Psychoanalysis is the method of psychological therapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts (“Psychoanalysis”). This transfers to analyzing writing in order to obtain a meaning behind the text. There are two types of people who read stories and articles. The first type attempts to understand the plot or topic while the second type reads to understand the meaning behind the text. Baldick is the second type who analyzes everything. Since his article, “Allure, Authority and Psychoanalysis” discusses the meaning behind everything that happens in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” we can also examine “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” in the same manner.
“Allure, Authority, and Psychoanalysis” discusses the unconscious wishes, effects, conflicts, anxieties, and fantasies within “Frankenstein.” The absence of strong female characters in “Frankenstein” suggests the idea of Victor’s desire to create life without the female. This desire possibly stems from Victor’s attempt to compensate for the lack of a penis or, similarly, from the fear of female sexuality. Victor’s strong desire for maternal love is transferred to Elizabeth, the orphan taken into the Frankenstein family. This idea is then reincarnated in the form of a monster which leads to the conclusion that Mary Shelley felt like an abandoned child who is reflected in the rage of the monster.
After reading the article by Baldick, I immediately thought of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” I was forced to read the story again having an open mind and the idea that everything has an alternative meaning. After doing so, I realized that it contains the same concept of abandonment and anger. In order to keep everything in Omelas prime and perfect one person has to be sacrificed. One child is kept in a broom closet in exchange for the splendor and happiness of Omelas. The people of Omelas know what is in the broom closet and, “they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children…depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (Le Guin 216). Possibly Le Guin was an abandoned child who’s family was happy to see her in misery. This could le...
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...ned in a boating accident. Abandonment seems to link her life together with the deaths of three children, her mother, her husband, and the suicide of her half-sister (Cliff Notes 2-3).
The critical analysis of “Frankenstein” in Baldick’s article allowed a similar examination of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” In the end I think it is safe to say that science fiction writing contains some of the authors own experiences whether directly or indirectly. Alternatively, science fiction stories can say something about the reader and that LeGuin wants the reader to look into their own fears of abandonment.
Baldick, C. "Making Monstrous - 'Frankenstein', Criticism, Theory - Botting,F." Review Of English Studies 45 (1994): 90-99.
Coghill, Jeff. “CliffsNotes Frankenstein” New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2001.
“Dictionary.com” 2 March 2005 < http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=
Le Guin, Ursula. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” Masterpieces:
The Best Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century. Ed. Orson Scott Card. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2001. 212-217.
Shelley, Mary. “Frankenstein” New York: Bantam Dell, 1981.
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