Joined: 24-March 06
From: on my ass
Member No.: 33,536
Ironically, I'm cramming right now for a frankenstein book report
the first time I did the rough draft of that thing, I kept thinking about FMA.... in many ways Frankenstein is like FMA. Like, for example, Edward's early obsession with bringing back his mother can be linked to Victor's wanting to create life. Both times, their attempts ended up wreaking havoc rather than helping them, and both of them try to find redemption in killing their creations. I could write alot more for this, but first i have a book report to finish lol lol lol plz don't follow my example when you do book reports.... hi skool sux....
Group: Moderating Admin
Joined: 28-May 04
Member No.: 16
Do I have to start debating this again?
Frankenstein's monster (not Frankenstein himself) is NOT a homunculus, if by "homunculus", you mean "artifical human", which is only a part of it. He was pieced together, not grown whole, and therefore, is not a "proper" homunculus.
SINCERELY, Quistis (Forum Spam Assassin, Vice-Mother, and Queen of the Grammar Police)
This sentence says something else when you're not looking.
Joined: 8-March 06
From: Concord, MA
Member No.: 32,500
The similarity with Frankenstein and FMA is, mainly, that they both tried to create humans, and life, and it came around and bit them in the ass, pretty much. Otherwise, they're completely different in almost all respects.
Sig and tag by Nil-Chan Punctuation, spelling, and general grammar are our friends! Don't look like an idiot, and be sure not to use numbers in words or toss random Japanese words into sentences where they don't belong.
Joined: 8-July 05
Member No.: 16,653
"Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it." (Frankenstein Ch. 11)
That's always been my favorite quote from the book. The monster is expressing his misery, and at the same time, he is expressing the pain we all have to face. Even a life of anguish is "dear" and worth "defending." Thinking of that has gotten me through some hard times.
There's nothing like a story about an artificial person to make us examine the meaning of our own existence. It forces us to ask, If we can make a person, then how did we come to exist and why?
Joined: 9-January 07
From: The middle of nowhere, South Dakota
Member No.: 43,729
The similarties between FMA and Frankenstein are there because they both delve into the same old conflict of science vs. religion. This point can especially be seen when Marco explains the Ishbal war and the Ishbalans civilization compared to our own. It also relates to our own world. What about cloning? What if they were actually able to make a duplicate of a person? Would they be that person, or would they simply look like them? Isn't that the whole theme of the homunculi? (especially Lust and Sloth)
Joined: 4-May 08
Member No.: 59,197
Oddly enough, I am fairly well versed in both. Although I've never read the original book of Frankenstein, earlier this year I assistant directed the play Frankenstein 1930.
I believe that you are right that there are some definite similarities and relationships between Frankenstein and FMA, but there are also some key differences. The first and most obvious similarity is the key theme of the repercussions of playing God in both. However, in Frankenstein, Victor was attempting to create life, not truly resurrect it. That is why he went about his experiment in the way that he did, assembling parts from different people instead of just reviving a dead body. Ed and Al (as children) are specifically trying to bring back the mind, body and soul of someone who was formerly dead.
Drawing upon your comment about the name coincidence, I wouldn't be too sure that there's any correlation. It's possible, but both stories take place in a European setting of English and Germanic influence. Firstly, Frankenstein, being set in Austria, has English and Germanic names from the 19th century, such as Alphonse. Then, Amestris, seemingly based off of England and Germany, and set in the equivalent of the early 20th century, allows for the same names' time period.
Then, the philosophy seems to run far deeper in FMA, seeing as the law of Equivalent Exchange, the part one plays in the world, psychology, human morals, the idea of life and it's significance and death and it's finality and several other themes appear multiple times, where as, Frankenstein focuses mainly on the inability of one to play God in creating life. Remember, Victor's motives were largely different from Ed and Al's as well. Victor seemed to be after knowledge and notoriety, and the young Ed and Al were testing the limits of the world to try to eliminate loss and the pain associated with it.
Lastly, FMA delves far further into the scientific side of things, drawing upon the Law of Conservation of Energy for the law of Equivalent Exchange, and mythological science such as chimeras, alchemy and the philosopher's stone etc. Frankenstein is more psychological, talking about what happens as the aftermaths of this experiment and only starts off scientifically.
