Frankenstein and the psychoanalytic perspective.
For this essay I shall draw from many sources and try to sound out a logical argument for each perspective.
To start with a groundwork an argument I offer as provocation, an ideal Humans evolution can be made in two ways, by the preamble of geology and environment, or the galvanic spasm of critical ideology (Mary Shelly’s monster). Most humans are born as a result of the other way, emerging slowly
from the original primordial muck and mire and thence to preamble down the mists of time. Gradually coalescing within concentric familial gene pools, an accretion of genetic characteristics. Of consecutively concentric institutionalised viewpoints (Darwinism). But few beings are made by a consensual assent of philosophical sharing. Frankenstein is the latter, Her hideous progeny that was birthed at the dawn of the age of reason. To quote Shakespeare, Cry havoc and let slips the dogs of war that is what the novel may have done.
The Id (IT in English) represented primary process thinking our most Neanderthal , impulsive need-gratification . Working in a systematic and efficient way around the primitive driven instincts of sexuality and hostile action. within the id, these drives are wont to instant gratification or release.
It’s Freud's view that the Ego is the coherer between the Id, the Superego, and the outside world to balance our Neanderthal drives, our moral ideals and taboos, and the restrictions of reality Although Freud originally portrayed the ego with our view of self, he later began to portray it more as a set of psychic purposes like reality-testing, defence etc.
The Superego stands in actively hostile attitude to the desires of the Id. The Superego is based upon the adoption of the ideology of world view, its this a child absorbs.
Walton first espies the creature along with the crew ‘The being had the shape of a man but apparently gigantic in stature’ a little while later the narrative introduces victor the binary opposite of the creature. This is Victors entrance into the narrative, his limbs were almost frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in such a wretched condition. In here we have the three parts, the monster from the Id ‘the promethean’ Victor the ego, almost destroyed, whose narrative later makes the threads coherent. Walton the superego, the moralizer the world view whose narrative we hear at the start, he then goes onto tell the narrative from Victor (the ego point of view). His whole attitude is a loss of vigour of suppression of his essential self into melancholia, melancholia is a romantic construct depicting a kind of sorrowfulness that in contemporary thinking borders on psychosis, not just depression. For him it’s a private hell , now become public. He is described as gnashing his teeth, a contemporary biblical vision of hell a place of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
He describes his creation the daemon archaic In order to ‘find’ Victor the misrecognised self the alienated self from the Lacan mirror Lacuna.
A product of his environment (Karl Marx).
I am by birth Genovese : and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics.
Syndic is a Business agent representing a corporation even a magisterial position, notably syndics is plural. He was born to nobility with the phrase ‘Rank hath its privileges’ his fathers reputation the family’s wealth. These were bourgeoisie. His birth: I there eldest son was born at Naples, and as an infant accompanied them in there rambles. I remained for several years there only child. Much as though they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow upon me.
The pleasure principle-seeking of pleasure he sought comfort from them rather than giving he is aware of a need for what he calls a mine of love,
At this point his development is pretty much normal in the narrative. Later in the narrative his oedipal stage starts to develop in him- my mothers tender caresses. developing a strong desire for his mother, noticing the close bond between his parents, the later stages are not described until much later in the narrative. This is also known as the phallic stage, somewhere along the line his bond to his mother gains strength above the normal. Because he doesn’t, become like his father and thus get his fathers approval, and therefore still unconsciously believes that his father will castrate him. Consciously he believes that he was there very idol. a belief that is birthed from the narcissistic complex, he goes on into false identification, he identifies strongly with his mother much more so than his father forming a fixation on her.
His fixation possibly had formed a repression pushing down unwanted ideas into the unconscious and keeping them there, this all takes tremendous energy, this isn’t helped by his father becoming feminised by relinquishing his ‘patriarchal’ responsibilities outside the house, thus Victor ‘oedipal’ phase becomes greatly empowered. Because Victor perceives the missing Phallus of the mother (the male organ plus the lack). Confusing as the father should be possessing the male organ, has become societal neuter gender, the lacuna. Even though he has what the mother lacks, an assumption in the Id that the father lacks.
