Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Frankenstein

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Fundamental human needs Pages: 3 (1061 words) Published: November 4, 2008
In the novel, Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, Shelley describes a psychological progression of events which perfectly coincides with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. She correctly establishes each of the aspects that make up the hierarchy as well as the decline if one is unable to attain each subsequent level. This paper will not only compare the psychological growth of Frankenstein with the sequence of the hierarchy but also prove the distinct order that one must follow in order to grow in development.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a structural progression of psychological and physical needs. Maslow hypothesized that there were two distinct types of needs: deficiency needs and growth needs2. The deficiency needs, physiological, safety, love, and esteem, are four distinct needs that must be met in progression. The growth needs range from understanding others to helping and loving others2. Maslow claimed that without being able to meet all four deficiency needs, one would not be able to progress into the growth needs1.

In Frankenstein, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, creates a human being in a bizarre science experiment. He is frightened by creation and leaves the creature to fend for himself. This allows Marry Shelley to demonstrate the psychological development of the creature. Once the creature becomes aware of himself, the physiological needs of food and water become apparent. “I felt tormented by hunger and thirst. This roused me from my nearly dormant state, and I ate some berries which I found hanging on the trees or lying on the ground. I slaked my thirst at the brook; and then lying down, was overcome by sleep3 (105).” The creature’s first need felt in the world was hunger and thirst. This agrees with Maslow’s hierarchy. Before he worries about possible danger or about other people, the creature realizes that he must find something to sustain itself. With this need met the creature can focus on continuing the ladder....
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