Tag Archive: love


Was Frankenstein transgender?

Jessica Rae Fisher explores the transgender community and establishes a few connections within Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. Her connections are very important to the audience given that the creation’s gender was never fully established throughout the novel. Though in some parts of the novel he may appear “masculine” which would explain why the pronoun he and him are used to refer to him in the novel, there is no other evidence shown to us that proves he is in fact a male. For this reason, we are able to identify more connections between the creation and transgender people than our first glance at this book after reading Jessica’s essay.  In the novel, Victor is constantly isolated from his loved ones and has to live with the absence of his mother. However, it seems to be that his need of fulfilling his maternal needs leads him to an obsession and reality check at the same time. For instance in the novel, Victor unconsciously has an unpleasant sexual dream with his mother. His dream begins of seeing Elizabeth’s beautiful face and somehow Elizabeth’s face rearranged to look like Caroline, Victor’s mother. Victor’s sexuality can be triggered by this fact given that he was obsessive over beauty and looks, specifically womens. Victor did not love elizabeth as a sister, rather he was in love with her beauty and appearance. In the same way, Victor was also triggered by the fact that as a male he was not able to reproduce and birth life. This indifference lead him to scientifically give life and create his creature through exhausting research and experiments. “Victor demolished his creation of a female creature to give to the male creature because he truly believed that if he were to do so the creatures would crave to have “children, and a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth” (Shelley 144). This quote proves Victor is envious of the fact that women can conceive children and he cannot. Victor’s obsession to conceive a child hints at his wish to become a woman. There are many examples that may or may not lead to the creation’s true gender beliefs, but as readers we may never be sure because we are not given much evidence as to what he might or not be.

 

By Dalia Ulloa

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An Affection

 

 

Image result for Oedipus Complex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Martinez

On page 60 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is an insight into Victor Frankenstein’s imagination. After creating the creature that unsatisfied him he decides to go to sleep. In his dream, he starts to imagine kissing Elizabeth, but he then starts to imagine his dead mother’s facial features on Elizabeth. It is as if he desires his mothers love. Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalyst, finds an explanation for this; he calls it Oedipus Complex. This states that when a boy child is born they have their mother’s love conquered, however, when as time goes by they seem to keep wanting their mothers to love. The grown-up child then starts to have the feeling of eliminating whatever is splitting the mothers love away – the father.

Although the thought of having affection for a mother isn’t as weird as it seems, the way Freud describes it isn’t something we hear about often. When Victor Frankenstein says, “I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death,” (pg. 60) there is clearly a personal imagination Victor has in his head that is affecting his real life. It is as Victor is somewhat trying to replace the love with his mother with one other close one; in this case being Elizabeth. Additionally, there is a connection between Victor and the monster itself. There is a presence of paradox in this section of the book. Throughout the beginning of the story Victor sees the creation of the monster as an accomplishment, yet it is actually his affection for his dead mother. I can also see how this relates to most students at UC Merced. Especially now that everyone is in college, I see how people miss their mother’s presence and love. The point is this: can this be connected back to the Oedipus Complex?

 

Equality for All

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Christopher Martinez

As citizens in a society, we tend to have the divisions in gender and class. There are laws in the nation, but sometimes the ones with power can find the loopholes to innocence (just like in the French Revolution). In Mary Wollstonecraft’s writing, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, she strongly makes a stance for gender and class equality. She makes several points about her views such as in the quote, “To say the truth, I not only tremble for the souls of women, but for the good-natured man, whom everyone loves” (48). She wants to create the idea where there is no advantage in society. In other words, she stands with the common citizen during the French Revolution.