Perhaps he had an unconscious guilt or fear that his father would discover his thoughts so he expends his libido forcing down these thoughts. A psychosis is formed, father lacks the phallus I have an organ, father doesn’t therefore he will castrate me and steal mine to fulfil mother. He will castrate me so I can not fill mother with my phallus.
But In Victor’s Id a misconception of the father’s lack, therefore theoretically a p In the text another person enters his life Elizabeth he talks about her in the same terms of worship.
her hair was brightest living gold, and despite the poverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown of distinction upon her head. Her brow was clear and ample. Her blue eyes cloudless, and her lips the moulding of her face the expression of sensibility and sweetness, that none could behold her without looking on her as of a distant species, a being heaven sent, and bearing a celestial stamp, in all her features.
Victor speaks of her in the same revered terms as his mother, it’s a libidinal trade off ,displacement, he focuses then Elizabeth thus he his surrounded by the feminine his superego develops, but because of the ‘feminized’ father he misrecognised himself at the crucial Mirror stage, the ‘alienated’ self is born. Forever marked by lack trying to regain what he saw in the mirror, from that all his other stages are skewed. thus the oedipal complex has no resolution.
Everyone loved Elizabeth. The passionate almost reverential attachment with which all regarded her, became, my pride and my delight.
The shift makes her out to be his possession, it lead’s the interpretation that what fell on her was really a reflection upon him. Narcissism, possibly that Elizabeth was going through the Electra complex wanting to possess Caroline Beaufort, because she believed herself castrated already (unconscious thought) and thus reinforcing Victor’s oedipal complex.
On the birth of the second son, my junior by seven years, my parents gave up the wandering life. Its interesting in the text that until quite a way further in the narrative, that the second son is unnamed. It appears that he is as indifferent about this as he is of the fellow pupils at School. The birth is almost mentioned as an afterthought. Thus the developing Narcissism taking root.
In a different manner he is wont to waxen lyrical about Henry Clerval,
He was a feminized boy in some respects spending time in the romantics, chivalry, strong in the imaginary acting out male orientated fantasies of knights of the round table.
It’s almost as if Victor was being set up through the text and usage of language with the Imaginary.
He sums up his childhood by saying that he could not have had a happier childhood he describes his parents as indulgent and kind. They come across as almost whimsical it certainly builds that impression.
His first taste of Natural philosophy came in the form of Cornelius Agrippa,
When I was thirteen years of age, we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon ; the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn: in this house I chanced to find a volume of work by Cornelius Agrippa. I opened it with apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrate, and the wonderful facts which he demonstrate, soon changed these feelings to enthusiasm.
Victor seizes upon these idea’s Agrippa’s work was imaginary and symbolic, where Victor’s mind was it’d awoken that libidinal drive. His father looks upon the work with disdain, calling it trash. Thus also awakening the castration anxiety, in Victor. Victor looks back over his life in the imaginary rather than the real, seeing the idealised whole self the ego. At this point there is a lynch pin, a fulcrum. He looks back symbolically wishing his Father had told him that these systems were exploded and chimerical the momentous signifer. Chimera is the Greek female monster, killed by Bellerophon the masculine monster sitting on Pegasus; Chimera is made up of a goats head, a lions head, a dragons head, and a serpents tail. Importantly there is a double meaning in this word as chimerical also means only existing in someone’s mind, imaginary. So Victor perhaps has a misogynistic intent to kill the female monster. Victor goes onto read Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus, writers of the same ilk. He describes his delight and how he procured full works of these authors, its of importance to the text in that he describes them both as wild fancies, and a delight both again lending the meaning towards a feminine aspect. It sets the reader up towards the birthing of the creature, and his libidinal overdrive in creating his Bellleraphon. As if to lean extra meaning to this text, he describes Clerval in a way that somehow doesn’t fulfil the criterion of heterosexuality, its polemic and poetic as one would normally describe ones sweetheart, it hints at a more ‘gay’ leaning. so full of kindness and tenderness and adventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him such real loveliness of beneficence.
Its almost a love letter about Clerval. Loveliness is not usually a male adjective, its more associated with feminine, or flowers. It’s a Romantic writers tool .
It was a strong effort of the spirit of good: but it was ineffectual. Destiny was to potent, and her terrible immutable laws had decreed to my terrible destruction.
