After bearing witness to the monstrosity he had created, Victor attempts to cure his repulsed feelings in the dream world. Unfortunately, this course of action instead produces one of his “wildest dreams” (60). Truly uncomfortable and unnerving, he must witness his dear sister Elizabeth transform into the dead, rotting corpse of his mother in his very arms as “a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the graveworms crawling in the folds of the flannel” (60). Though it is a chilling image to be sure, it perfectly encapsulates Sigmund Freud’s twisted psychoanalytic theory of the Oedipus complex.


At its core, the Oedipus complex suggests that between a certain age in a child’s life, they will aspire to possess the parent of the opposite sex out of strong desire while wanting to kill the parent of their own sex out of jealousy. This uncanny concept is fitting for an uncanny dream, as they are both “frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar,” as explain by Freud himself in his essay “The Uncanny” (418). Surely enough, Victor wakes up from this uncanny nightmare “with horror; a cold dew covered [his] forehead, [his] teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed,” unable to grasp the intensity of his deranged psyche. In actuality, his nightmare falls in line with the “dream-work” process by using the Oedipus complex to create a representation of Victor’s deep desires. As suggested by the Oedipus complex, his dream depicts his mother as a dead corpse he holds dearly in his arms, mirroring his utmost desires of reanimating a dead corpse in reality. The dream, having occurred immediately after seeing the truth of his horrible creation, represents his dangerous desires through Freud’s theory, giving it an uncanny effect that fills Victor’s heart with fear soon afterward.

–Jose Ramirez