Tag Archive: Elizabeth


The Wedding Night

By Mahealani LaRosa

Narrative:

The sun settled over the mountains in purple streaks. The snow-covered jagged tops were a broken canvas that the sun painted its fiery gaze upon. Elizabeth’s face was glowing orange; her skin was shining and her eyes slowly blinked. Victor believed she was thinking that their wedding could not have gone more splendidly. He could hear his voice in the back of his mind. Troy. Whispering thoughts into his brain, delicate hands and his mouth on his ear. He couldn’t think of that now, so he shook his head and wrapped his arms around Elizabeth. She smiled up at him, her hair grazing his chin. Troy. Victor could not get him out of his head. He had abandoned him. Where was he? Was he angry?

“What are you thinking about?”

Elizabeth’s voice broke through the increasingly overwhelming thoughts.

“I’m lucky to have such a radiant, delightful wife.”

She laughed lightly at his quick excuse and stood up.

“Want to go for a walk?”

Her breath was visible in the cold air and her fingertips were becoming pink. He took her hand and pulled himself up.

“Where do you want to go?”

The wind rustled the nearby trees and it reminded Victor of his camping trip with Troy. He remembered how delicately Troy handled the flowers he picked and the way his voice made everything around them feel still. But feeling the way he felt about Troy was wrong. People looked at them strangely, wondering if they were more than colleagues. The coldness of isolation came back to him for a moment, and Victor felt the fear rising in his throat. He hadn’t realized that they had already begun walking, Elizabeth leading him by the hand towards the dark looming trees. They looked like broken skeletons against the fading sky. The path they followed was covered in soft pine needles that made the ground feel like they were floating. When they finally reached the door of the house, she turned and kissed him lightly, standing one step above him on the stairs.

Elizabeth was so delicate he felt like he could break her. She always avoided the conversations about Victor’s work, and the long months he spent away from her working with Troy. She liked to pretend that Troy didn’t exist, but they both knew he did. Now that Victor was away from Troy, he knew it all too well.

Elizabeth opened the door and walked down the wooden hallway. It was eerily silent in the house, and he could hear the crickets and the grass fade away as he stepped inside and the door creaked closed. Elizabeth called from upstairs.

“Victor, I’ll be ready in a moment. Come up in a few minutes for a surprise.”

He knew without a doubt that when he went upstairs she would be wearing the rose-colored lace slip and laying in the center of the bed, sinking into the comforter. She will have lit candles and her feet will be curled like a ballerinas toes. He wants to kiss her. He wants to love her. He pictures her breasts and only wants to study them. Nothing stirs inside him.

Victor sat down on the mauve couch and leaned back, letting his muscles relax. He closed his eyes and his mind drifted to wandering hands and soft lips.

Elizabeth screamed. He almost wanted to ignore it, but he opened his eyes and slowly stood. She screamed again and he heard mild scratches on the ceiling. He shuddered awake and scrambled towards the stairs, slipping on the polished floor. When he finally made it to the room, he found her laying as he predicted. Something was off. Her pale neck was swollen and purple, and tiny drops of blood trickled from her lips. Victor fell, slamming his knees into the ground and clutching her lifeless body. He sobbed.

The window banged open, and the white curtains fluttered inside from the darkness. He whipped his head towards the glass and saw an indiscernible shadow. Suddenly he understood. Troy. He was angry. He ran towards the window but nobody was there. Victors eyes stung and his heart was heavier than it had been before. The balcony was empty. He looked back inside through the doors. Her inanimate body seemed so far away. Nothing seemed worth the effort. He was alone. The ground seemed closer than his dead wife’s body.  The trees were so welcoming, and the sounds of the insects were loud in his ears. He looked back one more time and fell. There was a thud – the bugs stopped humming- and then there was nothing.

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Review:

Dear Mahealani LaRosa,

I greatly appreciated your modern take on Elizabeth’s death scene from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I have often hypothesized that Victor Frankenstein was a homosexual, so I was delighted to see that you subtly brought this idea into your account. I also really appreciated how you made the creature a man who ended up being Victor’s secret lover. You made it much easier for me to understand that in the novel the creature may have been created to become Victor’s perfect male lover. Naming him Troy was also clever because it is  reminiscent of the Trojan War and the idea that Frankenstein was somewhat hiding until the final attack, hiding his true identity from his loved ones but also from himself. It also reminds me that Troy and the Trojan War are still seen as kind of legends. It is not known if they are fictional occurrences or real events, and it will never be known. So in your story, we only know of Troy through Victor’s thoughts and an action he is suggested to have done. We are never given proof of his existence, so he is very aptly named.

