(screenshot/It's Okay to be Smart)

These creepy, real-life medical experiments may have inspired Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

And reveal the potential monsters in us all


Sarah Gray
September 4, 2014 6:18PM (UTC)

Mary Shelley's book "Frankenstein" is often cited as the first work of literary science fiction. And while the ability to, quite literally, shock life into a creature is purely the stuff of stories, it is possible she snagged the idea from some eerie real-life experiments being done on dead animals and bodies at the time.

Electrical shock, ultimately, did not bring corpses back from the dead; however, as Joe Hanson from "It's Okay to be Smart" points out, Shelley's "Frankenstein" does raise a lot of interesting questions about science, and nature versus nurture. Is it a cautionary tale about the moral limitations of science? Or is it about humans? And the potential monsters in us all? Watch below:

Advertisement:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Electricity Frankenstein Mary Shelley Medicine Monster Nature Versus Nurture Science Video

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •