Tag Archive: incest

Bianca Lopez Munoz

The Oedipus Complex, a theory created by Frued, basically revolves around the idea that a biologically female child will grow up with a sort of envy towards their father because he has a penis and that a biologically male child will subconciously love his mother and want to have sex with her and try to relate to the father in an attempt to make the mother like them, but in later life, will instead seek a woman to replace his mother.

In the beginning of Frankenstein, we are introduced to Victor’s parents. They are both described as very kind people who gave him a nice childhood. He describes his mother Caroline as very beautiful and as, “a guardian angel to the afflicted”(41). After his mother dies, Victor tells us that he, “… need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreplacacle evil; the void that presents itself to the soul; and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance it is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she…can have departed forever––that the brightness of a beloved eye can be extinguished…” (49). The sudden death of his mother was obviously a huge deal to Victor. Right after her death, Victor moved away to start his studies at the university where he would eventually become obsessed with putting together a corpse and giving it life. It can be argued that Victor’s attatchment to his mother, her sudden death, and his desire to animate a corpse are all connected through Freud’s oedipus complex. In Freud’s The Uncanny, he talks about how children at some point wish for their dolls to become alive. This sort of infantile desire can be seen in Victor’s scientifuc endevour. Victor’s wild dream about his mother demonstrates his obsession with his dead mother, whom he loves and possibly wanted to be intimate with. His creation of the creature was his attempt to create someone to love as a replacement for his mother which could only be a corpse. Therefore, Victor has necrophlilic desires. When the creature first awoke, Victor describes its eye as “dull” and “yellow” and also states that the creatures body convulsed and that it breathed hard. The eyes of the creature did not have the ‘brightness’ of his mother’s eyes before she died. Nor was the creature as beautiful as he had hoped. This dissapointment felt is a result of the creature not living up to Victor’s expectations which were expectations of the creature being as lovely as his mother.jesse-pinkham-holding-skull

Samantha Shapiro

Victor’s “wildest dream” invokes a connotation of disgust and repression from a long-held desire to “infuse life into an inanimate body,” which is seen with the usage of a “double” and a sort of “return of the repressed.” This dream, where Victor embraces and kisses Elizabeth, his cousin/sister figure, only for her to turn into “the corpse of [his] dead mother,” highlights this Oedipal desire for a mother-like substitute, but in a markedly different manner—in his own awareness from his dreams, he brings to light something meant to stay unconscious and ends up rejecting and repressing it. This repression establishes the theme of Victor’s horrible treatment of his creation, as he uses it as a “double,” and his dread from “repression into morbid anxiety” establishes the uncanny within Frankenstein (The Uncanny 429).

The burial “shroud”

The readers are able to interpret Victor Frankenstein’s repression from his own view of his dreams. Frankenstein had dedicated two years to “the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body,” but after having finished, the “beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (Frankenstein 60). This begins to establish the obsessive nature Victor had originally created, and later goes to become connected to his mother to his dreams, through establishing a “double.” A double, in this instance, refers to an individual “doubling, dividing, and interchanging the self” through the substitution of the foreign, identical self with the individual’s own self (TU 425).

The wedding “shroud,” the “bloom of health” and the “miserable monster whom I had created”

 This double is established seemingly in both Elizabeth, “in the bloom of health,” and his mother’s corpse to attempting to make his desires come to fruition with the creation—in the process of his dream conflating the two with intimate touch, something desired in infants at a young age from their mothers, and lost to Victor with his mother’s death, he associates it with the creation. This is seen with his realization leading to “breathless horror and disgust fill[ing his] heart,” with the knowledge that his desire for his mother was the very “aspect of the being [he] had created” (F 60). The comparison and substitution of Elizabeth, his mother, and the creation highlight his disgust with himself in having this come to light, quite literally, with the “dim and yellow light of the moon” illuminating his repression with the creature staring him down, something that shouldn’t have been desired (F 60). This state begins to highlight his own mentality behind the creature, as he projects onto the creature an uncanniness due to his own repression—the monster’s develops into a return of the things that should remain repressed. 

On page 60 of “Frankenstein” Victor has a wild fantasy about his spouse, Elizabeth, transforming into his deceased mother. When you psychoanalyze Victor’s dream you can see how he tries to replace the death of his mother by marrying his cousin, Elizabeth, this is solidified by Shelley’s imagery of Elizabeth deteriorating into the image of his mother after a kiss. Freud’s beliefs are exercised since victor can fathom the idea of his wife becoming his mother just how men are conditioned to perceive the female genitalia as uncanny. Freud’s thoughts are also shown in the passage where Victor can’t seem to find an explanation for his wild dream. This is similar to how Freud believes that the definition of uncanny is its own definition and its opposite, it doesn’t make sense like how victor’s dream doesn’t make sense.

