Mental Illnesses In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mental Illnesses in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an iconic horror classic filled with deep, thought provoking themes and well written characters. The novel follows a brilliant yet misguided scientist named Victor Frankenstein. Victor is led down a path of what some would call “the Devil’s arts”, using science to do what no mortal man should be able to accomplish, create life. Frankenstein constructs a living creature, stronger, bigger, and more gruesome than any human being. Shunned by society the creature is cast out by humans, even his own creator neglects him. Fuelled by rage the beast seeks revenge on his master for birthing him into a world where he could never truly fit in. The main character of the
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In his pursuit to create the creature Victor removes himself from society. Schizophrenia can cause those inflicted to withdraw themselves from society (Piotrowski). When Victor describes the creation of his monster he speaks of the location of his work, “In a solitary chamber, or rather a cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation”(Shelley 40). Victor separated himself from the world to work on his gruesome creation. His separation of his workshop from any other apartments is very similar to his personal separation from all other human contact. Frankenstein’s violent temper was another prominent sign of his mental disorder. Schizophrenics frequently undergo states of extreme anger and hostility (Piotrowski). While talking of his childhood he describes himself and is emotional state, “My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement…” (Shelley 23). Victor’s rage was sometimes so intense that even he was forced to acknowledge it. Fury so strong could rarely be experienced by those in their “right mind”. The possible delusions and general insanity of Frankenstein leads for further belief of his schizophrenia. Hallucinations, thought disorders, and delusions are common amongst those influenced by schizophrenia (Piotrowski). When considering telling the police the truth of Victor thinks to himself, “...such a declaration would have been considered as the ravings of a madman…”(Shelley 68). The sensations and delusions Victor was experiencing were so crazy that no person could believe them. Schizophrenia is the only viable diagnosis able to explain all of the strange actions Victor

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