The way that Frankenstein acts towards Elizabeth seems more accurate to me as well. He seems less attracted to her, while she dotes on him more often. Your descriptive language almost makes the whole story seem like it is a dream. The way you connect nature and Victor also reminds me of their connection in the novel, but in your adaption, the relationship seems less violent and more calming, but it still has sinister undertones. I also like the fact that Victor is most likely dead. I sympathized with the creature more than I did with Victor in the novel, and I am happy to see that Troy is probably alive while Victor is not. Overall, I thought your writing was poetic and beautiful, and the timelessness of it was amazing as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us readers!

Looking forward to your next release,

An Avid Fan 

 

My dear Elizabeth, I was too late

diminished by the “vicious” hands of my own creation;

doing for me what no one would have ever thought.

 

Death be not what thou think I wanted

foolish ones, who thought they knew me

secrets kept-

only too come out once you all have “slept”.

 

Wishing for you to want me with the same desire

thinking it may be so,

after all, you may never know-

 

Shrieks I hear from down the hall

bouncing from wall to wall,

Should I run?

Or should I lie?

For I know that it has to be you that must die.

 

Across the bed, she is laid

only wishing that you would’ve stayed.

What I wouldn’t have given for just a glance,

at my wondrous creature.

 

Why did you leave, my true love?

Why not stay?

I know you must feel the same

or else why did you play my game?

 

Killing her for me,

because it was never meant to be;

at least not for her and I.

 

Will you be in my dreams tonight?

Or finally in my arms,

where I can hold you through the night?

 

Wishing, waiting, wanting-

for none other than you.

What else are secret lovers supposed to do?

 

I think of you every night,

with a little bit of spite-

I must admit,

it saddened me that you were the one who got to end it all.

And yet you won’t be the one to give me your all.

My distorted memory is all I have,

was it really me that wanted her gone?

The question I am left to ponder

Yes, but why was it you who got the honor?

 

My wife she was,

Nothing to you, maybe even nothing to me;

I still don’t understand what made you flee.

 

Bound to both, in separate ways

what am I to do now but count my days?

Until I see you again, I say this now

 

I loved you

and I love you

she gave me time

but I gave you life

forever battling to be my wife.


Dear Reader,

For this creative project, I decided to rewrite the scene of Elizabeth’s death into a poem. In my poem, I go into a different way to look at this scene, by making it seem like Victor wanted his wife to die. I made it seem like he had the creature kill her, in order for them to be together. I believed that this was one of the more crucial scenes throughout the novel, and by reworking it as a poem would help to convey even more of an emotional aspect. I want you, my readers to imagine Victor himself reading this poem aloud, to hear the tone of his voice and how it goes from sadness in the first stanza to mysterious in the second stanza to longing in the third and so on and so forth. Victor addresses Elizabeth directly only once throughout the poem, the rest of the time he is speaking more to the creature and questioning himself. The final stanza of the poem helps reflect that Victor was able to love Elizabeth, but was also in love with his creation, the way a mother has a bond with her child. This portrays the idea of Victor being jealous that he couldn’t give birth. The title of the poem is “My Two Loves” of course referring to Elizabeth and the creature reflects on Victor’s undecidedness. It was clear Victor never planned on spending his life with Elizabeth, which makes sense as to why he would want her dead, he was a little forced into the marriage. In class, we discussed with the dream scene how it demonstrated that Victor didn’t want Elizabeth because she wasn’t his mother but in fact, he wanted the creature. I wanted to keep the creature taking off after killing Elizabeth in this poem because I believe it helps demonstrate how Victor longed for what he couldn’t have.

-Alina Cantero

Inevitable

by Sunanda Ralmilay

          Victor’s fascination with creating a new being out of old parts had become quite problematic. He would spend days and nights on end sketching and planning out what he would assume to be a perfect crafted being, all from his own hands. He shut out the outside world and made this his priority. However, things didn’t turn out that way.