-Alexander Alfaro

Wildest Dreams

When looking into Victor’s dream, we can assume that the strange Oedipus desire for the mother/spouse is deeply related to Victor Frankenstein. We first have this dream where Victor sees himself with his deceased mother in a disturbing manner “as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death . . . I held the corpse of my dead mother” (p.60) in a which Sigmond Freud claimed most people repressed, such that he was sexually attracted to his mother. This is commonly known as the Oedipus Complex, named after the mythical Greek king who killed his father and married his mother. According to Freud, this was often repressed into the unconsciousness and out of awareness to the person due to extreme anxiety, which is something we get a glimpse of as he wakes, “I started from my sleep with horror..” (p.60). The issue with this is that it not only raises concerns of incestuous thoughts for Frankenstein and the Frankenstein household, but it also brings upon further issues pertaining to necrophilia, as his mother was deceased in his dreams. Victor’s own creation does not assist to this issue as it may even further highlight his issues pertaining to necrophilia in specific, or even further his Oedipus Complex. Then there’s the issue pertaining to Elizabeth. Though Elizabeth is not directly related to Victor, she was still raised beside him and raised in the manner that she was often called his sister, which also stirs up more incestuous issues concerning Victor and their household.

Victor’s desire illuminates how he wants something he cannot have. He wants his deceased mother and Elizabeth though both are gone to him as the novel progresses. He wants to recreate life in his own way though fails to do so with his creation. He wants things he cannot have, and for that, we see him ultimately deciding to reanimate life and therefore set himself on this path that he cannot go back on.


– Lou Flores

The Uncanny Desire

Freud is very known for his theory Oedipus Complex, the development that describes a child’s desire toward their mother or father and develops a sense of jealousy and anger toward the opposite sex. According to Freud it was normal for Victor to become sexually fond of his mother. In his “wildest dream”, the dream shifts from being about Elizabeth who not only is his sister but becomes his lover later in the story which is incest, shifts to being about his mother. “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,”(Shelley 60). Victor is an example of the theory Oedipus Complex. In the novel Mary Shelley is making it seem as if Victor is falling for Elizabeth when in reality he’s falling for his mother. freud

Victor compels himself to fall in love with Elizabeth not only because she’s a representation of his mother, but because in his mind he actually wanted to love her. Knowing she was the only other woman who loved him as much as his mother, Elizabeth was merely a substitute for Victor’s mother. Obsessing over his mother’s corpse may explain why he created the creature as it being part of her, and ending up abandoning the creature the same way his mother did to him when she died.

-Alexuz Bejarano

Young Sigmund Freud.jpg

Victor Frankenstein is an individual with uncanny desires. From the determination of creating “the perfect specimen”, to the extent of his sexual desires, undefinable to say the least. Sigmund Freud’s, The Uncanny, posits that the memories since childhood influences the adults’ artistic expression. It intertwines with the themes of the connection between early childhood development and ones’ artistic expression, the psychological mechanisms that are deployed to preserve one knowing too much, and the ramification of the psychic repressions. To connect this with Victor Frankenstein, we analyze promptly with Victor’s “wildest dreams” [60], within the novel.

Victor Frankenstein.JPG

As Victor’s love for Elizabeth is undeniable throughout the novel, we must come the realization that their love is one of an ‘Un-genetic Sexual Attraction’ (uGSA). A term that describes the phenomenon of sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings, first and second cousins or a parent and offspring, who first meet as adults. Although the relationship between Victor and Elizabeth in un-genetical, one must know that their interaction amongst one another is of between a brother and a sister. To further expand the incest between the Frankenstein family, his desire for sexual inter-relationship is masked with the marriage between Elizabeth and Victor. Although the wedding was cut short due to the expected actions of the monster; one must realize that the companionship between Elizabeth was solely to hide away similarity of desires Oedipus and Victor share; to have a sexual relationship with their mother.

– Stephen Muñoz

Rigo Garcia


Sigmund Freud’s theory was very weird and uncomfortable to say the very least. He believed that kids had penis envy etc… Also, Oedipus Complex, the “influencer” of this all was the “complex of emotions aroused in a young child, typically around the age of four, by an unconscious sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and a wish to exclude the parent of the same sex”. In the Uncanny, it pretty much states that when an individual imagines things during their state of unconsciousness , it is actually something they wish to eventually do.