Victor blames outside forces, such as destiny and Spirit of Good, again symbolic constructs in his moving from the imaginary stage to the symbolic. The potent libido drive from the id is taking him onwards with a unstoppable force. Though his super ego is trying, if the reflection is a true narrative of his thoughts being symbolically the spirit of good. Destiny the rationalisms from Ego on the drive from the ID.
Later on in the text we hear of the male side of the family persuading with some success and then eventual failure. Victors mother goes to care for the sick Elizabeth, sick with scarlet fever.
During her illness many arguments had been urged to persuade my mother from attending on her she at first yielded to our entireties; but when she heard the life of her favourite was menaced she could no longer control her anxieties- she attended her sickbed.
We see a shift from victor being the only son fondled and caressed, the favourite. But especially what was a mother to do ? With a sick child.
The result is mother dies, transference of Phallic power. In so doing places the recovered Elizabeth in her steed as surrogate mother, and binds Victor and her in Betrothal, thus the oedipal Victor is now in a sense engaged to his mother. Unconsciously he desires his mother sexually, he desires Elizabeth sexually, the combination of the two and the psychosis (Of the masterful ego, his misrecognised self with Phallic power) give him a psychic shock because it brings him to the brink of the unspeakable real. He expresses inconsolable grief at her death, and feels that he is committing sacrilege somehow, to get on with the thick of life. It seems he was chomping at the bit to get away but staying simply out of duty. Familial duty was something expected of Victor in his station of life, a period of official mourning was observed.
He had gained a respite from his father for his journey to Ingolstadt, which was brought to an end by his father and once again the relationship with Clerval comes to the fore, Clerval debarred from a liberal education by his father described as a rather dour miserly man. Thus putting Clerval in the feminine sphere. Victor spends a last evening with him rather than family, it comes to the morning and aside from his fond farewell to Clerval to shake his hand though the terminology was to press his hand which means a grasp of hands, again the hint of more unusual male affection, his father to bless him, and Elizabeth to bestow feminine affections on him as her playmate and friend. He ‘throws himself’ perhaps hinting he couldn’t get away quick enough from his family. Though the mirror image of this is that he indulges in melancholy reflections, melancholia was a romantic term for a whole range of feelings. Possibly, in this case, a wallow in self pity. There’s nothing to suggest that this isn’t an idealised family view from a symbolic perspective.
The next major fulcrum comes as he is in conflict with the repugnant M. Krempe who goes into a monologue polemic on natural philosophy and Frankenstein’s exploded systems of belief. I was required to exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur, for realities of little worth.
Again the double meaning in the text with chimeras, then the refusal to accept the real. Victor is so driven by the ID that his Ego rationalises real as little worth, Victor sees himself in the imaginary as giant stature as a natural philosopher, a narcissist would. He language indicates that he looks down on the professor with some disdain, and rationalises his decision to hear the little fellow’s didactic as if from the pulpit. Again the Signifer in the signified chain in the symbolic comes to fore, a signifier that the ‘pulpit’ would be for the clergy to preach morality from.
Victor by his language and positioning condescends to hear the man out at lectures. Krempe finishes upon a panegyric, a monologue from the master.
A formal speech denoting the wonders of modern natural philosophy and denouncing those who dabbled before (in Kremps mind). With a very masculine and phallic speech of penetrating nature in her hiding places, loading the symbolic with feminine terms as chimera still. So a shift back into the symbolic.
All this seems to redouble Victors ambitions, his meeting with another professor who espouses Victors learning professor M. Waldman who treats Victor beneficently he also uses phallic language a remarkably erect man,
Either he was saying he was stout and upright or again we have a double meaning, in that he was a remarkably Priapus (Greek God of fertility).
Symbolically the text is engendered, with phallic and feminine signifiers, the text is sexually dimorphic between Chimera and Priapus it forms what maybe called diachronic (study of history) and the signifiers form a synchronic differential chain. Ergo; Signifer Erect Waldman - signified Phallic god, from medical condition Priapism. Victor holds him in awe.