            Victor left his manor at night to go explore cemeteries and the local morgue to find just what he needed. It was a cold night and he rubbed his hands together to create some warmth. His breath showed before him and his nose had turned the slightest shade of red. He walked with a determination and once he was reminded that he was going to be the one to create a new being, he seemed to forget the cold and march along in the blistering cold.He paused at a cemetery but decided it to be too barbaric to dig up parts he needed, so he went along. He was stopped in his tracks by a peculiar woman, who startled him at first. As his eyes fixated on her, he realized she was quite beautiful.“Are you lost? Can I help you?” he offered. The woman walked up to him, her face being illuminated by the small lantern she was carrying. “I’m Elizabeth and I want part in whatever you’re doing.” She said firmly. Victor was taken aback by her demanding voice but cleared his throat. “You-You know? How?” he asked.

            Elizabeth went on to explain, in a rather velvety voice,that she had been following him, trying to see what he was up to until one night, he dropped one of his many blueprints. He looked at her for a second before agreeing to let her join him. The two secretly traveled down to the morgue, a worn out, old, and disgusting place full of the things they needed. They crept around the building until they found a rusty back door. It was eerily quiet as Victor pulled out a crowbar from the duffle bag he was carrying. He stuck it in the door and broke the seal with a loud clanking sound. The two cautiously looked around to see if anyone had saw them and stepped inside. Victor and Elizabeth found what they were looking for and were slightly horrified at the smells and visuals of the remaining parts they were surrounding by. Elizabeth gagged as she helped put parts into Victor’s bag, her dainty hand coming up to her nose to shut out any putrid scents. Once they retrieved everything, Victor offered Elizabeth a pleasant walk to his home and a room in his manor, to which she so happily agreed. She took his hand and walked off with him, both excited for what this creation could bring into the world.

            The day to create had arrived and the two worked until they created what resembled a human man. He looked very sickly, a yellow tinge caressed his skin, his eyes were deep set with a hint of blue creating the bags of someone who hadn’t slept in centuries. He was burly and not the prettiest sight, at least for Victor and Elizabeth. He began to wake and it startled them,the ways his eyes opened as if they’d been forcibly shut for years on end. “Is it…? It can’t be.” Elizabeth trailed off. “It is, my dear. It is alive.” Victor said as he looked at it closely. The creature tried to reach out to them both and they cautiously stepped forward. It looked at the medical tools next to its head, then back at the two. Elizabeth had a bad feeling brewing in the pit of her stomach, so she gripped Victor’s arm. Victor tried to calm her down and reminded her she should be excited. She nodded and sighed, moving swiftly to the other side of the waking creature. Victor cleared his throat and was prepared to address the creature until it took two scalpels and stuck them in the necks of his creators.  

Review:

To the Writer,

            The short story you have constructed offers an alternate universe to the Frankenstein story, specifically altering the bit where the creature is being birthed. In an attempt to create a short story out of an already existing one, you have created a more contemporary-styled tale that illustrates a different journey to comprise a person out of what the two main characters could find. Much like Frankenstein, Victor is busy focusing on creating a new being and Elizabeth is till his love interest, but it is not the similarities that make this piece work, no. It is the vastly different approach that makes this an interesting read. The twist of the story and very new and stylistic approach creates a universe where the story is severely unalike the original, but has the foundation of the original story.

            Having that in mind, you have created a short story that ends with an unfortunate conclusion, which makes it more enjoyable. It seems that Victor and Elizabeth will ultimately succeed in creating their being, as assumed from how well things went earlier in the story, but I must say that I favor the turn it takes. While I cannot say it was unexpected, it definitely was a great way to end your piece with a bang. The idea of the creature killing off who it assumes to be ins creators hold some sort of density to it, such as illustrating that when you tamper with science or even alter or disturb the natural order of things in the world and universe, it may lead to severe consequences that will only cause more damage than the good that was initially intended. A pertaining to the title, it was quite inevitable that Victor and Elizabeth would face a death served by their creation. 

            All in all, I’d like to say that this was a very interesting read and I hope more originals and literature classics are altered to show a more contemporary story, as they are done with movies.

