Victor’s dream highlights the blurred relationship labels that he has placed on the people in his life. His mother and his future wife, Elizabeth, seem to hold a similar place in his mind. This could partially be attributed to the fact that once Victor’s mother dies, it seems that Elizabeth takes the place of Caroline Frankenstein in the household. She in some ways becomes Victor’s mother and so when Victor dreams of Elizabeth he is of course dreaming of his mother in actuality. Elizabeth as his sister is symbolic of life as he sees her “in the bloom of health” and as he moves to “[embrace] her [and imprint] the first kiss on her lips” she morphs into his mother, Caroline, who is symbolic of death. This suggests that as Victor blurs the lines between his relationship with his sister and attempts to change her role to that of his wife, he essentially kills her and the relationship because it is unnatural. He ends up with the rotting corpse of his dead mother which was the first woman Victor surely felt affection for that he could not have because his mother belonged to his father and not him. So any attempt to change certain relationships in unnatural ways ends in something final like death because his sister should not be his wife. His mother who he may have latched onto as a child should also not be the object of his affections. Elizabeth and Caroline blending into one person for Victor as highlighted in his dream suggests that he has attempted to alter his relationships unnaturally and that is his problem. He cannot separate the women in his life and latch himself to the right women that will help him live a normal life.

As for the corpse he reanimated into his Creature we can see Victor trying to create another unnatural relationship. He is trying to establish a new race of humans and trying to establish him as their father figure. However, when his “child” asks for its own female figure to latch onto Victor like the typical father does not allow it and removes the female figure from his “child’s” life. His “child”, the Creature, reacts as Freud expected, and drastically makes the decision that if he can’t have the mother then no one can because he kills Elizabeth. While the Creature was not especially fixated on Elizabeth, she is Victor’s wife at this point in the narrative and essentially the “mother” for all intents and purposes because of her relationship to Victor. The cycle that Victor and all other men supposedly go through is also experienced by the Creature. Perhaps Victor strove to reanimate a corpse in some unconscious effort to break the cycle but failed to do so when he did not provide his corpse with the wife it desired.

This psychological state reveals themes of the natural versus the unnatural which is consistent with the entire novel because the constant reinforcement of nature makes the reader aware of the lack of production within the novel, which would have been prevalent during that time. It also reveals that Victor’s relationships are part of what makes certain things unnatural throughout the story because he is trying to make things work together that should not work together. Which ties together with the theme of horror throughout the novel that consistently reminds the reader ugly wrong things are terrifying while beauty is not. None of Victor’s relationships are beautiful and therefore are ugly and terrifying.

By Diana Lara