All the Park’s a Stage: Westworld as the Metafictional Frankenstein
Keywords:Westworld, Frankenstein, metafiction, transtextuality, metafictional allegory
This essay presents a literary analysis of the TV series Westworld (2016‒), created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, who take Michael Crichton’s Westworld (1973) as its hypotext. In so doing, the paper will firstly trace the literary and film sources of the series, particularly Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which is the myth informing the overall diegetic universe of the series as an architext. Secondly, it will comment on the reflexive elements present in the series, looking at certain key sequences that exemplify its metafictional dimension. The main contention will be that the series success lies in the combination of these two dimensions, the Frankensteinian and the metafictional, since both contribute to emphasise the postmodern philosophical questions posed by Nolan and Joy.
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