Theme Of Doubles In Frankenstein

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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
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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 revenge entails the creature killing William and framing Justine. Still, the creature, in his initial pursuit of his creator, must depend on Victor Frankenstein, because he is the only person that can create a mate for him. After Frankenstein refuses to create a mate for the creature, he again vows revenge against Frankenstein, pursuing him and his loved ones, eventually killing Clerval and Elizabeth. It is these very acts of revenge that cause Frankenstein himself to lose himself to his anger to a quest that he knows will end in his death: “My present situation was one in which all voluntary thought was swallowed up and lost. I was hurried away by fury; revenge alone endowed me with strength and composure” (Shelley 145). Frankenstein here acknowledges that there is nothing left for him in life but his relationship with the creature. He now lives solely for the creature. In the position of pursuing revenge, Frankenstein, like the creature before him, must rely on his adversary; without the clues and food intentionally…show more content…
Soon after Victor creates the monster and it kills William, Victor laments the creation of the creature, referring to it as “my own spirit let loose from the grave” (Shelley 51). Though Frankenstein may be referring to the creature as a spirit because of the fact that it is essentially a reanimated corpse, he also could be referring to the creature as a realization of his unconscious desires. The creature, in cursing his creator, refers to his “‘form [as being] a filthy type of your’s’” (Shelley 91). The creature here talks about himself as if he is almost the same as Victor – something similar but yet more loathsome. This is exactly what the creature is if he represents those desires of Victor that cannot be revealed, even to himself. In murdering many people in Victor’s family as well as Clerval, the creature is acting out Victor’s unconscious desire to be free of his family; when Victor is creating the monster, he isolates himself from other human beings and stops responding to his family’s letters (Shelley 36). Up until the creation of the creature, Victor desperately wanted the “glory that would attend the discovery, if [he] could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!” (23). From these intense feelings of wanting to make a mark upon the world by making a huge discovery, springs forth
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