From this Victor spends days and nights in the damps melancholy graves in the pursuit of the causes of death, watching the body deliquesce in the damps, the eye become food for the worm. In the course of his necrophilia, he discovers the cause of life, after what he calls many exhausting hours or days in his pursuit this it seems comes from his libido drive that drove him under the lab tutelage of M. Waldman. His libido must have been legendary and every bit a massive as the eight foot wonder to be born, two years had passed of study like this. He somehow came to discover the fabled elixir of life from his nocturnal studies. From the improvement in apparatus he discovered earlier. He pursues nature in her hiding places, again engendering.
At the same horrified and increasingly driven so his oedipal Id was pushing him onwards with a frenzy to make the frame of the being, loosing all soul and sensation for this pursuit. Cartesian Dualism he gives up on thoughts and feelings he looses his soul.
During this he receives a letter from his father with the usual platitudes of formal affection, then followed by a scathing remark about his studies.
In effect his fathers disapproval, part of the reason he pursues this course almost as if he were courting Elizabeth. He became nervous and a slow fever burned in him at nights, a romantic allusion to perhaps burning slowly with an incestuous lust for his creation. He’d become a physical recluse and physically weekend in the extreme, goading himself on all the more.
Eventually coming to his climax, the creature is built but Victor is horrified by what he has built and rejects the creation. Lacan refers to this movement as the asymptotic (line never touching a curve moving closer but never meeting it) logic of desire, stealing a geometry terminology that proscribes the perpetual movement of an arc toward a point. all this at once when he perceives at last his work. His movement from his usual or correct point(displacement0, his replacement of his mother(substitution), his slippage from a desired position (sanity). He falls into a stupor and starts to dream ‘hypnological’ Elizabeth healthy he embraces her she becomes his dead mother full of worms. Again the Substitution he desires his dead mother sexually he suppresses his oedipal drive raises a horrific effigy, Elizabeth becomes the substituted mother rotten and dead that he has rejected his manly desires toward what amounts to a corpse bride. More or less Elizabeth is dead to him. ‘The plague of fantasies’
(Slavoj zizek) He is disturbed by his creature looking on him by holding the curtain up, again a signifier the Moon or arche - signified in the symbolic female EG.
Moon arche arc -symbolic Joan of Arc martyr-signifier monstrous female-signifier signified symbolic- rejected creature. A mummy -mommy chain, mother a creature even Dante could not conceive. An infernal creature to his master, ultra arousal . The signifier materialises the agency of death, logically all that is missing from life that’s signified in the real that we see right in front of us, but miss the signifiers of death. So both, his mastering or ego born in the Lacan mirror his servant is his libido or arousal in this case binary opposite, creature, priapism. The monstrous thing he may well have done if he wanted to be worshipped is have made a giant manhood for the creature since all his other limbs are of fantastical origin, the creature string at him may not have been aware of an autoerotic reaction when he looked at his mommy. He runs and ends up at a church another Phallic symbol, the spire. Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. Pripus is a saint worshipped, by them. Victor now has symbolically rejected or replaced the oedipal system, with the delusional signification. This is in a sense an attempt to self heal, in victors case: it’d be logical assumption that the dimension of Paternity fails to be encoded in the symbolic, it returns in the real. An attempt to provide a meaning to the primary problematic of foreclosure. He symbolically does this by running to the church but not into the interior. hysterio out of the womb, hysterical fear, womb like church. He gave up his symbolic mother.
What he foreclosed on was the name of his father, because the beast alive huge tall and definitely masculine. But instead of becoming a father, he became a mother thus he saw his baby and the psychic shock caused him to obliterate the name of his father. Thus leaving a hole, a gap and a feeling of impending doom. Theoretically this is why the creature is unnamed all the way through.
Eventually wandering supposedly aimlessly, but somehow ending up meeting his friend Clerval. After spotting a coach, not unusual, with Swiss diligences no less. A Swiss Stage Coach, With Henry Clerval onboard. The two are overjoyed to see each other, ending up in Victors apartment. It’s a scene of languishing horror ‘is the monster there ? ’ It’d gone.
Victor’s illness his exhaustion as his libido finally gives out and the power of the id that sustained him is gone. Clerval nurses him to health again, cementing a relationship between the two, it’s almost a scene of feminine domesticity.
Victor can no longer stand natural philosophies his instrument become to much for him to bare. Simply foreclosure hence it returns not in the symbolic but in the real, in taking the form of hallucinations .
