believe it impossible for the creature to be intelligent, for he had never had any human contact teaching him the basics needed for the conversation that took place between him and Frankenstein found in chapters nine through sixteen. Lastly, if the wretch had been made from the parts of dead people, then it can be implied that his brain came from a corpse as well.
The brain is the organ of the body that stores all the memories, functions, and knowledge a person learns in their lifetime. If the creature would have had a brain that came from another person, then I would think that he would have had the knowledge and memories from the person who he had received the brain from. It is not like getting a brain transplant would be like getting a heart or liver transplant, because neither one of these organs store knowledge. Perhaps though, the brain decayed to where what ever previous life that was in the brain used in the creature was gone.
However if you think about it, if the brain decayed at all, then how would it work for the creation, proving once again this book is a work of fiction. Corpses being salvaged together to make a creature to give life to, speech without ever having human contact, and inheriting someone’s brain without their memories and knowledge are facts that prove this story to be science fiction. These things are nowhere near capable for us and are just a far stretch of the imagination. Science fiction most likely will remain the genre of this book unless science one day makes some weird breakthroughs to make this story a possible one.