Frankenstein shows the injustice of class and gender within Mary Shelley’s time. When Justine gets convicted of the murder of William we see the injustice that is happening. It is as if Justine is representing the continuation and sacrifice of the French Revolution by the common man in the quote, “Farewell, sweet lady, dearest Elizabeth, my beloved and only friend; may Heaven, in its bounty, bless and preserve you; may this be the last misfortune that you will ever suffer! Live, and be happy, and make others so” (84). The way Justine sounds when she says goodbye is as if she is making a sacrifice for the happiness of her family. In addition, there is a motif of courageousness in a woman in this part of the story. Justine isn’t afraid of her death. Mary Shelley is showing the strength in Justine. Likewise, Mary Wollstonecraft expresses the strength of a woman in her writing. She states, “If beautiful weakness be interwoven in a women’s frame, if the chief business of her life be (as you insinuate) to inspire love, and Nature has made an eternal distinction between the qualities that signify a rational being and this animal perfection, her duty and happiness in this life must clash with any preparation for a more exalted state” (48). Mary Wollstonecraft dedicates this part in her writing to state that a woman is equal to everyone; in this way, there can be a prosperous state. The idea of a woman standing up and not being afraid of anything is pretty clear. Finally, Mary Wollstonecraft dismisses the idea of the common nature of woman. She says words like, “little, smooth, delicate,” (47) aren’t the respectful words for a woman for she is powerful! Connecting this to times like today, it is as if there is no change in how we see a man, woman, and class. The Revolution for change hasn’t ended!

Frankfrankenstein-2

Before being introduced to Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” I had, what seems to be very common, misconceptions of the story about the creature. The first and most commonly incorrect held belief has to do with the name mishap that exists about “Frankenstein” itself. Growing up, and up until very recently, I believed that the creature himself was named Frankenstein when in reality, that is not the case. The reality is that the scientist who conjured up the being and brought him to life is named Victor Frankenstein and the creature himself has no given name. I held this idea for a very long time and was only corrected due to the reading of the novel and it came as a big surprise when I learned the truth. I realized that if something so simple and such a small detail could have been greatly altered and lead to such a long-time held misconception, then there was bound to be many other myths I was exposed to about the creature and the story of “Frankenstein”.

Aside from simply misnaming him all of these years, there were greater misconceptions that I held regarding his characteristics. As a child, I was exposed to the representation of the creature that mainstream media portrayed and created. I watched films and cartoons that mislead me to view Victor Frankenstein’s creation in a completely opposite manner than how Mary Shelley had written him to be. Before engaging with the novel, I held the belief that because the creature was created through science and in a laboratory – through the use of electricity – that he was a soulless being with the inability to care for others or have a necessity for love. However, in the novel we learn that Frankenstein’s creation longs to feel accepted, loved, and grows to feel isolated and alone in the world. For someone who always believed that such a creature was incapable of having any feelings, I grew to sympathize with the creature through the novel when I learned that he grows to long for a companion in the world so he would not have to face it alone – a very human being characteristic that I never expected him to posses. Rather than the soulless creature every platform of the media portrayed him as, it was interesting, and rather nice, to find out that in reality Dr. Frankenstein’s creation was capable of feeling and that the audience was capable of sympathizing with the monster.

In addition, I think the greatest long-held misconception I had about the monster was regarding the idea that he was an uneducated and unintelligent creature. However, through Mary Shelley’s novel I learned that he educates himself and soon enough, has vocabulary and knowledge as advanced and eloquent as his genius creator. In all of my years before reading the novel, I always had a misbelief of the creature being unintelligent and incredibly dense. The cartoons I watched always portrayed him as something that was unable to conjure an intelligent thought or even form a coherent sentence and I actually found it somewhat refreshing to find out that was not the case. When I read the novel and discovered that the creature was rather intelligent and had a very sophisticated way of speaking and thinking, it shifted my perspective and point of view that I held about this creature for such a long time before the reading of the novel. This, along with the other debunked myths, made me realize that Mary Shelley designed this creature to have more human qualities than one would imagine. What Shelley’s novel taught me is that the creature is extremely man-like and holds just as much knowledge and potential as an ordinary human being and therefore, is just as dangerous as mankind.