The creature meanwhile makes his way through the world, being treated cruelly by all un-sundry and sundry. His physiognomy to terrible to look upon without fear. He turns inward hostile and bitter a demonic rage building in this gargantuan baby. Deformity was a part of life then so people knew about Pox scars, amputees. Missing eyes, rotting limbs. So if they were used to that the creature was either so deformed beyond bearing or the state of him being pripus brought out there own disgust. Symbolically making them face there own repressed feelings.
Eventually he wanders the forest, able to tell only
Even the father said Good God what kind of man are you he was blind, yet able to perceive the horror.
The creature then swears undying revenge on Frankenstein and his family, becoming not the chimera that Victor had hoped he would create but the Bellerophon-but his signified actions are different to that of the hero. The rise of the Anti hero Pripus who is out to deflower the symbolic Lotus.
The Creature picks up on the repressed Phantasy of Victor, he evidently looking under the curtain picks up on male organ envy. Maybe Victor as a narcissist, gave his creation a small organ ? But again there is the Binary Opposite in effect Pripus with the Romantic allusion of the giant organ.
The creature is portrayed as naďve of the world rather than innocent. He was birthed asexually out of unhallowed materials, just by reanimation doesn’t change its nature. Its base nature, its Id begins to call the shots, driving him with an giant libido no longer suppressing its hateful nature but reinforcing it. Espying a young boy his inner dialogue from his super ego reasons with his other nature his ego interprets that as ‘here’s a boy, innocent of the world, maybe he can stand my deformity and I can educate him as a friend. So by force he tries to cease the boy and make him see reason, The boy barely in the phallic stage and very much controlled by the childish Id, cannot reason but reacts with primitive fear. Revealing his nurture, biased spoilt privileged as if the name Frankenstein should rive away the monster by dint of fear of retribution. A beautiful mirror image a binary opposite, the tiny defenceless boy against the eight foot ‘priapism’ creature who is on the threshold of becoming the monster. The Latin collection of Priapeia shows how poets invented comic and obscene situations for him, giving him more literary prominence than he enjoyed in rites or cult, though masked phallic figures were prominent on many festive occasions, it’s almost a narrative in the symbolic hidden in the unconscious I warn you, my lad, you will be sodomised; you, my girl, I shall futter; for the thief who is bearded, a third punishment remains.""... If I do seize you . . . you shall be so stretched that you will think your anus never had any wrinkles." utterly disgusting. Yet there all the same this ithyphallic creature in the symbolic, crushing the life out of a cursing boy. How is the boy to curse when a giant hand has his windpipe ? He is crushing the imaginary Phallus, that which he lacks but he symbolically knows Frankenstein represents. Lacan articulates this 'practice of misleading somebody' desire when he contends that what has happened to the biological needs of the individual is that they have become inseparable from, and importantly second in rank to, the unexpected changes: of its demand for the recognition and love of other people. Events as apparently 'natural' as the passing or holding back of stool, he remarks in Ecrits, become episodes in the chronicle of the child's relationship with its parents, expressive of its compliance or rebellion. A hungry child may even refuse to eat food if it perceives that this food is offered less as a token of love than one of its parents' dissatisfaction or impatience he acts out of these drives.
He takes the pendent that Elizabeth had given him as a keep sake. Elizabeth symbolically possessing the mother, now the oedipal boy possesses the mother a transference of power. The Great thing her is that symbolically Shelly is getting at the Bourgeoisies, she cant liken them to the city of Sodom. She uses the idea of displacement, EG. If the situation has no resolution in the real, it returns sublimated in the symbolic reborn by speech or narrative, Inbreeding incestuous ruling classes, no foreclosure - sublimated in the symbolic Priapistic Giant man befouling little boys and women. It’s the system of belief, the bourgeoisies didactic she likens to the City of Sodom. David and Goliath, David circumcised, holy, Goliath not, probably well endowed heathen. Ithyphallic didactic.
The monster possesses the mother now for a while but symbolically rejecting the symbolic mother. He then leaves the scene of the crime, happening upon Justine sleeping in a barn he chose to shelter, like Lotus in her stupor instead of deflowering her, he after gazing at the picture of Victor’s mother longing for her affection and approval, realising he could have neither and plants the pendent on Justine. The pendent is of Caroline Beaufort in an agony of despair, kneeling by the coffin of her dead father. A foreshadowing of the despair that Justine faces He whispers sweat nothings in her ear awake your lover is hear, almost from the song of songs.