Sunanda Ralmilay

Kindness and Caution: Attitudes Towards Adam

Selection 2 has the broadest observation over the film since, in almost every scene that is essential, there is always that underlying notion about what compassion and inhumanity should be enacted upon Adam. As we see with the scenes with Eddie, he is compassionate to “Monster” as he knows that he is unable to speak and has trouble understanding the world; a trait of community and understanding that ultimately leads to a development for Adam. However, the inhumanities Adam had suffered from his very creator Victor (and Elizabeth) through the process of Euthanasia can be seen in smaller sequences throughout the film; mostly upon other interactions with people since they see Adam as just a grotesque abomination. A good fit for one who is both kind and cautious of Adam would have been Wanda, where she is shocked by his appearance but nevertheless respects him and tries to educate him (in more ways than one(until her exit(yeesh))).

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

Tania De Lira-Miranda

The comments that offers a broader interpretation of the film would be #2; Victor and Elizabeth view their creation in different ways. In a way they serve as stand-ins for how science tends to view people with disabilities. On the one hand, Elizabeth, people with disabilities are still able to feel and should be viewed with compassion. They should be cared for. On the other hand, Victor, represents viewing people with disabilities as lesser, as failed by-products, that need to be taken care of.

The reason why is because it really reflects the real world. People react to people with disability in one of two ways; they either feel like the world needs to do more to help people or that they feel like people with disabilities are a nuisance. By explaining how Elizabeth and Victor react to Adam, we could discuss which view is the ‘correct one’ and which one the world should have:l. This would then lead to a talk where we discuss  the real world applications of the views. So either what people have done to help make life easier for people with disabilities or how the world is ableist

By Mary Russell

Mellor in her essay, “Frankenstein: A Feminist Critique of Science,” brings up the depiction of nature as female. This assumption is natural. Nature is viewed as a force that gives us life. Because most women can give birth, they are associated with bringing about life. Mellor goes on to then argue that “the scientist who analyses, manipulates, and attempts to control nature unconsciously engages in a form of oppressive sexual politics” (12). Scientists attempt to control nature, to understand it and then begin to dominate it. Victor Frankenstein even goes so far as to replace nature. Frankenstein uses the women in his life and then tries to toss them aside with his venture to render a womb obsolete.

Since he was a child Frankenstein desired to learn, “The secrets of heaven and earth… [his] inquiries were directed at the metaphysical, or, int its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world,” (44). A curiosity of how the world works is natural, but Mellor argues that one should admire nature, not seek to control it. Frankenstein wishes to learn the secrets of nature so he may wield them and bend them to his will. So too does he use the women in his life as tools. The emotional labor they are expected to perform for him is beyond what he does for them. When referring to Elizabeth he states, “Till death she was to be mine only,” (45) and during his fits of madness she had, “The power to draw [him] from these fits; her gentle voice would soothe… she wept with [him] and for [him],” (163). His mother is barely referenced but she is said to have treated him like her whole world. In turn, when Elizabeth weeps for him, or is visibly thinner than normal Frankenstein does not question it. He expects her to expend her emotional energy completely on him. When his mother falls ill, Frankenstein does not try to help her. He does not even defend poor Justine during her trial even though he knows who the killer is. These women are meant to support him but heaven forbid he does anything for them.

He then goes on to spit in their faces with his creation of the creature. Frankenstein says that, “A new species would bless me as its creator and source,” (57). He is attempting to create an entirely new species without the use of a womb. The natural process of birth is disrupted by his experiment. If the creature was a successful prototype, then birth would be rendered obsolete. In a male dominated society, the one use women supposedly had would be destroyed. Nature, a feminine being, is used for Frankenstein’s own gain. He disregards what is natural – womb, nurturing, evolution, and the gradual learning that comes with aging – for his own gain. He does not care about how this may affect the natural order he just cares about becoming a deity to a new species. He is arrogant, and intentional or not he is engaging in oppressive sexual politics.

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

Esther Quintanilla

The Oedipal complex, as explained by Sigmund Freud, is the repressed desire for a son (or daughter) to have sex with their mother (or father) and is in a constant battle with the father (or the mother). These desires, as mentioned before, are repressed deeply into the son’s unconscious. However, in the novel Frankenstein, this is not the case at all. After the animation of the creature, Victor Frankenstein experiences a very vivid dream in which he is kissing his love Elizabeth but then shifts into Frankenstein’s departed mother.

This wild dream says quite a bit about the psyche of Victor.