In Frankenstein, Victor dreams and said: “… 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” . This quote or his dream can be interpreted as follows. Victor was kissing Elizabeth, his cousin, which was already incest. Which is already out of the ordinary, but it got worse when he mentioned his mother. “I held the corpse of my dead mother”. This made this whole dream even more worse and weird. According to Freud, what an Individual was thinking while unconscious, was something he actually wanted to do, so this made this whole thing even more different. Freud’s theory is easily correlated and connects to Victor’s dreams for that reason.

By: Sandra Tzoc

According to Freud’s dream theory, the images that play in the human mind during sleep depict repressed ideas or desires. In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Victor has an apparent incestuous dream that can possibly say more of him than his conscious does. Victor says: “… 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). However, it is important to note that Victor leaned in to kiss Elizabeth not his mother. It is also significant that he didn’t dream of kissing his live mother, he dreamt of kissing his mother’s corpse. Moreover, this can represent his great admiration towards death but more importantly his deep love towards his mother, so much that he brought a corpse back to life in order to see if he could bring his mother back to life. However, since he failed to make the “perfect” creation- this failure was symbolized as his dead mother in his dream.o-STEPHEN-MANGAN-570

To Victor, his mother was very important just like a mother figure is to any other human being. In addition, it is possible the loss of his mother prompted him to become a birth giver himself. Freud presented the idea of penis envy however, he didn’t quite include the opposite concept. In contrast to penis envy, womb envy describes a man who is jealous of a female because she has what it takes to give birth. The man doesn’t like feeling weak or inferior due to the fact that he doesn’t have the power to birth a kid therefore, creating womb envy. Furthermore, it is possible that Victor Frankenstein suffered of womb envy and decided to take matters into his own hands. Perhaps Victor could not physically push a baby out but he’s experimental capacity allowed him to produce his own baby- the creature. He wanted to know how it felt to give life therefore, he took different pieces of corpses and put them together to bring back the dead. In the end, Victor’s mother died when he was young and didn’t get to show him the way through life. Perhaps, this explains why Victor abandoned the creature, history was simply repeating itself.


By: Mary Russell

Freud is most well known for his psychoanalytic concepts of the ego, superego, and the id. He is also known for his theory of the Oedipus complex, in short the idea that men lust after their mothers and are jealous of their fathers (and vice versa for women). This desire is hidden away deep in the unconscious mind along with the desire to murder wantonly. Freud believed the unconscious sexual and violent desires would manifest in the conscious world in subtle ways. For example, a Freudian Slip is when someone makes a mistake that could reveal their innermost wants and needs. More often though these unconscious feelings were manifested in dreams. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein experiences a strange dream hinting at his Freudian desire for his mother, and perhaps the unhinged nature of the “mad scientist.”

Frankenstein’s dream comes to him the night he creates the creature. In it, he sees Elizabeth, “In the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt,” and kisses her (60). Suddenly she transforms into the corpse of his mother in the burial shroud with maggots crawling on her. Elizabeth transforms into his mother when Frankenstein, “Imprinted the first kiss on her lips…” (60). The object of his desire transforms into his mother during an intimate act. Elizabeth was merely his replacement for his mother but when all is stripped away, his desire remains to torment him in his dreams. The healthy Elizabeth is less desirable to Frankenstein than his dead mother.

According to Freud this is normal. The standard journey for the Oedipus complex, is when a boy is born he forms a connection with his mother. He then becomes jealous of his father for having a relationship with the mother. Eventually the boy realizes the desire is wrong so he forms a bond with the father and finds a sufficient replacement for his feelings of lust. Something though, must have went wrong with Frankenstein’s development. Elizabeth should have been a sufficient replacement for his mother, and yet his unconscious still tells him to desire her. Somewhere when he was growing up, something went wrong. Due to the fact that his mother is dead in his dream, her death probably messed up development into a functioning adult. She dies shortly before he is to leave for college. He delays his trip as he is, “New to sorrow… [he] was unwilling to quit the sight of those who remained…” (49). He had never experienced loss before, and so was unequipped to handle it especially when moving on to so massive a change in the first place.

He becomes obsessed with death after this. He ventures to recreate life for death, due to his deep desire to see his mother again. He was not given time to develop healthy feelings for Elizabeth before his mother died. Her being violently ripped away stunted his growth and made him obsessed with getting her back. This is why he creates the creature: as proof that he can do it before attempting it on his mother. According to Freud, when someone does not take the proper steps through the Oedipus complex, they are psychotic. This is why Frankenstein is alright with going through such drastic steps to resurrect the dead. He no longer is a “normal” person. He is instead, a mad man trying to bring back his mother so he does not need to replace her with another woman.