Victor’s Loss of Power

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Power is one of the most prominent themes throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Victor created the monster, so it would be assumed that the monster would be obedient to his creator. However, the final chapters of the novel shows who is really in charge. While Frankenstein seemed to be the one in control for most the novel, the roles have reversed. Creature does not obey its creator, but the other way around.

Victor’s slow loss of power began all the way at the beginning of the book, with the murder of his brother, William. Obviously Frankenstein never intended for the monster to kill people, so this is a good example of how Victor has no real power over what the monster does. Even after meeting and speaking with the monster, he still cannot even predict what he will do. When the monster promises to be with Victor on his wedding night, he incorrectly assumes he will kill him. The monster however, outwits him and kills Elizabeth instead.

Going even further back in the novel, Victor was revolted and could not bear being around his creation even before he became violent. Humans are generally afraid of the things that are not in our control and could possibly pose a threat to us. While creating the monster, Victor has full control of what he will look like and what body parts to use, etc. However once the monster comes to life and is free to wander the world, Victor becomes afraid. He can’t control where the monster will be and what he might do.

The monster knows that he has power over Victor; “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” (Shelley, 181). The monster has the ability to rip Victor’s life apart and makes sure he knows it. All the monster wanted was to be shown attention after being abandoned by Victor and by the end of this novel, he literally has Victor chasing him to the ends of the earth. The monster carves messages into trees and rocks to remind Victor that he is under his control.

Frankenstein’s monster via flickr.com

Well readers, this is farewell. We’ve read the classic Frankenstein and explored Victor’s relationships and mental health, and now his slow loss of power over the monster. I hope you’ve enjoyed Frankenstein as much as I have and I hope I provided a deeper insight of this novel for you! Goodbye for now!

To find more novels to read, click here.

 

Work Cited:

“Popular Classic Books.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/classic.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Douglas Clegg. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 2013.

Tyson, Derrick. “Frankenstein’s Monster Experiments/Studies.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 21 Nov. 2005, www.flickr.com/photos/derricksphotos/65594285.

 

 

 

Victor’s Schizophrenia

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Welcome back fellow bloggers to Creeping It Real! Once again we’ll be talking about the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Last week we talked about Victor’s relationship with his work and his relationship with Elizabeth. This week we’ll be discussing the possibility that the monster is just a figment of Victor’s imagination as symptom of schizophrenia or another personality disorder. Are Victor and his monster one and the same?

William Henry Pratt as Frankenstein via flickr.com

While looking back on our previous unit (mental health), I noticed the possibility that Shelly could be portraying the symptoms of schizophrenia through the monster.  Frankenstein’s monster could possibly be a delusion or figment of Frankenstein’s imagination. Schizophrenia is described as “a severe mental condition that interferes with normal thought processes, causing delusions, hallucinations, and mental disorganization” (Nagel). The monster may be a cover for the evil in Frankenstein’s character. While the book is told from the monster’s point of view, it is really being told by Victor himself; it may just be Victor convincing himself that it’s the monster who has done the acts of evil, not himself. 

In chapter 9, Shelly tells the audience directly that Victor is suffering from a mental illness; “This state of mind preyed upon my health, which had perhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained. I shunned the face of man; solitude was my only consolation—deep, dark, deathlike solitude” (Shelley, 94). This may have been caused by the death of his brother, William. Shelly implies that Victor is not in a stable state of mind. Frankensteins inability to capture the creature but is able to have conversations and argue with it, may be a sign that Victor himself is the monster.

The potential cause of Victor Frankenstein’s schizophrenia could be from his mother biologically or environmentally. Victor’s mother lived in poverty and he could’ve inherited the schizophrenia from her as the psychological effects of his living conditions could possibly cause his mental illness. In addition, Frankenstein’s mother had recently died which would put heavy amounts of stress onto a person possibly causing illnesses such as depression.

“The monster” may simply be Victor suffering from hallucinations, which explains how no one has seen Victor and the monster together. Victor has withdrawn from society and is not in a stable state of mind which are signs of paranoid schizophrenia. It may be Victor himself who commits the murders and crimes making the real monster Frankenstein himself.

To learn more about schizophrenia, click here.

 

Work Cited:

Here, Insomnia Cured. “Frankenstein.” Flickr, Yahoo. 11 Oct. 2007, www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/1538953234.

“Schizophrenia.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Douglas Clegg. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 2013.