"The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over." Henry Miller Contrary to popular belief that it is a fine line that separates a prisoner from an inmate, I believe that there is a distinctive difference between being a prisoner and being an inmate. Taking into account the literary definition that a prisoner is an individual who "is legally committed to prison as a punishment for crimes they have committed", I strongly disagree that a prisoner is merely limited to someone who is legally committed to prison. In this essay, I will explore and justify – with regards to the movie Frankenstein – how a prisoner is also an individual who is mentally imprisoned by the consequences of his or her actions.
Firstly, it is seen throughout the movie that scientist Victor Frankenstein constantly suffers the repercussions of creating life in the form of his "monster creation, Frankenstein". Though Victor Frankenstein is not a prisoner per se by literary definition, his constant struggle with his action and enslavement to his creation has given viewers reason enough to think of him as a prisoner of his own actions. His constant nightmares of Victor Frankenstein is a further indication that in his thoughts, he is constantly reliving his action of creating Frankenstein. Here we see how Victor Frankenstein clings to his action of creating Frankenstein and lives it over and over. The fact that Frankenstein manages to enter his thoughts in the form of nightmares is proof enough that Victor Frankenstein cannot escape his crime, thus being mentally entrapped.
Then, Victor Frankenstein's constant distractions from reality is also an indication that all is not well in his thoughts. From the surface, Victor Frankenstein seems to be having a good life – with a beautiful fiancï¿½e, a job he excels in and a best friend who constantly stands up for him. But beneath the exterior, it is shown how much Victor struggles with the repercussions of his action in creating Frankenstein.
However, Victor's sudden isolation from his loved ones, his constant aggravated nature and his change in personality are all indications that all is not well with him. Elizabeth notices this and asks him to tell her what is wrong with him, which further proves his noticeable change in nature and how large the impact of his actions has influenced him. All of this, coupled with how Victor neglects the reality around him – his upcoming marriage to Elizabeth is an example- shows how Victor's distraction may be caused by him reliving his action of creating Frankenstein.
Victor Frankenstein constantly has to deal with what he has created, and never once did he manage to escape his "monster creation". Though Victor Frankenstein is not a prisoner by literary definition, I believe that he is a prisoner who is mentally entrapped by the repercussions of his action. How his thoughts and life are constantly dictated by his action of creating a "monster" further emphasizes that he is a prisoner in his own thoughts.