Tag Archive: victor’s dream

Dreams Are A Window To The Soul

Tania De Lira-Miranda


While attending to Elizabeth, who had been infected by scarlet fever, Victor’s mother catches the diseases and dies in her bed, though not without Victor and Elizabeth by her side. “I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard to quit you all… I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfully to death and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world.” (49) Caroline tells the two before passing away peacefully. While Victor claims that the reason he wants to create a new human race because it would benefit humankind, the actual reasons seems to be pride; he wants to be the one who finds a way to cheat death. “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me… I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption.” (57) But looking at the dream Victor has in page 60, it seems that his mom, and possible his desires for her, is part of the reason why he actually wanted to reanimate a corpse.

In the beginning, Victor’s dream seems to start off with no weirdness in sight. Afterall all he sees is “Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt” (60) and it is after this that his dream begins to do a 180. He hugs dream Elizabeth and as he gives her a kiss on the lips, “[her lips] 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) It is when worms appear in his mother’s body that he suddenly awakens in a cold sweat. An obvious thing to point out about the dream is that while Victor is kissing Elizabeth, his mother suddenly appears in the latter’s place and seeing as Elizabeth is his love interest, it can be assumed that the reason for this switcheroo would be because subconsciously, Victor has romantic feelings for his mother and that this relates to Freud’s idea of return of the repressed, which Parker describes as “repressed drives [that] can pop back up in the form of neurotic symptoms, disguised representation of unconscious desire.” (120, second edition). His (repressed) desire for his mother came out while he was dreaming (unconscious). As it was partly due to his mother that Elizabeth became a part of the Frankenstein family, and later Victor’s fiancée,  there was no wonder why, in his dream, Elizabeth turned into his mother. Although, Victor continues to try to repress this desire as when he wakes up “with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed” (60). Instead of recognizing that he desires his mother, he tries to play it off as a bad dream instead of a sign that he has romantic feelings for her.

In the novel, it is in chapter 3 that Victor’s mother dies, chapter 4 is where he gets the idea to reanimate a corpse and it is in chapter 5 that he actually does so. It is said explicitly by Victor himself that the reason he wants to be able to bring the dead back to life is so that death can be cheated and it is implied that the reason he wants to cheat death is that he can bring his mother back to life and be with her once more.

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