Samuel Freud’s theory of the uncanny discusses the strange occurrence of having familiar and unfamiliar experiences. This psychological concept is prevalent in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.  When Victor Frankenstein recounts his “wildest dream”, he explains that he “saw Elizabeth…but as he imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death. [He] thought he held the corpse of [his] dead mother”, (60). Victor’s dream exemplifies his unconscious, sexual desire for his deceased mother. The “wildest dream” illustrates Victor embracing and kissing Elizabeth, who acts as the undisguised replacement for Frankenstein to fulfill his sexual needs and desires. Elizabeth is unconsciously seen by Victor as a perfect sexual object who will give him the love and support that his mother is unable to give him.

This dream further explains the reasoning behind Victor’s efforts to artificially give life to the “creature”, in which he combines pieces of human flesh and body parts to create a human body. In Samuel Freud’s The Uncanny, the author states “a favourable condition for awakening uncanny feelings is created when there is intellectual uncertainty whether an object is alive or not, and when an inanimate object becomes too much like an animate one”, (Freud 424). Frankenstein’s action of creating his “creature” for his unconscious desires to re-create his mother are justified by Freud, in which he states that it is common for people to look to inanimate objects as replacements for unobtainable love. This concept is true for Victor Frankenstein, in which he utilizes his scientific abilities to create the tangible  “monster” of his imagination.

Written by Cathryn Flores