A snide servant then ‘discovers’ this picture and hands it to the law as evidence against Justine. This can only be described as envy, why would a servant not go to there masters and mistresses ? Was it Justine’s esteemed position, that made the servant act out on her so called social castration,
The Law masculine, phallic, symbolically.
Victor receives the news by a letter, like letters from Proteus recommending Bellerophon as the hero. But it’s another binary opposite, he is the Anti hero and no recommendation is there.
He rushes homeward bound when almost there he finds himself by the lakes weaping and calling out to them in sorrow and anguish when from behind a clump of trees a shadow comes, a flash of lightening lights up the hideous thing his daemon, he calls it a filthy wretch, hideous and begins to move from the symbolic to the real where he knows assuredly that this thing he created has killed his brother, as Kane slew Able.
While watching his Uber Menche scale a mountain in fantastical bounds, he remains teeth chattering in the storm, slowly regressing into the imaginary order again. family.
However when discovering Justine Morititz he exclaims poor, poor girl is she accused ? It is wrongfully. Surely everyone knows it, surely Earnest ?
He protests her innocence saying he has seen the murderer or knows the guilty party. Ernest even expresses surprise, to his Papa indicating his youth. Victor’s father the patriarchal male, expresses his belief that Justine was responsible for this act of ingratitude and depravity.
Victor tries to talk him round, but all the father claims is he hopes she is found innocent and that he has full faith in the law that she will be found innocent. The fact that he just accepts the status quo doesn’t argue with it, a lassitude with her fate. In essence let God sort her out ! The bitter irony is as a syndic he had magisterial duties once upon a time, Magister -master-Godlike. All the feminine people believed in her innocence, the masculine could not care.
Justine is hauled before the court, in front of a crowd braying for blood,
Imaging her state, having to give an account before a hissing catcalling angry court. An angry murmur, signifying both wrath and the peoples want for revenge.
Even though she gave a good account of herself the judges declared here guilty, and sentenced her to hang. Even after Elizabeth’s entreaty to the court, whatever they said was of no account being that they were crushed by the power of the phallus. The God Pripus was meting out justice, on the trespassers. The ballots were all black, black balls again a signifer of male power, testimony was heard in court, testifying. Roman promise to swear by ones testicles A testator would hold onto the maleness and Swear. Victor feels Horror, black Horror. The Creature has effectively castrated him, were he testify he would not be believed and possibly made Justine’s fate all the worse, they Burned people alive still. Her justice was a lynching, a spectacle lynching. She was forced to confess, or more like shown the instruments of torture. Or was she threatened with worse than hanging ? Justine was worthless twice over, a woman, and a Servant and a convicted murderess.
When she confesses she is doubly damned, when she is visited by her friend Elizabeth she is manacled to a wall as would be a slave. She assumes the posture of a slave, or positioning the text has her put like this for maximum psychological impact, assuming the nature of a lowly servant she reverts to class and won’t rise in front of Elizabeth.
Justine tries to comfort, Elizabeth possibly out of duty.
Victor is silent and ruminating upon his own guilt, he likens the deaths as the work of his own hands, as if he had himself laid hands on them and killed them. Guilt by association. Really what’s going on is this Everything now returns to the surface. I have no secret to reveal, Everything is there, revealed on the surface. The representation or image is never that which conceals the truth – it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.
As he tries to undo the situation with wise and persuasive arguments, the judges are resolute against Justine. He could make himself look mad, and they would still hang her. So he had stepped up to the threshold, but not passed it, threshold fear. All his worst fears would have come into being had he stepped over the threshold. Victor sinks into despair, he runs to Chamounix, extremely exhausted mentally and physically. He is regressed emotionally to that of a child, by the trauma. The river sounds like a lullaby to him, the mountain is like a mothers breast.
He slept blessing the bringer of oblivion, So like a nursling child.
Next Victor scales the mountain, from child like to the masterful ego, mountain climbing was considered a masculine. Victor is defacing the feminine, white is virginal, unsullied by feet. Then he seized with fear as his creation approaches with super human speed. The Creature is the signifier of the impossible. Victor is then threatened with falling into a dark abyss, which is symbolic because crevasses exist all over glacier’s.
