Psychoanalysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Throughout the book, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, we see the path the characters take to their own destruction. This may be a symbol of Shelley’s own life of suffering and traumas. The classical novel is a difficult book to truly comprehend and identify its true message that the author conveys. In order to do this, the reader should understand and analyze the life that the author had lived and the train of thought that it took for them to write. Psychoanalytic critique requires the analysis of the characters and events that occur in the book.
Death in this book is extremely common and the way Shelley expresses the deceased in her family is connected to these deaths. There is a reference to their death through the dismantling of the female monster. Shelley’s miscarriage could be connected to her destruction since the monster was never brought to life. Their birth never occurred so this event is an obvious connection to her life. Although Shelley’s child was natural, the monster wasn’t created because Victor dismantled her. There was a shared feeling of sadness and grief because of the loss of life and their missed opportunity to enjoy life and love.
The death of Caroline Beaufort is another event in which is connected to Shelley’s life. Her death was enabled once she had caught the scarlet fever from Elizabeth Lavenza. There is a reference to Mary Wollstonecraft, who died of an illness herself after a few days of Shelley’s birth. The reaction of the characters symbolizes the reaction that Shelley also felt. Victor was devastated and this was the same exact way Shelley felt in her passing. The death of Caroline expressed the need of a mother in a child’s life.
Lastly, there was also the death of William Frankenstein himself. His death connects the bridge if Shelley’s personal experiences. Fanny Imlay, Shelley’s sister committed suicide years before the publishment of Frankenstein. The trauma of losing your family member is reflected in William’s death. Fanny was seen as Shelley’s mother figure and it was impossible to not feel mourning and sadness over her death. In a way, Victor was shadowed by Shelley and William is Fanny because of the deep connections formed.
The constant theme of death can all be connected to the loss and trauma Shelley experienced throughout her life. The emotional connections of grieving and mourning references the authors emotions and reflects it in the writing of this book. By writing Frankenstein, the author may have been given some closure to the people who died in her life. The very reason for writing this book may have just been for closure in her heart for these people's deaths.
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