Bard Elective: Vamps,Ghost, and other Monsters DATE \@ "MMMM d, y" October 12, 2014
From The Outside Looking In
The Effects Of Removed Narration
Telephone is a common game used to assess active listening, in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Through the game of telephone the effects of removed narration unfold, as the meaning of the originally story shifts once it reaches the final ear. A removed narrator needs to be able to piece together a story, telling parts of the story themselves, and potentially introducing other characters to deliver quotes or chapters as appropriate. As the story travels around the circle and each person tries to make sense of a continuously changing story they each become removed narrators. Removed narration can be seen in both Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as they are both told from the perspectives of others not directly involved within the story they are telling. Both stories use removed narration to further enhance its mysterious tone, always leaving the reader questioning and asking for more. Looking closely at the effects of removed narration readers see how it not only has an affect on the story but themselves as well.
The story of Frankenstein tells of the creation of a monster, but objectively fails to tell the story of how his creator made him into the monster that he eventually becomes. Frankenstein is told from the perspective of Captain Walton after hearing the story of a man named Victor Frankenstein he found dying in the Arctic while on an Expedition. Readers can assume that in telling the unpleasant story of his life Victor tried to make himself look somewhat decent when he told of the vicious killer that he created to the Captain. This assumption can be validated in the way the captain victimizes Victor by making him protagonist while choosing to make his monstrous progeny antagonist. Instead of a helpless being who didn't ask to be created, Victors Progeny is described as “the fiend by whom [he] was tormented” eventually made to be the reason “[he] lost sensation, and chains and darkness were the only objects that pressed upon [him].” Failing to recognize that Victors monstrosity was a result of his unhealthy obsession with obtaining knowledge Walton doesn't acknowledge that the true monster is Victor himself. How much of the story is really left untold becomes clear in the end through the monsters statement to the captain “ I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.” In this quote the true feelings of Victors progeny is revealed, while there is an eruption of angry self-pity as the monster questions the injustice of how he has been treated, compellingly capturing his inner life, giving Walton and the reader a glimpse into the suffering that has motivated his crimes. This line evokes the idea of an unwanted life, seeing himself as an abortion shunned by his creator the monster accepts in this moment that he will never be truly accepted because not even his creator wanted him. He would have to remain distant from a world that he was never meant to be apart of, left to rome the earth in solitude because of the obsessions of one man. Victors inability to stop instead forces him to lose everything while the monsters desire to be accepted turns him into a cold hearted creature who can never be loved.
In contrast within Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the story’s narrative technique is an added affect to the mystery of the story. Unlike in Frankenstein where there is only one narrator, it can be argued that the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde have three dominant narrators who each at one point get to tell their separate versions of the story. However, most of the story is filtered through the eyes and consciousness of Mr. Utterson…