Psychoanalysis of Victor Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Topics: Schizophrenia, Mental disorder, Dissociative identity disorder Pages: 4 (1232 words) Published: April 19, 2009
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster that murders several people, and then flees through Europe to the Arctic Circle. In the beginning of the story, it seems that Frankenstein is simply a scientist chasing a pipe dream of finding the key to eternal life, but closer analysis of the text reveals that Frankenstein is not sane, and possibly suffering from one of many psychology disorders, causing hallucinations and psychosis, it is my contention, that Victor Frankenstein is his monster.

Sanity is defined as the quality or state of being sane or the soundness or health of mind by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Victor Frankenstein shows several obvious signs of being "not sane" by our standards, among them are the storage of corpses inside of his apartment and exhuming the dead for parts to build his monster.

The first bit of evidence we have to show that Victor Frankenstein is not sane is the fact that no one in the book notices that he is creating a monster until after he creates it. No one noticed him digging up dead bodies and keeping them in his apartment. "Darkness had no effect upon my fancy; and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay, and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted;" (Shelley, p30) The science of anatomy wasn't exactly on the forefront during the Victorian era, and while the scientist that were studying anatomy frequently relied on grave-robbing, it was at great risk to the grave-robber. "Because fresh corpses were much sought after but rare, they correspondingly attracted a premium price. Seven to ten pounds per corpse was the going rate in the 1830s....

Cited: Dissociative Identity Disorder". Wikipedia. 3 April 2009. 23 March 2009 .
Kellerman, J., Rigler D., Siegel SE. "The Psychological Effects of Isolation in Protected Environments." American Journal of Psychiatry 134:563-565 (1977)Magellan, Karyo. "The Victorian Medico-Legal Autopsy". 6 April 2009. 23 March 2009.
"sanity." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 23 March 2009"Schizophrenia". Wikipedia. 3 April 2009. 23 March 2009.
Mayo Clinic Staff "Schizophrenia". MayoClinic. 31 January 2008. 23 March 2009 .
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.
Ward, Andrew R.. "Feral Children". 6 April 2009. 23 March 2009 .
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