I do think that they share some common links though, such as the viewpoint of life being energy. Whether it be that life is the energy used to fuel transmutations or that energy and electricity is what fuels life, along with more obvious themes.
In conclusion... Do I think that FMA was based off of Frankenstein? No. At least not directly. To say that great authors of today do not draw upon yesterdays great authors would be false, but that is not to say that their drawing upon of previous authors makes the plots any less original or significant, but the contrary. One cannot say that JK Rowling has never read Jane Eyer, (And if she hasn't, DANG IS THAT A COINCIDENCE) but do the similarities make Harry Potter cliche?
That's my opinion on it. Overall, I think this is a nice discussion topic. ^^ I'm sorry if some of my statements don't make sense because of the differences between the book and the play. I'm only familiar with the one, so I don't know what's the same in both and what differs.
Joined: 18-February 08
Member No.: 56,764
It's funny, I was thinking the same things when I had to write an essay for Frankenstein in one of my college lit courses.
The main difference I saw was that Frankenstein created life out of the urge to act as a God and for scientific achievement. Whereas FMA created (or rather revived in this case) out of love and desperation.
But I think that is why Shou Tucker was introduced in FMA, to show that there are individuals who meddle with life to fulfill their ego, just as Viktor Frankenstein did. Both mediums of course, expose the consequences of doing so
Joined: 14-November 06
Member No.: 42,805
Y'know, a major theme of Frankenstein is the lack of responsibility. There has been this miscalculation that the story is about the dangers of 'meddling in God's domain'. Actually, the point is that Viktor Frankenstein's crime wasn't in creating life, but refusing to take responsibility for it. Appalled by his creature's appearance, he abandoned him. And much of the monster's crimes stem over this abandonment. This point is parallel to the FMA anime. Most of the Homunculus were deserted by their creators (Hohenheim left Envy/Scar's bro left Lust/Izumi left Wrath/Ed and Al certainly didn't take care of Sloth; Ed's first sight of Homo-mommy parallels Viktor's reaction), and in Envy's case, their resolve was based on the rejection. True, Dante took responsibility for her creations, and the abandoned ones, but she was a lousy parent: she taught them to hate and kill, tortured them for disobedience, and was probably going to kill them once they served their purpose. BTW, I did like the anime's 'Homunculus-came-from-transmutation' plotpoint. It's a powerful message on the dangers of Alchemy.
Joined: 21-November 08
From: somewhere in the shadows where i belong.
Member No.: 64,808
ok from what i have read on this post... i garther that fma is simllar or "based" off of Frankenstein. so i guess that i need to read the novel then wacth the anime again and see what you people are talking about.
Sometimes...... some memories ain't meant to leave traces. ~Alphonse Elric
Joined: 9-December 08
Member No.: 65,196
I don't know much about Frankenstein (read a summary), but the only theme in Frankenstein that connects to FMA is the creaton of life and the use of knowledge to create things. The parallel to science and alchemy (as seen in FMA) is that it's able to fix a lot of things, but is not properly able to bring the death back to life. Both science and alchemy are able to do both harm (make weapons) and good (fix things, make life easier).
FMA discusses the use of alchemy (and science) on a larger scale and shows a parralel to the second world war. (The fuhrer: 'Hitler', the manipulation of people, experiments on people, war) The darkside of power. Also a part of human psychology that nobody is a 100% evil and everything has a reason. That a situation creates the man etc. (Scar? anyone even the homunculi aren't acting purely out of simply being evil(or they can be seen as mistakes who are not easily been made right). And it shows the political factor of power. How people blindly follow a leader, a religion etc. And how that can lead to terrible conclusions.
There might be a 'correlation' to FMA and Frankenstein, but playing god trough superior knowledge and the abuse of power is discussed or used in many story's.
Joined: 26-February 09
Member No.: 66,832
QUOTE (MonsterEnvy @ Apr 13 2006, 04:28 PM)
The similarity with Frankenstein and FMA is, mainly, that they both tried to create humans, and life, and it came around and bit them in the [All hail lord Xenu], pretty much. Otherwise, they're completely different in almost all respects.
They also both became obsessed with creating life only after their mother's died.