Tag Archive: birth

This was a bad idea, sir.

Maricruz Rivas

By analyzing Frankenstein and Anne Mellor’s essay it becomes obvious that there is much more to Victor’s desire of creating a creature than mere curiosity. Victor Frankenstein seems to be unfulfilled and he is looking for something to fill the empty space within him. In science he finds room to develop creations to fill those empty spaces…it’s a wonder that his first creation is life, a child to subdue his loneliness. By choosing to create a life Victor defies nature (often associated with femininity) and the idea of “natural order”…he uses science to bring life into the world for his own perverted benefit. Anne Mellor states in her article, “A Feminist Critique of Science,” that Mary Shelley intentionally made Victor the direct opposite of an emotionally aware person which by default means he was by no means prepared to be sensitive to the long term needs of his creation. I believe that in a semi-unintentional way the creature was created to suffer along side Victor – a partner in misery because Victor was in desperate need of a connection even if it was unnatural and miserable for all involved. We see that after the death of his mother (and maybe before though there isn’t a lot of textual evidence to go off of) Victor struggles with creating connections with people even those he cares about most like Elizabeth and his father rather, he develops a deep connection to his work. He consumes his life with studying and learning but not on cultivating emotional bonds with people. 

I believe that Victor Frankenstein puts his disregard for the process of “natural science” best when referring to the beginning of his interest in science and his disinterest of natural history, “…I at once gave up my former occupations; set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation; and entertained the greatest disdain for a would be science, which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge,” (48) in that passage there is purposeful language used by Shelly to depict the eventual creation of something “deformed”. In my opinion, Victor doesn’t actually have any regard for science and moreover he is unable to see outside of his lonely existence long enough to see that an unnatural creation is a bad idea! Sadly, his desire to give life is directly associated to his desire for connection – he is desperate for a bond and who better to know what he needs than himself. In Victor’s eyes there is no greater giver of life than him which directly goes against natural order because as biology would have it it is not within his ability to do so. 

Image result for frankenstein as a baby

Motherly Obsessions

Esther Quintanilla

In Frankenstein: A Feminist Critique of Science, written by Anne Mellor, a depiction of nature as female is established. With the idea of “Mother Nature” and the stereotype of women being the ones who bring life into this world, this is a known idea. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein completely destroys this stereotype. Victor Frankenstein creates life, that is, artificial life, and expects to control the entity that he created. Mellor states, “the scientist who analyses, manipulates, and attempts to control nature unconsciously engages in a form of oppressive sexual politics” (12). Victor Frankenstein is contributing to the oppressive society that depicts women as sweet, naïve creatures and is expecting to dominate over them. Victor, therefore, is erasing the need for women in the novel, as life can be artificially made. This leaves the notion that Victor had a desire to give birth.

In order to achieve this goal, Victor turns to science. Instantly, Victor revels in the ideas of science and becomes obsessed with giving birth to artificial life. This becomes the focal point of Victor’s existence. The relationships that Victor had with various female figures in his life also may have had an impact on how he was picturing himself creating life.

Victor’s relationships with the women in his life may have had an impact on his desire to give birth. His mother, although Victor may or may not have had a desire to sleep with her, was caring and nurturing toward him. Elizabeth, who replaced Victor’s mother after she passed, was a loved figure who cared deeply for Victor. He may have seen the way that the women around him were nurturing and loving and developed a need to be in a similar situation. However, it turns in the completely opposite direction. Victor abandons his child at birth and forsakes any implication of motherhood in his own being. Without even realizing, Victor slowly begins to turn on motherhood and becomes a figure that destroys life. An example of this is the mere abandonment of his creature. Victor, by abandoning his creation, sets up a destructive fate for it.

By: Sandra Tzocuntitled-1_7

Mellor’s essay, “A Feminist Critique of Science” provides a balanced examination of the sciences. Moreover, she does criticize the orthodox creationist theory to which Victor Frankenstein himself- became a part of. He decided to take the role of God into his own hands and give birth to the creature. In addition, Victor Frankenstein decided to challenge nature and fulfill this void of becoming a mother. Mellor introduces an interesting idea which unravels Victor as a thief of nature’s womb. Victor might have felt inferior because he himself did not have a womb and this is something that gave women the upper hand. So, in order to make himself superior and powerful he brought the dead back to life, his own child. His ambition and desire to feel superior than the rest of humanity took him down a road of destruction. Mellor’s essay provides insight on the possible motives behind the formation of the creature. Victor Frankenstein although not blatantly misogynistic as depicted through his relationships with Elizabeth and Justine, still does not explain his ambition towards creation. Perhaps Victor did not display misogynistic views or ideas onto the women in his life therefore, had to refer to displacement. He had to put these feelings somewhere else and these led to the production of the creature. Yes, Victor was nice and seemed to care about Justine, but he did not stand up for her even when he knew that the creature was the perpetrator of Williams murder. This hints at Victor’s character furthermore, it demonstrates his views on women and those who were below him on the social class. Victor himself says “a resistless, and almost frantic impulse, urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit’ (p.50). This portrays the trance that Victor was in whilst producing the creature, he had lost himself or maybe Victor’s ID was slowly floating to the surface. What is concrete is that Mellor’s criticism acts as a tool to understand the perverse process that Victor engaged in to fulfill his selfish attempt at omnipotence. Nature should not be altered at the hands of men especially if it’s used as a means to boost their ego.



Womb Envy

By: Sandra Tzoc

According to Freud’s dream theory, the images that play in the human mind during sleep depict repressed ideas or desires. In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Victor has an apparent incestuous dream that can possibly say more of him than his conscious does. Victor says: “… I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms” (60). However, it is important to note that Victor leaned in to kiss Elizabeth not his mother. It is also significant that he didn’t dream of kissing his live mother, he dreamt of kissing his mother’s corpse. Moreover, this can represent his great admiration towards death but more importantly his deep love towards his mother, so much that he brought a corpse back to life in order to see if he could bring his mother back to life. However, since he failed to make the “perfect” creation- this failure was symbolized as his dead mother in his dream.o-STEPHEN-MANGAN-570

To Victor, his mother was very important just like a mother figure is to any other human being. In addition, it is possible the loss of his mother prompted him to become a birth giver himself. Freud presented the idea of penis envy however, he didn’t quite include the opposite concept. In contrast to penis envy, womb envy describes a man who is jealous of a female because she has what it takes to give birth. The man doesn’t like feeling weak or inferior due to the fact that he doesn’t have the power to birth a kid therefore, creating womb envy. Furthermore, it is possible that Victor Frankenstein suffered of womb envy and decided to take matters into his own hands. Perhaps Victor could not physically push a baby out but he’s experimental capacity allowed him to produce his own baby- the creature. He wanted to know how it felt to give life therefore, he took different pieces of corpses and put them together to bring back the dead. In the end, Victor’s mother died when he was young and didn’t get to show him the way through life. Perhaps, this explains why Victor abandoned the creature, history was simply repeating itself.