The Oedipal complex is an unconscious desire that is repressed by the son/daughter. However, Victor experiences this desire in his sleep, in his subconscious-which is very different than the unconscious. The subconscious is defined as concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware, but which still influences one’s actions and feelings. The unconscious is defined as the part of the mind that is inaccessible to the conscious mind, meaning, it would have no effect on the way Victor acts or the dreams the he dreams. The fact that Victor dreams about kissing his mother shows that Victor has a desire to sleep with his dead mother, and that he is not trying very hard to repress it or to change it. Elizabeth was raised by Victor’s mother, and therefore is a byproduct of her being. Elizabeth is the most identical person to his mother, and that leads to the idea that Victor only wants to be with Elizabeth because he has an unrepressed desire to sleep with his dead mother.

In regard to the animation of a corpse made of severed body parts, this may be the unrepressed desire coming to the surface of Victor’s mind. Perhaps Victor wanted to animate this creature in order to fulfill his necrophilia-oedipal desire. But when the creature turns out to be something that is hideous in Victor’s eyes, something unlike his mother (or Elizabeth), he abandons it in hopes that it will destroy itself. Thus, creating the conflict of the novel: Victor running away from his unrepressed desires in the hopes of them going away on their own.

flesh-love

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

    Justine didn’t deserve to die. She and Elizabeth exchange expressions of guilt, confession, and empathy in the virtue-signaling conversation regarding Justine’s upcoming execution in Chapter VIII of the Gothic novel. The most important part of this scene, set relatively early in the unfolding of the plot of Frankenstein, is Mary Shelley’s emphasis on secondary characters in analyzing the deceiving and corrupt nature of the fictional execution. “Why do you kneel, if you are innocent?” (83) asks Elizabeth, in recognizing Justine’s kneeling as an act of not protest, but rather, subjugation to law, and because everyone knows that the law only applies when punishing a criminal caste, Elizabeth and Justine become the vessels for which the stakes of an entire criminal justice system rely on for representation. This is unfair for women, for the oppressed class, or even for the supposed monster and/or mobs who, according to values of Enlightenment during Shelley’s conception of the novel as a likely response to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, are worthy of the rights to a basic life guaranteeing liberty and the pursuit of property. Victor was a property-owning, white male and member of the scientific elite and thus makes a better subject than Justine for a Burkian formation of human rights criticism.

    Justine must be disqualified as a representation of women during the (French) Revolution. Further emphasis on the distance of Justine from the male, principle characters of Frankenstein is evident in the framing of Elizabeth and Victor’s conversation in a previous chapter. “Elizabeth Lavenza,” (67) signs off a letter with Justine’s flashbacks- which is proceeded by Victor’s reply in “Geneva, March 18th, 17-,’ (67). Character observations about Justine first have to pass through Elizabeth’s pen, then on page 64, through Clerval’s hands, then at the start of the letter, in addressed to the familial tradition, each of these layers of communicating ultimately function to filter authenticity of the actual story being told. The degradation of the truth told is apparent enough in Burke’s essay to be repeated in the cautionary tone, “Is this a triumph to be consecrated at altars […] to be offered to the divine humanity with fervent prayer and enthusiastick ejaculation?” (Burke 72). The irony here is that Victor writes from the future location of the Human Rights Council at Geneva before the formation of the United Nations could become content for Shelley’s feminist work. There is nothing feminist about the sacrifice symbolized through Justine’s wrongful execution; Burke sees this incompatibility of human representation in the tragic for predicting attacks on the Church, “The actual murder […] was wanting to the other auspicious circumstances of this ‘beautiful day.’ The actual murder of the bishops, though called for by so many holy ejaculations, was also wanting,” (73) and warns us about a second ejaculation, which I interpret as a vindication of the human rights framework which is evoked in the name of Justine. In conclusion, the lens of a Burkian reflection in reading Frankenstein is revealing in that, unlike the executions of the Revolution, this execution of Justine, for murdering the relative of our protagonist, is one that is very much deserved in the name of justice to punish “the patriotic crimes of an enlightened age,” (73). Burke in effect is criticizing human nature defense synthesized through moral law which is the object of the very tension underlying Elizabeth and Justine’s altercation about life and human dignity. Although a Godwinian lens convinces the contemporary reader of the collective duty to speak on violence, a Burkian approach to Shelley’s Gothic novel becomes an appropriate counter-culture mode of identifying the problems of feminine representation, images of violence, and historical context on the French regicides which complicate the secondary characters of Elizabeth and Justine’s convictions on truth and capital punishment.

🌀Bradley Dexter Christian