Tag Archive: comfort

Comforting Relations

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the topics of immigration and the constant desire to belong within society are prominent and are important to understanding an individual’s identity. For example, the creature insists on proving “the truth of my tale” by providing Victor with the letters from the Muslim Arab immigrant from Turkey named Safie. Victor is in great need of understanding the creature’s struggles and the internalized colonization that suppresses him from further prospering in life. The creature is diligent in his quest for belonging within society, for his journey towards societal acceptance is similar to that of Safie and Felix’s. The letters describe the father and daughter’s situation, explaining, “the Turk entered his daughter’s apartment, and told her hastily, that he had reason to believe that his residence at Leghorn had been divulged, and that he should speedily be delivered up to the French government”, (Shelley 113).

Similarly, Frankenstein’s creation is put in the same situation as the Muslim immigrants, who are told that they are going to be turned into law enforcement officials. The creature relates to these immigrants because he also experiences these emotions from being an outcast in society. The creature solely longs to belong and feel accepted by the people of the village in which he resides, but knows that this craving is not likely to be fulfilled. Additionally, Felix and the creature can be seen as inhabitants of the borderland, in which they are in a constant state of indecisiveness between which country they fully belong to. Author Gloria E. Anzaldua states that residents of borderlands have the ability to create their own identity and not conform to societal wants and desires. Using this theory, the creature and Felix are living in a state of mind that is dictated by their placement within society, in which they are in dire need of understanding their own true identity.

Written by Cathryn Flores

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– Mark Acuña

The word uncanny, such a particular and out of the common vocabulary of many Americans. How would one help explain the meaning behind when something is particularly uncanny? Sigmund Freud, a neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, states in his renown novel The Uncanny, that “uncanny, in discussing things that appear to slip outside of normal assumptions…effects of the unconscious that surprise us and create an effect of uncanniness, because we are unaware of the operation of the unconscious.” (418). Why is this material so relevant to the passage in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly? As critical thinkers, we can make a connection between the passage on Chapter 5, pg. 60 and analyze the thoughts going on through Victor Frankenstein. In the novel Frankenstein, it demonstrates that Victors dream was described as, “I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms…”. This envision of Victor’s mother seems very repulsive and very confusing for many readers that aren’t too familiar with the psychoanalytical breakdown. The best way to put it is from Sigmund Freud in The Uncanny, he states that “The source of uncanny feelings would not, therefore, be an infantile tear in this case, but rather an infantile wish or even merely an infantile belief. There seems to be a contradiction here; but perhaps it is only a complication.” (425) He also states that “the discovery that whatever reminds us of this inner repetition-compulsion is perceived as uncanny” (427) We can see that Victor Frankenstein see’s his sister as a replacement or for comfort for the absence of his dead mother, wanting to have sexual relation with her and create life. Which also leaves us wondering whether the creation of the “monster” was an attempt of bypassing the thought of falling in love with his mother, and instead create his own – which he ultimately regrets with disgust and horror.