Tag Archive: mother’s death


Sabrina Vazquez

Wanting for More

             Victor Frankenstein’s relationship with his mother specifically, is one that is complex to say the least. In his dream he demonstrates that he has seriously lacked a maternal figure in his life. Since Frankenstein has grown up without his mother, it could be understood that him creating the creature would be to somehow replace her. Frankenstein’s mother is a familiar being someone he was born from, yet unfamiliar because she died early on in his life. His desire to be close to his mother, and not being able too could lead to the sexual aspect of his dream. Frankenstein’s strange Oedipal desire in his dream is the result of his wanting for a mother; who is unattainable because she of course has been dead for some time. In his dream he said to have thought to have seen Elizabeth, and then embraced her, ’thought’ being the key word (Shelley 60). Frankenstein embracing her although he only thought to have seen her, shows his need to be close to a woman and his want for nurturing. It could then be said that his love and want for Elizabeth was just a filler for his dead-mother. Victor Frankenstein’s actions (from creating the monster, to marrying Elizabeth) demonstrate the lengths he was willing to go to fulfill his desire for his mother’s features; but was unable to obtain which ended in his death.

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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

Rilee Hoch

The connection between Victor’s “wildest dream” and his uncanny, unconscious are both strong and highly disturbing. Victor, like most human beings, starts out in a state of polymorphous perversity. He feels deep attraction to his mother and is jealous and hateful towards his father, yet whilst he is still developing his mother dies. Because of her death Frankenstein develops his own unique Oedipus complex but in a way Freud could have ever predicted, he becomes a necrophiliac. He still has the desire to be nurtured and to have sexual intercourse with his mother, but because she has died it transforms into a lust for her dead corpse. Like most Oedipus males he tries to find a replacement for his mother with a woman who looks just like her, that replacement is Elizabeth. Yet, as we seen his dream (60) as he goes to embrace her she turns from alive into the corpse of his mother so he wakes up with a start, and for good reason. His superego is attempting to save him from the revelation of his deep desire from his unconscious, because that desire must remain repressed in order for him to avoid loosing his mind. These wishes are only allowed out, as Freud has theorized, in dreams. The creature here then represents his true desire the uncanny, and his attempt to fulfill his sexual need with Elizabeth proves to be a failure and does not satisfy. She fails mainly because she is a living person and he is conscious of her, for example when he willingly goes to kiss her.

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Frankenstein set out to make a beautiful corpse which might have given him the sexual satisfaction he so needed, but when it comes to life it turns into a monster in his eyes. This reversion is because the final living and conscious creature is not what he wants in his unconscious. It cannot be beautiful if it is alive because his idea of beauty comes from his dead mother. Frankenstein cannot face his desire which is why when he wakes up and see his creation there he runs away, he cant handle his own ego, if it is reveled to him like it is through the monster he will loose his sanity. We see his mental degeneration throughout the novel, every time he sees the creature and his repressed thoughts are resurfaced, he slips further into insanity. He gets upset because it is a reminder of his most deep and twisted lust and his conscious self is unable to handle that truth. Latter in the novel Frankenstein is still holding onto to the useless hope that Elizabeth can make him feel complete so he marries her, but the creature reminds him that on his wedding day he will be there (146). He cannot comprehend what that means in his conscious mind. When the creature comes and murders her however, he looses his mind. The Creature’s murder of Elizabeth symbolizes his desire for a dead woman and his attraction is revealed when he expresses deep love for her only after she’s dead. This same thing occurs when his best friend Henry Clerval dies. These deaths send Frankenstein into fits of insanity because he cannot express his emotion and his strange unconscious tries between love and death that have been a part of him since his childhood.

