Understanding the Frankenstein Monster

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, James Whale Pages: 16 (3323 words) Published: July 6, 2012
The Frankenstein monster created by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is one of the most wondrous characters in literature. Furthermore, the psychology behind Victor Frankenstein and the monster that he had created has been an issue that has been debated by psychologists for several years. Moreover, it has been claimed that the Frankenstein monster gives the reader a glimpse into the consciousness of Victor himself. This being said, many individuals have tried to understand the reasons for the monsters actions and his change in disposition. Despite its vicious behavior and committing the act of murder, Doctor Victor Frankenstein’s creature is not characteristically evil or malicious but a creation of rejection and negligence and Shelley give numerous reasons to back this up.

The first factor to acknowledge is that the monster is the creation of Doctor Frankenstein. Furthermore, the literature that addresses the psychoanalysis of the characters in Frankenstein primarily focuses on the psychology of Victor. However, the monster does not stand alone as a character because he is an outward expression of the psychology of Victor. Furthermore, as the story progresses, the monster develops his own unique psychology causing him to react to the world around him. Hence, the ability to develop his own psychology gives the monster a more human characteristic. Despite not being born by ordinary means, the monster still has his own feelings and thoughts.

Until the readers are able get an understanding of the story from the monsters point of view, in the meantime, they only see what the effects of the monster’s actions have on Victor and those around him. However, when the monster is allowed to speak, the reader finds that he is an intelligent and sensitive creature. Also, his demeanor influences the reader to put themselves in his place, even if it is hard to imagine oneself as a hideous monster. Hence, the reader is able to feel compassion for the monster and a desire to understand why he committed murder. This important change occurs as the story progresses from the beginning to the end of the story. Furthermore, an important change takes place with Victor as well.

In the beginning of the story, Victor is consumed with the knowledge that he has found along with the passion he has for his project. However, Victor’s idea to create life is not exactly all in the name of science. The ability to control the secret to life itself gives Victor an incredible sense of power. Also, Victor’s desire to keep the monster a secret further demonstrates that he is worried about what others might think. For example, people may come to the conclusion that Victor has doubts about his own morality and that he may be carrying things a little too far. However, the feeling of power and exhilaration drive Victor to complete his project thus causing him to conceal his feelings of doubt. It is not until the monster kills for the first time, that Victor beings to feel the full weight of his actions. It is then when Victor’s world comes to a halt and he must take on the responsibility for what he has done. Now, lets take a look at the psychology of the monster.

When you think about it, the psychology of the Frankenstein monster is similar to that of a serial murderer, regardless of the skin that they wear. There are many common elements involved with the Frankenstein monster that can be found in the psychology of the most violent offenders in today’s society. To understand the Frankenstein monster, we can turn to text that examines the psychology of a violent criminal offender. There are few differences between the two types of monsters. One of these examples is maternal rejection.

Victor’s feelings towards the monster contribute to the remorse and loneliness that the monster feels. Sadly, the one who created him regrets having ever given life to the creature. As the creator, the Victor is much like the “mother” of the monster...
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