Frankenstein, By Mary Shelley Essays

1210 Words May 3rd, 2015 null Page
The reoccurring theme of repressed or forbidden desires in Frankenstein mirror those of the gothic literary style, specifically the ways in which it leads to the decay of the protagonist’s psyche. Mary Shelley’s gothic science fiction novel, published 1818, presents a male protagonist whose obsession with scientific discovery leads to his own mental and physically destruction. Frankenstein, on first glance, is a sexless novel, which is peculiar for a gothic novel. However, the ways in which Shelley explores the absence of maternal figures suggest imbalance on Victor Frankenstein’s psyche that not only results in an inability to objectively make good decisions, but also a sexual nature towards the maternal or unnatural. This ultimately leads to the belief that not only is Victor subconsciously harbouring incestuous desires, but these desires are a direct cause of the unnatural.

From the very beginning the presence of Caroline, though physically non-existent, is used to violate the novel through implied incestuous desires by her son Victor. Shelley instantly establishes the inseparable bond between mother and son described as a ‘silken cord’ imagined by Victor. This metaphysical bond symbolises their permanent attachment and affection towards each other, even after death. It would therefore seem justified to assume that this suggests Frankenstein’s mother is a symbol for Victor’s Freudian desire towards maternal qualities which he was denied after her death. One of the main…

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