Slides in this set
The Psychoanalytical approach
· Places Freud's theories onto a text's characters. (His theories are pretty much all obsessed with sex on one level or another)
· The monster is a creation of Frankenstein's self-centred nature, created because Frankenstein's sexual drive/ id could not be
balanced with his ego/ rational thought. Frankenstein: "so much has been done [...]
more, far more, will I achieve" (33).
· At the monsters' birth his idealistic views are destroyed, with this reality - "the beauty of the dream vanished" (42). These
"dreams that had been [his] food and pleasant rest for so long a space were now become a hell"(43).
· The monster finds himself in need - and in want - of a partner. It seems that Frankenstein had no plans to create both male
and females, and the request for a female companion comes as a shock. It seems, Frankenstein lives within a realm of
sexual ignorance with no knowledge of it.
· Not only does Frankenstein deny the rights of sex to his creature but he also avoids this area in his own life.
· Frankenstein removes the maternal role in family life.
· In Frankenstein one must become a member of the family before being considered for sexual partnership. Frankenstein's
own mother was taken in by Mr. Frankenstein, and became a daughter-figure before marrying Alphonse. According to
Frankenstein, his father had been "like a protecting spirit to [Caroline], who committed herself to his care" (18).
· These Oedipal (murder father and sleep with mother) undertones again manifest themselves within the brother/sister
relationship between Elizabeth and Victor. Shelley appears to support incest.…read more
William Veeder on men "Frankenstein: Self-Division and Projection"
· A psychoanalytical approach
· Is all about name symbolism enforcing male
· Victor tries to eliminate the female as he
attempts to win fame as the founder of a new
line of super humans
· Reasserting his ego by challenging the laws of
"Robert" means "bright in fame"
· The Russian cities for his polar expedition have
· i.e. "The very motion of his journey is away from
the female and toward the male, away from
Margaret and on to Peter (Petersburg) and
Michael (Archangel), away from sa ville and on to
the ultimately phallic pole"
· " Walton" as "walled-town" suggests the isolation
inevitable to Prometheans like him or Professor
"Waldman." (Victor's favourite teacher)
· Argues the novel has a theme of female weakness
· This may represent Mary Shelley's own insecurities as
an author, as well as her regression to the Promethean
mentality she rejects in her criticism.
· Her female characters' weaknesses are "symptomatic
of the inadequacies of true womanhood" (Norton)
· But these women may be fragments of Shelley's
solipsistic defensiveness. (Whether or not the author
deliberately constructs these characters as
embodiments of her own intuited passivity)
Otto Kernburg "Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism"
· A psychoanalytical approach.
· People with narcissistic personalities are normally self-
absorbed, with a superficially smooth and effective social
· But they have serious distortions in their internal
relationships with other people.
· They show combinations of intense ambitiousness and
fantasies, and are over dependent on external admiration and
· Feelings of boredom and emptiness, continuously searching
for gratification, wealth, power and beauty.
· There are serious deficiencies in their capacity to love and to
be concerned about others.