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The Sun Mocks Millennial “Snowflake Students” for Correctly Understanding the Plot of Frankenstein

Here we are. The rock bottom of obtuseness.

frankenstein the sun twitter snowflakes millennials

Of all the ways in which older generations choose to mock millennials, we may have finally hit the rock bottom of obtuseness. Yesterday, The Sun published an article attempting to shame students for their interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, specifically for empathizing with the monster.

the sun frankenstein monster

Yes, apparently, feeling empathy and sorrow for the plight of the scientist’s creation is a new phenomenon, at least according to this article which took two authors to write. The one guy they based this around–Nick Groom, a professor at Exeter–says that “When I teach the book now, students are very sentimental towards the being. But he is a mass murderer.”

He also asks his students, “If he’s not human, but he is intelligent and sentient, does he have rights?” Because the creation is not a human, but also not an animal, when it comes to protection of his rights, “the poor chap would rather fall in between two stools.” But “does he have rights?” is a completely different than “should he have rights?” And caring about the plight of the monster is kind of a major theme of the book. Which is exactly what people told The Sun.

Now, The Sun isn’t exactly a reputable news outlet, but it turns out The Times ran a similar story just a few days ago.

The Sun seems to have taken Professor Groom’s quotes from that article, but left out the more nuanced bits. “There’s been a gradual shift,” he told The Times. “Obviously one doesn’t want to be too simplistic, but it is shown by the shift in critical terminology: for years Victor Frankenstein’s creation was known as the Monster, then critics seemed to identify him as a victim and called him the Creature. That fits more with students’ sensibilities today.”

No, one wouldn’t want to be simplistic, would one? Like suggesting that there’s something laughable and overly fragile in understanding the central theme of Frankenstein and sympathizing with a creature at war with his own humanity and conflicting monstrosity, abandoned by his creator and shunned by society, all in a world he was brought into as an experiment without his consent. Yes, clearly, kids today are just hopeless.

While The Sun deserves all the mockery they’ve received, the anti-intellectualism, anti-youth, anti-empathy mentality in their article is as exhausting as it is dangerous. The rise of these attacks from right-wing outlets and internet figureheads (not to mention from the government) is reflective of the Trumpism/Brexit ideals. David Barnett at The Guardian writes of The Sun’s article,

It’s attacking empathy, because empathy has no place in the world today. Forget about the other. Look after yourselves. This thing we don’t understand is coming for us. Don’t feel sympathy for it! Lock your doors! Close your borders! Head for the hills!

So while we absolutely should laugh at this denseness, we must also keep an eye on the larger movement at hand.

It really is impossible not to laugh at it, though. The topper on this whole scenario is that The Sun couldn’t take the massive amounts of criticism they received, and while the article is still up, they deleted their tweet linking to it.

What a bunch of delicate snowflakes, huh?

(image: Universal)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.