Psychoanalysis of Victor Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates a beast that murders numerous individuals, and then runs away through Europe to the Arctic Circle. In the start of the story, it seems that Frankenstein is simply a scientist chasing a pipeline dream of discovering the secret to immortality, however more detailed analysis of the text exposes that Frankenstein is not sane, and potentially struggling with one of many psychology disorders, triggering hallucinations and psychosis, it is my contention, that Victor Frankenstein is his beast.
Sanity is defined as the quality or state of being sane or the strength or health of mind by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Victor Frankenstein shows numerous apparent indications of being “not sane” by our standards, amongst them are the storage of corpses inside of his apartment or condo and exhuming the dead for parts to build his monster. The first little evidence we need to reveal that Victor Frankenstein is not sane is the reality that nobody in the book notices that he is creating a beast till after he produces it.
No one discovered him digging up dead bodies and keeping them in his apartment. “Darkness had no impact upon my fancy; and a churchyard was to me simply the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had actually become food for the worm. Now I was caused analyze the cause and development of this decay, and required to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the special of the human sensations.
I saw how the fine type of male was deteriorated and wasted;” (Shelley, p30) The science of anatomy wasn’t precisely on the leading edge throughout the Victorian era, and while the scientist that were studying anatomy frequently depend on grave-robbing, it was at terrific threat to the grave-robber. “Since fresh corpses were much searched for but unusual, they correspondingly brought in an exceptional cost. 7 to ten pounds per corpse was the going rate in the 1830s. Nevertheless, decomposing corpses, if they were not too far advanced in putrefaction, might also be used and offered an useful earnings for the severe robbers or so-called ‘Resurrectionists’.
Tomb robbing was a fairly simple way to generate income, and the perpetrators, if found, were even more likely to suffer retribution at the hands of an outraged public than they were to feel the rage of the judiciary. Exhumation was not technically a crime of theft and although serious burglars were sometimes penalized through the courts the legal basis for such is uncertain. Until the law changed in 1820 legal repercussions could only emerge from severe robbing if any of the victim’s possessions were taken from the tomb in addition to the remains. (Magellan, Par 19) If people had actually seen Frankenstein’s behavior, he would have probably been the victim of an upset mob attacking his home with torches and pitchforks. This lack of reaction from the townspeople leads us to think that either Frankenstein’s actions are not being noticed, or that Frankenstein’s actions aren’t actions, however hallucinations inside of his own damaged mind. Reasons For Victor Frankenstein’s madness has various causes, amongst them are the extended social isolation Frankenstein subjected himself to, and since his mind snapped in between his desires and reality.
Preferring something that you know is impossible is never a good thing for your physical or psychological health. With Frankenstein, he initially had a desire to transmute worthless metals into important gold. When he understood this was not physically possible, he chose to study biology and anatomy, and encountered a new desire to re-animate the dead and work to make male live permanently. All science we have says that this is not possible, and I believe that Frankenstein knew that, but was still rejecting that reality, then his mind snapped in two. Dissociative Identity Condition (DID), more frequently called split-personality or split personality disorder.
Individuals diagnosed with DID show a wide array of other signs including headaches, body discomforts, distortion of time, depersonalization, depression, schizophrenia, and stress and anxiety disorders. (Wikipedia, Dissociative Identity Disorder) Frankenstein’s failure to physically catch the animal, however to have discussions and arguments with it, are underlying signs that Victor Frankenstein is the beast. Social Isolation can likewise have exceptionally destructive impacts on mental health. When a person is isolates themselves from the remainder of the world for an extended period of time, like Victor Frankenstein did to omplete his work, there are a number of various psychological results ranging from anxiety to vibrant hallucinations, “Psychological problems reported included anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, withdrawal, regression, and hallucinations. “(Kellerman, Rigler, & & Seigel par 1). Extremely extreme cases of social seclusion can be seen in “feral kids”. These children, who are separated from contact and interaction with human beings, whether by abandonment or overlook, have no linguistic ability, have many mental problems in our society once they are found, and in general appear to behave as wild animals. Feral Children). It is possible that due to the isolation, Frankenstein’s alter-ego, the beast, does not have complicated interaction ability that the majority of people have, and needs to relearn how to communicate with individuals by reading. There is likewise an opportunity that Victor Frankenstein might also have schizophrenia, either as a sign of DID, or as its own mental illness. “Schizophrenia is a group of serious brain disorders in which truth is analyzed abnormally. Schizophrenia leads to hallucinations, deceptions, and disordered thinking and behavior.
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Individuals with schizophrenia withdraw from the people and activities in the world around them, pulling back into an inner world marked by psychosis.” (MayoClinic, par 1)It is incredibly likely that Victor Frankenstein is suffering from schizophrenia. Signs of schizophrenia are “hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre deceptions, or chaotic speech and thinking with considerable social or occupational dysfunction.” (Wikipedia, Schizophrenia) And using this to Frankenstein it starts to make sense that all of his work is within his own mind.
His conflict with the monster, chasing it to the Arctic Circle, but never ever capturing it, all of these things point in the direction of either split-personality condition or schizophrenia. Another issue is the different murders by the monster throughout the story. The method the text is written is attempting to make Frankenstein look like the hero, especially after Elizabeth dies and Frankenstein chases the monster throughout Europe and Russia and lastly to the polar circle. Nevertheless, if you think about that Frankenstein is schizophrenic, then you see that he killed those individuals, but “Victor Frankenstein” thinks that it is “monster”, when in truth, he is the beast. Utilizing these mental conditions as a guide to detecting Victor Frankenstein, it ends up being more and more obvious that he has Dissociative Identity Disorder. He is his beast however has no understanding of it. He killed those individuals, then chased himself throughout Europe, Russia, and finally to the Arctic Circle, where it would seem he gains back control of his fractured mind. WORKS CITED”Dissociative Identity Disorder”. Wikipedia. 3 April 2009. 23 March 2009. Kellerman, J., Rigler D., Siegel SE. The Mental Results of Seclusion in Protected Environments.” American Journal of Psychiatry 134:563 -565 (1977 )Magellan, Karyo. “The Victorian Medico-Legal Autopsy”. 6 April 2009. 23 March 2009. “peace of mind.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 23 March 2009http:// www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/sanity”Schizophrenia”. Wikipedia. 3 April 2009. 23 March 2009. Mayo Clinic Staff “Schizophrenia”. MayoClinic. 31 January 2008. 23 March 2009. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York City: W. W. Norton, 1996. Ward, Andrew R. “Feral Children”. 6 April 2009. 23 March 2009.