The dream Victor Frankenstein experiences after creating undead life is controversial, uncanny, and acts as a manifestation of his feelings about what he has created. The dream starts out pleasant, he sees “Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt” (60). He immediately kisses Elizabeth, but as he does she turns into the corpse of his mother. Freudians probably and will continue to have a field day with this scene in Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Though some would immediately associate the fact that the mother is present in this dream with Victor wanting his mother, I disagree. I do not think that it is as cut and clear as that.  His mother and sister (Elizabeth and if you didn’t remember oh boy isn’t it gross right?) are manifestations of his greatest loss and his greatest gain. The dream is a respite, it is a subconscious self depreciate act, an inner lament for his failure to produce the art that he had envisioned.

If everything had went right for Frankenstein he would have glory like no other, he would have had the beautiful Elizabeth with him in the streets in Ingolstadt! He spent several passages remarking on her beauty and goodness, that it is no stretch of the imagination to think of her as a prize (43). In this dream he is holding his prize: prosperity and beauty in front of everyone in Ingolstadt!

But because Frankenstein thinks he failed, his triumph disappears and changes into his greatest loss: his mother. When his mother died, it left an impression in Frankenstein that could not be filled- he spent nearly an entire page describing how terrible it was that he lost his mother (49). His subconscious is associating the terrible tragedy of losing his mother to that of creating the creature- who physically is as dead as she is. He is a literal walking corpse and Victor must live with his greatest loss and his biggest nightmare.

Or he wants to bang his mom. Both interpretations are valid.
Stay dreamy,
Maria Nguyen-Cruz