Eva is a modern interpretation of the Bride of Frankenstein as first seen in the 1935 Universal Pictures film Bride of Frankenstein by James Whale. The character was initially conceived, but never realized by Mary Shelley in her 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. In the novel, the Frankenstein Monster blackmails Victor Frankenstein into creating a mate for him in a small, cottage laboratory off the coast of Ireland. Frankenstein however, destroys his work before the project could be completed.
Nobleman and scientist Charles Frankenstein created Eva in the tower room laboratory of his castle out of parts cultivated from the bodies of the dead. The genesis for her creation was that she was to be the mate for Frankenstein's first successful trial in reanimation, the unnamed Frankenstein Monster (who later adopted the name of Viktor). During the final phase of his experiment, Frankenstein elevated his subject, secured to a table, into the air and positioned her beneath a giant needle, which was to channel the power of a lightning storm into her inert frame. A minor mishap caused a malfunction in the equipment and the lightning super-charged the body beyond Frankenstein's intentions. At first Charles believed that the second energy charge had killed his creation, but was relieved moments later when his test subject began moaning. Upon awakening in the laboratory, the creation had no concept of what or where she was. Frankenstein presented her to her "betrothed" and shrieked in terror. The original monster began pawing at his "bride", but Charles, having a change of heart, admonished the creature and drove him away.
After calming the frightened woman down, Frankenstein put her to bed and began crafting a false origin for her. He named her Eva and claimed that she was an amnesiac from a nearby town whom Frankenstein had taken in as his personal ward. Frankenstein viewed Eva as a new breed of woman – one who was every bit the equal of any man. He confided in his friend Clerval, telling him his intent to re-educate Eva and to make her an independent and willful individual. Clerval, a devout misogynist, thought the idea to be sheer lunacy. Clerval was more interested in the woman's sexual appetites than her sexual politics.
Charles began educating Eva, teaching her how to read, write and speak. Eva adapted extremely quickly to her lessons, and within a short amount of time, was able to match Frankenstein in terms of grace and intellectual prowess. At a time when he thought she was ready, Frankenstein introduced his ward to polite society at a ball hosted by a countess that he had known. Eva comported herself quite admirably, but embarrassed Charles when she demonstrated an adverse, savage reaction upon seeing a house cat (she had never seen one before). Also at this affair, Eva met a young officer named Josef Schoden. Schoden was immediately smitten with Eva's obvious beauty, and Eva developed an interest in Schoden as well.
During one of her daily outings, Eva rode her horse out near an old monastery some distance away from the castle. There, she encountered Viktor whom she had not seen since her creation. She didn't recognize the creature, and Viktor said nothing of their first meeting, but Eva recognized the kindness in the monster's soul, particularly when the monster gave her a medallion that once belonged to his late friend Rinaldo. Eva reciprocated the token by offering him money to help him on his journey. She felt a deep connection to the creature -- one that she could not explain. This empathic link caused Eva to reflect more upon her own mysterious past.
Charles continued to tutor Eva, but her persistent questions regarding her true origins irritated him. Charles realized that he did not truly desire a strong-willed independent woman, but rather, a woman who would be completely subservient to him. Eva dismissed Charles' growing obsession with her, and pursued her interest in Captain Schoden. This too resulted in a downward spiral, as Schoden revealed himself to be less than what he presented himself as at the Duchess' ball. Charles found Eva in the arms of Captain Schoden and flew into a rage. He attacked Schoden, nicking him across the cheek with a riding crop. This resulted in a heated argument between Eva and Charles, with Eva screaming "You cannot have me!" When Charles tried to assert his dominance over her, she said "You didn't create me!" to which Charles pointedly replied, "As a matter of fact... I did." Charles finally told Eva the truth about her creation. Watching her gross discomfort actually brought him some small level of satisfaction.
Frankenstein then tried to physically force himself upon Eva, to show her once again, who was the ward and who was the master. The episode was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Viktor, who had not seen his creator for many years. The two fought against one another and Frankenstein was killed during the scuffle. Viktor returned to Eva's side and together, they left the nightmare of Castle Frankenstein behind them.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Eva's name is derived from "Eve", the wife of Adam and the first woman as depicted in the book of "Genesis" in the Judeo-Christian Bible.
- Frankenstein's education of Eva is a send up to the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, which was later remade into the Broadway musical My Fair Lady.
- Eva and Viktor shared a unique bond with another due to the nature of their origins. They often felt the same sensations that the other was experiencing, regardless of how much distance there was between the two. They experienced each other's fear, inhibitions and even physical stimuli.
- Jennifer Beals was nominated at the 1986 Razzie awards for Worst Actress for The Bride.
External Links Edit
- The Bride at Wikipedia
- The Bride at All Movie Guide (AMG)
- The Bride at the Internet Movie Deatabase (IMDB)
- ↑ Franc Roddam; The Bride DVD director's commentary