Tag Archive: desire

More than just science and math


During the first three days of my stay at Merced, which I spent acclimating myself to the new environment, and allowing myself to meet new people. I followed up by asking people for suggestions on where to head for entertainment. As the week commenced I realized that my professor H. Gonzalez had given me information dealing with the way I established myself during his class. This angered me and influenced me to think that he was just a stupid and conceited man who’s only desire was to have an immense amount of attention. As I stood in my room recollecting my thoughts dealing with this issue I gather the will to go to his class and respectfully learn from what he had to stay despite his narcissistic characteristics getting in the way of his teaching.

Partly thinking about what could go wrong as soon as I stepped inside that mans lecture hall, I went into the hall and sat down in one of the many empty rows. As soon as I took my laptop out of my backpack I realized that H. Gonzalez came into the room. He seemed to be around forty-five years old, however, he was not wearing clothes you would expect from a professor of his age. He wore a regular t-shirt from a modern era musician with a pair of plaid shorts and a pair of faded black vans with short socks. He definitely was not what I was expecting from my calculus teacher. He was tall but very thin, under his eyes were bags from the lack of sleep that I assumed he had been experiencing for the past few days. His voice was very rough and aggressive which made me feel even worse about him. He began his lecture by a speaking about the history of mathematics as well as the many breakthroughs that have come through the use of mathematics, demonstrating every single improvement that has been made through mathematics as well. He then continued by describing the influence that science has in math mathematical achievements. After finishing his simple introduction he proceeded to criticize individuals that believed in the way former mathematicians operated, calling himself the best mathematician to live.  

As he continued to lecture about the significance of mathematics he began to demonstrate what mathematics is in the real world. Describing mathematics as a subject that requires and demands a lot from students as well as the professors such as himself. “Mathematics as a subject requires wisdom, judgment, and maturity. Meaning that if you do not give mathematics your full attention you will not be able to accomplish what you need.” He continued by explaining how the ability to acquire and master each of the requirements when dealing with math to able to find what you are attempting to find. He continued by saying “In here, in this very room are many mathematicians far better endowed than I am with these qualities, including several in this audience.” With this I found out how much I enjoyed mathematics and what it really meant to me from a different perspective, I felt the urge to go accomplish the many things I have always wanted to do.


The passage above demonstrates how Victor describes his intentions that he has for science in the novel, this is seen on page 52 when M. Waldman is lecturing about modern scientists. M Waldman describes the goals of these scientists as tame goals compared to that of the ancient alchemists. However, to Victor, this is very staggering because in his perspective he believes that these scientists are unbarring secrets of existence. Victor later understands his desire to continue to understand science after M. Waldman is done lecturing. As seen in the parody of this scene above it is a similar concept. The voice in the parody explains the love that it has for mathematics, however, in this passage, the opposite can be seen because the voice of the parody never fully describes a good relationship between themselves and the professor. The manner that contemporary features are added is through the use of modern-day social construct. The professor in the parody is wearing clothes that would be seen on someone in this day in age. Also, the way that the professor acts allows the reader to understand that perhaps his characteristics can relate to many characteristics that real people share in the modern era. As simple as the voice in the passage saying that the professor is conceited and narcissistic, it can be determined that perhaps you have come into an encounter with someone who shares these characteristics. Finally, when the voice in the parody describes the intentions it has to do with mathematics it can be seen as a call back towards Victor because after he learned all about science he believed that he was ready to accomplish many things, despite his eager characteristics overpowering him he decides to carry on with his intentions of manipulating nature to create in his own vision, which eventually becomes his demise.

– Daniel Olmos

– Mark Acuña

The story of Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly demonstrates that not only depicts the very imagery and uncanny likeness of the enlightenment era during the 18th century does, but it also shows that a novel can be set around “male” characters and still be centered around a women roles and gendered imagery. Renown Professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies at UCLA – Anne K. Mellor states that viewing the novel Frankenstein through a Feminist’s perspective shows the ideal intention of what Victor Frankenstein was trying to accomplish in when he created the “monster”. Anne Mellor states that Mary Shelly clearly portrayed Victor “as the embodiment of hubris, of that Satanic or Faustian presumption which blasphemously attempts to tear asunder the sacred mysteries of nature.”

One of Victor Frankenstein’s first encounters of science and the spark in his interest was on page 47, where at the age of fifteen he encountered a shock of lightning that grew his curiosity of natural laws of electricity and galvanism. He believes that mastering the arts of recreating life without the process of birth could improve life with his creation of another species. In Victor Frankenstein’s desire to be just like his mother, he unconsciously chooses his role as a woman and decides to create a male “monster” that self reflects himself. Victor then goes on to neglect it, just the same as his father did when mentioning his desire for alchemy. Something that both Mellor and Alphonse Frankenstein have in common is that they both believe that the natural science should be left alone and untouched.

Incest on the Brain

By: Maya Carranza

Freud’s theory of the uncanny can be explained as something that is frightening yet familiar. Freud presents the idea that we as humans of two different genders have a sexual desire for our parents of the opposite sex and hatred toward our same-sex parent. This idea also known as the Oedipal desire can even been seen today as many males marry a women who resembles and acts like his mother and vice versa for daughters and their fathers.

The Oedipal desire is illustrated in Frankenstein’s “wildest dream”. In his dream, Victor is very “delighted and surprised” (60) to see Elizabeth and embraces her but suddenly “her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms” (60). His wife, Elizabeth, transforms into his mother, who he truly desires. Although Frankenstein doesn’t desire Elizabeth as much as his mother, he uses her as a way to replace his dead mother.


