Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

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AJ Winkelman
English 200 C

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a novel of doubles. Victor Frankenstein is both a double of the similarly ambitious Robert Walton as well as the creature he creates. Through the act of birthing the creature from his dilapidated laboratory womb, Victor literally creates an extension of himself, a creature that he, as its father, is forever bound to. The creature and Frankenstein are doubles of each other in many ways. George Levine points out that, “as [Frankenstein and the creature] pursue their separate lives, they increasingly resemble and depend upon each other,” and he also points out that the creature “re-enact[s]…his creator’s feelings and experiences” (312). Levine’s interpretation of the relationship between the creature and its creator is correct; deep into the novel, the two switch places, both in their actions and in their language. The creature can also be said to be acting out the unconscious desires of Frankenstein. Levine does not defend either of these points, however, with concrete examples, which this essay will do. Frankenstein himself, knowingly or not, acknowledges the creature as an extension of himself many times. This doubling is important because it represents and therefore reveals the dual nature of the human psyche.
Frankenstein and his creature play a near identical role at different times in the novel: one in pursuit of the other, seeking revenge for crimes perceived to be against them, yet still dependent upon the other. Initially, the creature plays this role: he pursues his creator in order to take revenge for Frankenstein “endow[ing him] with perceptions and passions, and then cast[ing him] abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind” (Shelley 98). This reveng...

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...27). Frankenstein here admits that he and his monster are one and the same, that his creature’s actions are the same as his own. Similarly, after William dies, while listening to Justine beg for recognition of her innocence, Frankenstein refers to himself in his own thoughts as “the true murderer” (59). Again, Frankenstein uses his words to blend himself and the creature into one being.
The doubling of Victor and the creature in the novel serves to demonstrate the duality of the nature of man: that all people hold in them that which is acceptable above the surface and that which must be repressed in the unconscious psyche. Like many of the themes of gothic novels,
Victor Frankenstein and the creature he creates are one in the same; the two are doubles of each other, with the creature representing that which Frankenstein must repress because it is unacceptable.

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