Psychoanalytic Criticism of Relationship Between Victor Frankenstein and His Creature

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In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and the creature he has given life to can be explained by applying psychoanalytic criticism. This explanation will look specifically at Victor’s Oedipal complex, the developmental issues of the creature, and the id/ego/superego dynamics between Victor and the creature. The roots of Victor’s Oedipal complex can be traced back to his creation. Alphonse Frankenstein married his best friends’ daughter, a young woman who could be considered his daughter figure. This idea of intimacy within the family is one in which Victor is accustomed to. Victor’s mother chose to save Elizabeth from poverty. She also “chose” Elizabeth for Victor, “‘I have a pretty present…show more content…
Although this creature physically appears to be an adult, his life is still in its infancy. Due to his severe lack of social and emotional development, the creature has not been able to move through stages of development. He is fixated on the oral stage which is characterized by his dependency on others that has never been fulfilled. From being rejected by his creator, the one person he should be able to depend on, to being rejected by the De Lacey family whom he only wanted to help, he has understandably lost faith in other people. The creature is stuck in this infant state because everyone he has attempted to depend on has rejected him, leaving him with a feeling of mistrust towards others and preventing him from maturing developmentally. Frankenstein’s monster also figuratively represents the id. Frozen in an infant-like state, the monster is entirely driven by his desires and does not consider the consequences associated with the mistreatment of life and death. He constantly seeks pleasure and finds solace in inflicted pain on Victor and his loved ones. Victor is the superego. He is constantly at war with the id, trying to cease all of the pleasure the id, or monster, is feeling. This battle between id and superego must rage until an ego of sorts can mediate and create compromise. This compromise is essentially the death of Victor and the eminent regret the creature feels for his wrong-doing. Although it seems there has

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