According to Freud’s Oedipus Complex, infant boys feel attraction towards their mothers because they associate her with safety and comfort. But they feel a sense of rivalry towards their father because they associate him with threatening to taking away that comfort and safety that is the mother. So they feel the “unconscious desire to kill the father.” However, as they grow older the boy tries to find a way to win over the mother’s love (in a sexual way?) by “identifying” with his father. By doing so his desire to kill his father is repressed and he then grows up to live his adulthood as a heterosexual. As an adult he finds an “object” of replacement—in another woman—to displace the desire he has for his mother. However, if he doesn’t allow for this displacement he ends up becoming a homosexual.

When connecting this theory to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, one wonders how could these two possibly be connected? Well, on page 60 we see a hint of this since Victor describes the way he slaved over his experiment and the aftermath of doing so and what that reveals to himself. Just as others have said, in my own personal opinion I think Victor has a thing for the “forbidden.” To cement this statement, we go to the obvious example, Victor’s aspiring experiment is to bring to life a dead corpse of which he crafted to be the “perfect human being.” However, when his “perfect human” is brought to life he shuns it and disregards it acting as if it is the vilest thing he has ever seen. This shows that not only does Victor like to test the limits of life, but he enjoys playing around with dead bodies if and only if they are dead.  Which leads to my next point, when Victor has the dream about Elizabeth who turns into his deceased mother it goes to show that he in fact plays into Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory. Elizabeth who represents the “object” of replacement turns into his mother meaning that he must feel some kind of attraction towards her. And the fact that he wakes from the dream in horror with all kinds of ailments means that he knows there is something wrong with what he dreamed about. He knows that the fact that there is something wrong with the fact that the one living thing that he desires turns into desire for the dead thing he has unconsciously repressed. Therefore, by reanimating a corpse he is trying to justify that repressed desire for his dead mother. Basically, he is a necrophiliac due to repressed feelings for his mother that emerged when he was an infant and didn’t go away even after she died, uncanny isn’t it?

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

The Uncanny Desire

Freud’s theory of the uncanny indicates that most of our desires are buried in our unconscious due to the fact they cause extreme anxiety. According to Freud, these desires continue to impact us dramatically and in the novel Frankenstein Mary Shelley, describes how Victor Frankenstein, “wildest dreams” during that night revealed his true desires for his mother. Frankenstein goes through the phase of the Oedipus Complex where a young child feels the desire to posses the parent of the opposite sex and eliminate the parent of the same sex. Since, young boys can’t have sex with their mothers because it’s disgusting they find a significant other to fulfill the same characteristics as the mother and this is exactly what Victor Frankenstein does with Elizabeth. However, she doesn’t have the same characteristics as his mother so instead of dreaming of kissing Elizabeth deep down in his unconscious he is thinking of his mother.

Consequently, Victor Frankenstein’s wish is to have sex with his mother, but since she is dead he can’t, so he creates this hideous creature who thus symbolizes his mother. One night, he dreams of Elizabeth, his sister/cousin “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 to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms” (60). This goes back to the Oedipus Complex because in this dream Victor was happy to see Elizabeth his lover, but when he kissed her he is horrified to see its his own mother. Hence his creation which was supposed to represent his mother ended up as a failure because this creature couldn’t give Victor the desire he was seeking for.


-Guadalupe Andrade

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.

Related image

By Galilea Sanchez

by Alex Luna

Freud’s theory of the uncanny preaches of our “unconscious desires” including but not limited to wanting to have sex with your parents and wanting to murder people on sight. In relation to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we can see major components of Freud’s theories through Victors short but memorable dream sequence. This scene reveals how Victor’s motivations in creating the creature lie in his unconscious sadness of the loss of his mother, motivating him to create the ultimate breakthrough in science to make up for his ultimate loss in life.

Victor, disgusted after creating the creature, decides to go to sleep. In his dream, he “saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt.” The phrase “in the bloom of health” is interesting here, because it reveals what Victor notices about her. Not her clothes, not the fact that she is there, but the fact that she is healthy, is what matters to him. This represents the ideal of beauty to Victor, and to probably most people, a healthy individual.  This immediately comes crashing down for him however, in the following lines. As Victor goes in to kiss her she “became livid with the hue of death…and I thought I held the corpse of my mother.” Here is where we begin to see Freud’s theories of the unconscious be reflected through Victor. Freud believed that dreams were a window into the unconscious desires of man, and through this moment we can see Victors unconscious desires take form. Victor’s mom had practically no impact on his life, so for what seemed like Elizabeth to transform into his mom’s corpse is interesting, because it reflects Freud’s theories of how men unconsciously desire their own mothers from a young age. While Victor didn’t really have a relationship with his mother, he still unconsciously desires a mother figure, as it was his ultimate loss in life. Since he has experienced the loss of a loved one through death, he now sees “blooming health” as an object of beauty, or immortality. Now, he wants to make up for his ultimate loss, by attaining the ultimate breakthrough in science to create life. Victor then depicts a “shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.” This description is a complete contrast from the description with Elizabeth, so it shows how Elizabeth in a way has fulfilled the mother role that Victor always unconsciously desired. Unfortunately for Victor, his motivations become his undoing, because his “ultimate creation” becomes another form of torment for him. Freud’s theories of the uncanny end up being echoed through Victor’s dream and actions, unconsciously due to his desire to have a mother figure which results in Victor having his strong ambition.