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Frankenstein: Deep Down We’re All Afreud

965 words - 4 pages

Frankenstein: Deep Down We’re All Afreud
Analyzing any piece of literature through a psychoanalytical lens is a unique and deep process. Seeing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through this view point explains and clarifies Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s behavior. The most common and reappearing patterns of action can explained by to his unconscious use of defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are a way someone copes with reality and a painful event, whether it was in the past or present. He heavily relies on them to help avoid emotions and sometimes to portray his flawed qualities into his work. Throughout the novel, Frankenstein uses defense mechanisms such as repression and ...view middle of the document...

” (Shelley 29) Here, Frankenstein does not spend much time grieving about a significant loss and pushes his feelings aside. In this case, he instead wants to move on with his life and focus on his future. Because he subconsciously used this mechanism to repress his feelings, it also backfired. A few chapters later, Frankenstein has a nightmare in which he “held the corpse of [his] dead mother… [He] saw the grave worms crawling in the folds of [her] flannel.” (Shelley 43) Once again, a repressed emotion and time in his life came back to haunt him. If he had only faced these emotions maturely instead of pushing them aside, he would not have negative, lingering memories to haunt him.
Intellectualization is the defense mechanism that best applies to Victor. This defense mechanism occurs when individuals avoid unpleasant emotions and experiences by focusing on logical, rational, and factual information ( Frankenstein, since he was a young adult, always had a passion for the sciences. His interest began when he read books by Cornelius Agrippa. His interest in furthering his knowledge appeared when a friend of Victor’s family was visiting and taught him about electricity. As he was entering early adulthood, Victor had influences who attempted to discourage him from pursuing the science field. However, he didn’t listen to those professors and continued researching even more. He became more studious with anatomy and learning how the human body decays. This is the point where Victor starts directing his attention and focus towards testing his knowledge and creating a new being. He also claims that the sciences will be his “sole occupation” (Shelley 35). He neglects his social life, family, friends and what’s going on in the world around him. His behavior can then be seen as a form of intellectualization. He worked late as the “stars often disappeared in the light of...

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