Date of Award
Thesis and Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of English: English Studies
The following study explores representations of mad scientists in a variety of novels for young adults, and in computer animated film for adolescents. Building from their typologies and furthering the work of scholars such as Glen S. Allen, Roslyn D. Haynes, and Sven Wagner, all of whom focus on texts for adult audiences, this study proposes and presents a typology of mad scientists as they are represented in texts for adolescents and young adults. Expanding the work of these scholars, this study aims to show where children's mad scientist texts both follow and deviate from current mad scientist typologies in structure, function, and message, as well as how specific texts including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and H. G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau have impacted the trajectory of the mad scientist typology. Ultimately, this study argues that scientists are most often portrayed negatively in literature for young people, and it considers the negative repercussions of such negative depictions.
The final chapter examines perceptions of scientists among young people, and presents the findings of a case study of Illinois State University college students during the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters. The case study reveals evidence showing that college students often view mad scientists as "monsters," while viewing their creations as sympathetic characters, and problematizes this phenomenon in the classroom.
Norris Sands, Farran Leanne, "Dr. Frankenstein's Hideous Progeny: A Typology Of The Mad Scientist In Contemporary Young Adult Novels And Computer Animated Film" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 305.