Personal Growth- Frankenstein

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Personal Growth
"To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything." This quote by Joan Didion explains Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs. The needs are laid out in five layers. The bottom layer is the physiological needs, then safety needs, the need for belonging, the need for esteem, and lastly as Joan Didion explains, self-actualization. Each level must be achieved before it can reach the next level. Maslow created this pyramid in 1954 after Mary Shelley wrote the novel, Frankenstein in 1818. Though Mary Shelley did not know of Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs, she illustrates that the creatures development is stopped because he can not reach the third layer, the need for belonging, which will then cause him not to arrive at the last layer, self-actualization.

In Mary Shelley's novel, Victor Frankenstein was interested in philosophy and wanted to "bestow animation upon lifeless matter" (65 ). He therefore created the creature which in Frankenstein's eyes, a monster. The creature later fled from the home and he moved into a village only to "lay down among some straw" (108) and to satisfy himself "with berries, nuts, and roots" (114). This illustrates how the creature voids the first two layers, physiological and safety. He does not have any concern about what he needs to eat nor where he sleeps. Those two layers are not essential to Frankenstein. What is important to him is the need to feel belonged. The creature does not feel he belongs with any human being. An example of why the creature is stops at the third layer, is that he felt was "Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other human being...I was wretched, helpless and alone. Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition" (132). He shows that he does not fit in any where in the world and he feels that he is lower then everyone. Additionally when the creature is living in the village he visits De...
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