"It's me, Ana": The Nature of Monstrosity in The Spirit of the Beehive

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Micah Spiece


A young girl named Ana comes into contact with James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein, and it becomes a tangible part of her waking life, influencing her development in a complex and distinctly hostile world. The Spirit of the Beehive may be the only film in existence to both directly refer to and consider- rather than comment upon-the interpretive nature of Frankenstein, making it perhaps the most faithful adaptation of the novel yet on screen. Just as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein uses framing to highlight the performative aspect of monstrosity and its effect on impressionable minds, The Spirit of the Beehive frames the original film adaptation of that work to demonstrate the performativity of Gothicism in the real world and the reasons we return to experience it anew.


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