-Beverly Miranda

Christopher Martinez

 

 

Before I start this blog I want whoever is reading this to go to Thesaurus.com and find synonyms for the word monster. One of the synonyms is Frankenstein, however he is clearly not a monster in Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein. Whenever I think of Frankenstein all I imagine is a monster that kills and has no soul. I fell for the typical classification of Frankenstein being shown as malevolent. Likewise, the video for my blog is to show others the cliché that the monster is an ugly and a destructive monster.

Throughout the book, Mary Shelley describes the monster as a person who is innocent and is wanting to love someone. From the beginning of chapter eleven, the monster tells Victor Frankenstein his story up to that point. We learn from the monsters stories that he is an intellectual person who seeks knowledge about everything. The monster reads the books that Victor had in his jacket. These romantic books gave the monster a view of the world he lived in. He knew a lot what humans desired in life. The monster also looked for attention, but everyone seemed to be anxious and afraid to have his presence. Since no one wanted his companionship he accepted himself as an outcast.

I can conclude that at this point I am starting to feel as if Frankenstein is every student right now. Every student is curious to try learning new things and use them in the real world, while also seeking attention and friendships. I realized at this point that the real monster this whole time was the fantasy I had learned about the misunderstood monster.

 

By- Marycarmen Nieto

I never really read the story about Frankenstein until reading Mary Shelley’s novel. It was shocking to find out that the creature wasn’t actually called Frankenstein but it was his creator’s name, Victor Frankenstein. The myths I would hear about Frankenstein (creature) was that he was an ugly scary monster and was evil. In reality, Frankenstein just wanted to love humans and be their friends to protect them and be with them. But the humans were not friendly to him because they had never seen anyone like him before and labeled him as a monster. In this novel, I learned how Frankenstein actually had a heart and emotions just like a human. When he told his side of the story it made me really sympathized with him. This novel challenged my stereotypes of the myth because it showed me that he had real feelings. He was no different from a human.

All Frankenstein really wanted was to love and be loved. We can’t really blame him for wanting that because we all want to feel a little love. I agree with Daniel, that the real creature is Victor. Victor let him suffer all by himself and was ashamed of his creation since the moment he was brought to life. The stereotypes about Frankenstein do not represent his true character, he was much more than a monster. He was a human stuck in the wrong body. The picture I chose represents how Frankenstein is supposed to be mean and evil-looking but in reality, he is as soft as the material this toy is made out of.

  

 

A close reading of the passage where Frankenstein’s creature first sees his reflection in the pool reveals that this experience represents the uncanny and Freud’s theory of the double. The creature desperately wants the cottagers to overlook his physical deformity and accept him, however it goes far beyond just that. The creature states that he “should first win their favour, and afterwards their love,” demonstrating that it isn’t just acceptance or assimilation that he desires, but rather love as well (Shelley 105). This is further emphasized when the creature mentions that he yearns for their “protection and kindness,” presenting the possibility of the cottagers serving as a mother figure (Shelley 118).

The creature was aware of his deformity prior to seeing his reflection, but he was suppressing the reality of the harshness of his physical appearance. He was practicing denial as a defense, or the “unconscious repression and refusal to recognize something,” (Parker 130). However, when he does look at his reflection the subconscious reality comes to life in the form of his double. He also becomes aware of the reality that he might never be able to compensate for his physical appearance, and therefore never find love or any sort of sexual pleasure. Evidence that part of what the creature is seeking is sexual pleasure comes from his desire that the cottagers “sweet looks be directed towards (him) with affection,” because of Freud’s belief that the “look” or “gaze is highly erotic (Shelley 118).

The creature goes on to detail that sometimes he allowed his thoughts “unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with (his) feelings, cheering (his) gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation,” indicating that it is only when he discontinues his repression that these feelings come out (Shelley 118). This passage also tells us that it is a female creature he is speaking of, because he continues to say that “no Eve soothed (his) sorrows,” alluding to the female biblical figure of Eve. After discovering the reality of his physical appearance through the vision of his double, the creature realizes that he will never find love and this realization can be described as uncanny. His desires do not match up with his reality, which causes immense frustration and disorder. This disorder is the cause of the uncanny.