Wednesday, April 1, 2009
On page 63, I refer to the "sexual" symbolism of grain elevators. Among many other things, the word "elevation" brings up associations with "erection": when a man is excited, his penis stiffens and becomes upright, and the head of his penis is elevated; furthermore, during the "heights" of orgasm, his seed rises from within his testicles to the top of his penis. See 1:00 in to this clip to see what I mean.
Though apparently unrelated, grain elevators and Frankenstein's monster have a great deal in common. First, Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory, at least in James Whales' version from 1931, is located in an abandoned windmill (windmills grind grain for flourmills). Second, the very first thing the monster says, at least in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), is "Bread . . . good" (bread is typically made of wheat). Third, some anti-genetically modified food activists use the neologism "Frankenfood," which denotes foods made from genetically modified products, but especially wheat or corn.