A Classic Couple: Frankenstein and Jurassic Park

Do you like science fiction? I hope so, because this week’s Classic Couple feature highlights two famous science fiction novels that have made it to the big screen: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park (1990).

Dangers of science || A major theme of both of these novels is the fact that humankind does not and cannot have complete control over nature. Try as we might, there is no place for humans as supreme rulers in the world. One quote I love from Jurassic Park sums this up nicely:

“But now science is the belief system that is hundreds of years old. And, like the medieval system before it, science is starting not to fit the world any more. Science has attained so much power that its practical limits begin to be apparent. Largely through science, billions of us live in one small world, densely packed and intercommunicating. But science cannot help us decide what to do with that world, or how to live. Science can make a nuclear reactor, but it cannot tell us not to build it. Science can make pesticide, but cannot tell us not to use it. And our world starts to seem polluted in fundamental ways—air, and water, and land—because of ungovernable science.”

Unexpected intelligence || The creatures produced in these novels end up being much more intelligent than the creators initially expended or intended. Both Victor Frankenstein and John Hammond believe they’ll be able to completely control what they scientifically construct, yet this is far from reality. Victor’s Creature argues for his right to happiness and asserts that Victor should create a female companion for him so they can mate. Hammond’s ultimate undoing is the way he underestimates the intelligence of the dangerous raptors who try hunting down all of the people on the island. These men don’t want to acknowledge that humans are not the smartest form of life, yet that is precisely what they learn by the end of these novels.

Violent twists || I always think it’s funny when people are surprised to learn that Jurassic Park is not quite the fun family movie they expect. Newsflash: PEOPLE DIE. While the Creature in Frankenstein has a reputation for being sinister due to movie adaptations over the years, the Creature in the book is actually much more terrifying because he closely resembles a human being. This is science reflecting our own flawed nature right back at us, showing humans that we are not always the peaceful beings we like to believe that we are.

Click here to check out other Classic Couples from past posts.

What do you think of this classic couple? What other books would you pair with FrankensteinWhat are your thoughts on either or both of these books? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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15 thoughts on “A Classic Couple: Frankenstein and Jurassic Park

  1. This is a great comparison! Both have the classic sci-fi theme about the dangers of playing God with science. Yet neither of them seems really “anti-science” to me, just showing the complexities of it. Science pushes technology forward, and then society has to decide what to do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooh, I just discovered this blog series of yours! I’m trying to get more recommendations for classics — it’s actually quite hard to find recommendations on the blogosphere for classics compared to YA books, so I’m super excited to read these Classic Couple posts!! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! That’s a very intelligent pairing–one that I’ll remember for a long time. While I’ve only read abridged versions of Frankenstein, Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite books (and is my absolute all-time favorite movie). I’m planning on doing a re-read of Jurassic Park this year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release (Happy Anniversary!), and now I’ll be thinking of the whole thing in a different light.

    Liked by 2 people

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