Thus the Dialogue between man and creature begins Victor threatens to crush the creature
And states that the creature should fear the fierce vengeance of his arm wrecked upon his head. In victors mind he is the giant all powerful GOD.
The Creature explains it’s misery, and explains why it is miserable making sure Victor as creator knows ! It’s stating it’s case and then Stating what it wants, a mate.
To Victor this is an enigmatic desire of the other, thus producing an unbearable anxiety. It’s stated eloquently by the creature, But Victor fails to register this in his rage. Its almost as if now Victor is the baby. The creature swaps to becoming a mother symbol rather than the paternal,
The Creature wants the phallus, its what Lacan calls the Phantasy.
Victor is prevailed upon after railing against his beast, to consider the creatures complaint as he holds cant about his lot in life , the special language or vocabulary of a people group or individual, especially a group whom some people look down on.
He begins his tail on how he killed the little boy, and planted the evidence on Justine. After this he imparts his demand, Make me one like me, then I will leave you alone.
The monster has been conjoined with the symbol of the moon, using semiotics you find that the moon represents deceit, we notice that the moon was behind victor and that victor mentions the moon. So victor is deceitful but also the moon is the feminine card, women of that era were seen as second class.
The Creature demands a mate, one a hideous as him, a small gratification he admits. He then avows he and she will vanish from the affairs of men.
Victor is moved to pity for the creature, but as soon as he looked at the writhing mass that made up its face. His heart sickened, and he was moved to hate. Was this a Real experience or symbolic, if the signifer is the creature and the signified is the sickness of the psyche. The Paranoid Victor, is he hallucinating ? He foreclosed on the creature, so it was as if it never existed. But it’s in front of him thus it becomes the impossible signifer .
For a while the Creature is in hateful abeyance, and he passes on his tail of woe to do with the travail in the forest. He discovers fire, he is warmed by it but does not understand it. He puts his fingers in and gets burned, most children discover that fire hurts. Rather the passage from autoerotic feelings to erotic feelings bases upon deliberate desire.
He eventually comes upon a shepherds cottage, he runs off screaming, he devours his breakfast beside the fire-satiation of desires.
He sleeps off his meal, then at sunset he comes upon a village. With Milk the children start screaming, he has not learned control of his appetite, his fiendish appearance and gigantic manhood creates fear: He is making his way towards women. A child needs to learn how to control its desire.
He is driven away by sticks stones and other missiles, again people are horrified by him. Women fainted at the sight of Phallus Impudicus the giant phallic mushroom the stink horn. If people were used to hovels filth pox and plague, why would a women faint at the sight of an ugly man. Acromegaly was known, gigantism was known. He escaped to the open country and took refuge in a low hovel barely big enough for him to sit upright with difficulty. He has taken refuge with a fallen aristocratic family, he learns there language through another person Saffy learns there mode of speech. He helps the family by cutting wood and other helpful things, they are superstitious people and assume it’s a good spirit. He is suffering from status inconsistency. The Creature stays hidden and does good things for the family which raises his status, but his deformed ugly nature lowers his status. A paradox.
The problem is that, the creature has resolved his oedipal complex by rejecting the mother and putting it upon Justine. But it still had entered into a struggle to death with the father. But in order to pass the oedipal complex he needs resolution of the Oedipal complex, one reason why Lacan ear marked language such importance was slightly hit upon. For Lacan, it is only when the child accedes to castration and the Law of the father, that s/he becomes fully competent as a language-speaker within his/her given social collective.
The de lacey’s unbecomingly became part of his social collective.
By contrast, individuals suffering from psychosis, Lacan puts special emphasis on, are prone to characteristic linguistic dysfunctions and incapability’s . Already from this, then, we can outline a first crucial feature of Lacan's 'philosophy of language'. Like the later Wittgenstein, Lacan’s position is that to learn a language is to learn a set of rules or laws for the use and combination of words. correspondingly, for him too, 'acquired knowledge is based on believing' Wittgenstein. Particularly, Lacan claims a lasting link between the mental ability of a subject to notice through the senses the world as a set of unconnected identifiable objects, and his/her acceptance of the limitless authority of a body of formal agreement .