By: Katherine Hernandez

Sigmund Freud imposed the idea that as humans of two genders we are biologically inclined to desire our parents of the opposite sex this is otherwise known as the Oedipal desire. That is to say that as a male you would desire your mother and then perhaps settle for a wife that imitates your mother’s mannerisms and possibly even looks like her; the same goes for females. Thus, in Frankenstein when we stumble across Victor’s vivid dream which was composed of his lover, Elizabeth decomposing into the corpse of his mother once he kisses her, Sigmund Freud’s ideology of dreams begs to question Victor’s truest desires and his manifestations of these desires. Victor’s startling dream sheds light to the fact that perhaps Victor truly wanted to live his life loving of his mother. Freud suggests Victor’s primal desire was to be romantically involved with his mother, as his unconscious self-suggests. As we know, however, he was never able to fulfill this desire thus fueling his need for filling this gap in his life. This is how his creation was born. Victor sought the deep longing of his heart unconsciously when he brought his ideal form of beauty back to life. Perhaps Victor viewed his creation as a prototype if he was able to fully bring this creation to life with no repercussions, then he would also be able to bring back his beloved mother and fulfill his of the Oedipal desires. This explains Victor’s interest with scholarly subjects and even the themes of life and death the book suggests. Victor was fueled his whole life to somehow end up with his mother; whether it be by marrying a woman who assembled her as close as possible or by bringing her back from the dead. When unable to reach either faced his ultimate demise.

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Victor’s Abnormality

Arlyne Gonzalez

In Mary Shelly’s novel, Frankenstein, Victor encompasses melancholy notions, and those notions are what motivated him to generate the idea to invent a creature. Victor was fascinated with life and death because it was what mostly evolved around him. Victor brought to life a creature that brought death to Victor’s loved ones. Even after his loved ones were dead and were not physically present in Victor’s life, they somehow found a way to be present in Victor’s dreams. For instance, Victor’s mother. Victor described that in his dream he was kissing Elizabeth and as he was touching her, her appearance began to transform and resemble Victor’s mother’s image (Shelly, 60). This demonstrates how Victor’s obsession with death is tailing him, like a shadow in his unconscious state. In this case, his disturbing sexual dream with his mother. Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalytic described the Oedipus complex where Oedipus killed his father to marry his mother. He correlated this event to his proposed notion of how “boys [feel] an attraction to their mother” (Parker, 119). Freud is highlighting the notion that boys have an arousing sexual attraction to their mother and would eliminate their father because they may see them as an obstacle to capture their mother’s affection. Freud carried the perception that male boys unconsciously held repressed sexual desires toward their mother and those desires are what, according to Freud, formed mother-son relationships. Freud’s notion on mother-son relationships is indeed disturbing and challenges nature itself, crumbling the orthodox of morality.

Throughout the novel, Victor compelled himself to believe that he truly loved Elizabeth, a young woman who was considered to be Victor’s sister. In truth, he was in love with what Elizabeth represented as a woman. Elizabeth was an undisguised substitution for Victor’s mother and he was memorized with beauty and perfection, which were features that Elizabeth physically encompassed. Elizabeth represented prosperity in Victor’s eyes because she was the only woman in Victor’s life other than his late mother that truly loved him. Victor oddly enough was attracted to women who resembled his mother, physically and personage wise. Victor was neurotic and encompassed an uncanny personality that drove him to challenge nature not once but twice. First, with playing with a “God-like science” when he engineered the creature from animate objects. Second, when he went against nature and with morality when he was unconsciously having a sexual dream with his birth giver; his own mother. What was missing from this passage in the novel, was the mention of Victor’s father. It is understandable to believe the theory that a man’s first love is his mother, but that love is a bond with limits and boundaries. Victor did love his father, but he did not share the same love he had for his mother toward his father. In this case, it is not looked down upon, given Victor’s unpleasant dream. The novel demonstrates what happens between a mother and child relationships. For instance, when Victor lost his mother due to illness and the way he was coping was not in a normal manner, but in a gothic and sexual manner. Meaning, he created another creature, utilizing science, not the natural way of forming a human. Also, instead of expressing despair, he has a sexual dream with his mother. Another example was when Victor was playing the role of mother by inventing the creature and Victor abandoning the creature before even humanizing it. The Frankenstein family symbolized tragedy and the failure of normal family relations.victors-dream2