Psychoanalysis of Frankenstein

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 484
  • Published: May 9, 2005
Read full document
Text Preview
Essay 2

Psychoanalysis is the method of psychological therapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts ("Psychoanalysis"). This transfers to analyzing writing in order to obtain a meaning behind the text. There are two types of people who read stories and articles. The first type attempts to understand the plot or topic while the second type reads to understand the meaning behind the text. Baldick is the second type who analyzes everything. Since his article, "Allure, Authority and Psychoanalysis" discusses the meaning behind everything that happens in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" we can also examine "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" in the same manner. "Allure, Authority, and Psychoanalysis" discusses the unconscious wishes, effects, conflicts, anxieties, and fantasies within "Frankenstein." The absence of strong female characters in "Frankenstein" suggests the idea of Victor's desire to create life without the female. This desire possibly stems from Victor's attempt to compensate for the lack of a penis or, similarly, from the fear of female sexuality. Victor's strong desire for maternal love is transferred to Elizabeth, the orphan taken into the Frankenstein family. This idea is then reincarnated in the form of a monster which leads to the conclusion that Mary Shelley felt like an abandoned child who is reflected in the rage of the monster. After reading the article by Baldick, I immediately thought of Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." I was forced to read the story again having an open mind and the idea that everything has an alternative meaning. After doing so, I realized that it contains the same concept of abandonment and anger. In order to keep everything in Omelas prime and perfect one person has to be sacrificed. One child is kept in a broom closet in exchange for the splendor and happiness of Omelas. The people of Omelas know what is in the broom closet and, "they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children…depend wholly on this child's abominable misery" (Le Guin 216). Possibly Le Guin was an abandoned child who's family was happy to see her in misery. This could lead to the fear of being abandoned. The people of Omelas are so afraid of being abandoned that they don't even realize that they themselves are abandoning this child. This brings a new characteristic of selfishness into play. The whole city understands what is going on, and feels bad for the child that is in agony, but they do not want to lose their joys in life to help one little child. The people of Omelas cannot justify throwing away the happiness of thousands for the happiness of one. Furthermore, it is only a chance at the happiness for that one person. This child "is too degraded and imbecile to know any real joy. It has been afraid too long ever to be free of fear. Its habits are too uncouth for it to respond to humane treatment" (Le Guin 217). This is similar to a dog who endured horrible treatment from an owner. Once the dog experiences humane treatment from another owner, every slight move reminds it of a previous experience and fear remains constant. It is also possible that the people of Omelas have to keep the child in a small dark place. People often repress or exclude painful or disturbing memories automatically or unconsciously from the conscious mind. If something bothers you, do something to keep your mind off the topic. Keeping this child in the broom closet could be a way to repress certain memories. I always hear about people saying that they want to get out of town to relax. This really means that they want to run away from their problems thinking that problems don't exist elsewhere. Problems exist everywhere and you cannot escape them. The idea...
tracking img