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Mary Seramur
Ms. Lowe
English 404
18 December 2015
Frankenstein Reflection Paper
Harrison and I have chosen to research on nerve cells, and how our nervous system
works. This topic is interesting to me because Frankenstein somehow connected nervous systems
together from different people. Even though this is not physically possible yet, in the book,
Frankenstein was able to connect different body parts together perfectly, and the monster had all
five senses: touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing.
Currently, medical research has developed methods for reattachment of severed limbs. In
most cases, after attachment, these limbs still have some functional use. From our research, the
process of reattachment is very difficult. First they must reattach the bone using pins and wire.
Once the bone is back together, blood flow must be established so the bone cells do not die. Then
the surgeons will start the tedious process of attaching tendons, muscle tissues and nerves.
Reattachment will be most effective if the surgery is scheduled for a day after amputation. This
surgery can happen up to four days after amputation, but the limb must be refrigerated; there is
no guarantee of functional use after the first 24 hours. This relates to Frankenstein because Victor
had to complete this process for every limb plus the skull. Even though the creation of the
monster is not scientifically accurate, the idea of collectively using different peoples body parts
to compose an entirely new being is fascinating.
We started our research off by describing what a nerve is, and how nerve impulses are
sent out through the body. It is very difficult to reconnect nerves because not all nerves are

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connected. Some segments have a synapse, which are gaps between nerve cells. The impulse is
transported over the gap by transmitters. Transmitters change the nerve impulse into a chemical
signal, which triggers the target neutron. The target neuron then changes the chemical signal
back into a nerve impulse.
Harrison was a wonderful partner. He is very good with computers, so he was able to find
a way to make a little movie clip of a nerve impulse. One challenge was that the movie needed to
be created frame by frame instead of all at once, but Harrison figured out how to put all the
frames together to create the animation. We chose this format because not a lot of people know
exactly how the nervous system works, and simple 2D drawings do not truly explain how a nerve
impulse is transferred between two nerve cells. I believe that this is a good indication on why
Victors lab notebook was so complicated and long.
When we first started reading Frankenstein, I did not understand why it took so long for
Victor to put the monster together. I knew that reattachment surgery was not easy, but it takes
less than a day to reattach a limb. I did not realize that connecting the blood flow supply was so
difficult. This process is vital for the survival of the limb. Without the correct blood flow, the
limb will die before the tendons, muscle tissue and nerves can be reattached. After looking into
this, I have a new sense of respect for Victor. Even though his creation did not turn out the way
he hoped, Victor was a very studious man, who took the time to study the negligible details many
would look over. This monster is a symbol of Victors dedication to his work and to science. I
really enjoyed this project and being able to learn more about the human body, and its functions.

My Sources:
Campbell, Neil A. "Animal Structure and Function." Biology: Concepts and Connections. 6th ed.
San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, 2005. 418-19. Print.

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Scheve, Tom. "Can Body Parts Be Reattached after Accidental Amputation?"HowStuffWorks.
N.p., 17 July 2011. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.