Tag Archive: dead

Science gone too far?

In Anne Mellor’s essay, “A Feminist Critique of Science”, Anne Mellor draws some comparisons between scientists who attempt to manipulate nature and Victor Frankenstein who pretty much does the same in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. Anne Mellor mentions that nature should never be manipulated in science, and should always be respected and constantly accounted for when conducting experiments. However, these rules are broken when Victor’s obsession of giving birth becomes reality. He unconsciously oppresses sexual politics by “giving birth” without a woman in the natural process of sexual reproduction, and instead does it through science, which “reverses the evolutionary ladder described by Darwin” (Mellor, 6).  Victor’s belief in its power to control nature and give birth break the limits of nature in science. Through the quote “penetrate the secrets of nature” (46), we can view this as an indicator of his view of nature in comparison to his view for humans, specifically men. Evidently, he does not care to use others, even dead people, for his advantage. Never did he seem sorry or regretful for borrowing from the dead, which again shows his indifference towards the less powerful aspects of nature. Ann Mellor states that the acts Victor commits are, “The embodiment of hubris…. [and his] blasphemous attempts to fear asunder the sacred mysteries of nature,” are asked against femininity and the sexuality itself thus questioning Victors’ whole sexual spectrum.” His obsession of giving birth can even be interpreted as Victor’s secret sexual preferences. Some readers can also see this as Victor unconsciously wanting to be a female, rather than male.  His actions give the reader many assumptions, but one for sure was a sense of desperation of some sort. In essence, Victor manipulates nature in a way he shouldn’t have, only to prove his engagement in oppressive sexual politic beliefs.

Freaky Victor

As I understood, the uncanny was the fear of the familiar when it becomes mysterious and unfamiliar. The uncanny can be related to the repressed thoughts humans have, for instance sexual thoughts towards a family member. These thoughts can become uncanny even though we are aware if them, especially if others were to take notice of them. Hearing them expressed out loud makes the thoughts uncanny and makes you wonder what kind of person you really are. You feel as if you’ve done something wrong and disgusting, which is correct.

In order to understand Victor’s dream we must keep in mind that he seems very okay with the idea of being romantically involved with family, seeing as Elizabeth is part of his family. In the views of Freud, Victor is clearly showing signs of the Oedipal complex and confusion about the female body. This theory states that young children desire the parent of the opposite sex and despise the parent of the same-sex to the extent of wanting them dead. There is also the idea that males fear castrarion and believe thier mother’s have gone through it.

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When we examine Victor’s wild dream, we can see very clearly a part of his life he has repressed, his desire and attraction towards his mom, and the dead. During the dream, Elizabeth becomes the “corpse if his dead mother,” (60) which causes him to awaken in shock. Although Victor’s dream fits the Oedipal theory, it seems that something went wrong in Victor’s case. Instead of wanting his father dead, he also seems to have no problem with a dead mother. With this theory in mind, we can conclude that Victor never understood why his mom had no penis and those thoughts became repressed in his mind. He therefore searches for his mother, even after death in order to get answers. As a result of this confusion, he is unable to accept Elizabeth.  He doesn’t know the answer to his question, “why do females have no penis?” Victor doesn’t undersand the female body, which can also be a reason the creature he creates is male and not female, furthermore it could also be why he never built the creature a female partner too, because he didn’t know how.

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By Galilea Sanchez


In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor possesses what Freud called the Oedipus Complex. The Oedipus Complex as described by Freud is when a young child has unconscious sexual desires for their parent of the opposite sex. Victor Frankenstein wants to have sex with his mother, but since she is dead he cannot fulfil this wish. Freud asserts, “The discovery that whatever reminds us of this inner repetition-compulsion is perceived as uncanny” (427). For Victor this would be his sister, sometimes referred to as his cousin, Elizabeth. One night, Victor dreams that, “[He] thought [he] saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health… Delighted and surprised, [he] embraced her; but as [he] imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death…” (Shelley 60). Elizabeth embodies the image of Victors mother and that is the reason he wants to be with her. Once he lays a kiss upon her lips she once again embodies the image of Victor’s mother, only this time she embodies the dead image of his mother. This no longer makes Victor interested in Elizabeth because he cannot obtain her dead, the way he cannot obtain his mother. In order to obtain the parental figure in his life, he then creates a monster from dead corpses in order to become part of the Oedipus Complex himself. Victor stated that, “[He] had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that [he] had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (Shelley 60). Unluckily for Victor, the monster he created was nothing like his mother, so he did not lust for the creature, and the creature did not lust for him in the way he wanted. Even though the creature was created using body parts from corpses, he didn’t fulfil Victors lust for an alive relationship with his dead mother.

-Alina Cantero