He somehow accepts the symbolic castration off of the father of the house, thus resolving his complex. He entreaties them according to there laws sanctuary, or asylum. They had themselves been the beneficiary’s of that asylum, but on seeing the creature drive them from them with much violence.
The Blind Father perceives something amiss, saying Good God what kind of man are you ? he has learned there laws. On learning the means of his creation he is disgusted and horrified, likening himself to be lower even than Satan and his devils, a self loathing. He comes back and hides away he finds that the family is now running scared and have no wish to remain in that house. It’s insisted that the landlord take back the tenement, which he does under duress. Later that evening he sets the place ablaze, Fire is often a sign of passion, he dances or moves in a dance like fashion around the blaze. Imitating perhaps some bacchanalian rite indicating his sexuality is now very much awake.
Something more dreadful was to come out though CATHEXIS (cathexes, to cathect): The libido’s charge of energy. Freud often explained the working of psychosexual energies in mechanical terms, its power to sway perhaps by the availability of the steam engine at the end of the nineteenth century. He often described the libido as the producer of energies that, if bunged up, required release in other ways. If an individual is unfulfilled in his or her desires, Freud often represented that flack of fulfilment as a backing up of energies that would then build up and require release in other ways: for example, by way of regression and the "re-cathecting" of former positions (ie. object of desire at the oralor anal phase and the enjoyment of former sexual objects ["object-cathexes"], including auto-eroticism). When the ego bars such efforts to discharge a cathexis by way of regression, i.e. when the ego wishes to repress such desires, Freud uses the term "anti-cathexis" or counter-charge. Not unlike a steam engine, the libido’s cathexis then builds up until it finds alternative outlets, which can lead to redirection of sexual desire or to the formation of sometimes disabling abnormalities indicative of the cause. The creature was about to sublimate these desires in a dreadful way, as noted before he turned killer.
Before that though he had been hiding in a thicket in the woods, when by chance a girl rushes past and slips into a fast flowing river, the river represents sexuality in semiotics. Strong sexuality, he dives in to save the girl, which he manages. When he is over her trying to revive her, did he feel some sexual temptation, was this why he was chased off and shot, or perhaps the man felt that the man was diseased.
Victor eventually agrees to make him a mate, they part and Victor born down by a horrible burden to make another like that that torments him, another ghastly demon. Victor travels abroad in Europe travelling to Gravesend Woolwich and Scotland. Victor takes his leave from his friend Clerval and settles in the Orkney Islands, he has collected his dark materials to make another creature, he is ambivalent about the work. One Night the creature is seen to be staring at the creature he is making- a lustful creature. Probably sexually aroused if not gratifying itself in voyeuristic style as if it were some peep show. Victor horrified at seeing this monstrous sexual effigy, grinning through the window. Tears the new creature apart, thus aborting the foetus.
The creature is he trying to find absence that will block his own homosexual desire ? By Gazing at the object is he is trying to purposfully or in acareless manner, to find an object lacking coherence, or dismembered object image-usually an image that the voyeur (object / subject) desires to identify with Moreover, the voyeuristic process is one prescribed by the incoherency or lack that characterizes the gaze-object. According to Lacan then, it is this lack or absence that the voyeur finds intriguing: Victor started as a phallic narcissist, solipsist. A sadist by proxy, misogynistic. But beset by some personal failure or having otherwise become aware of his lack of superiority, falls into an acute depressive or anxiety state, or even becomes temporarily psychotic in this case his failure was to save Henry Clerval. The monster an inverted narcissist, as an inverted narcissist, the creature intensely desired to be in a relationship with a narcissist, with no regard of any abuse inflicted on the creature by Victor. The creature needed to seek relationships with narcissists and ONLY to that narcissist (Victor), no matter what it’s (bitter and traumatic) past experience has been. The creature felt EMPTY and UNHAPPY in relationships with ANY OTHER kind of person, in the end normal people tried to destroy him.
Victor misinterprets the Beast’s warning I will be with you on your wedding night. He spends months in delirium in an Irish jail accused of Clerval’s death, indeed he was accused similarly to Justine. It was only his family name that saved him, the family’s name condemned the hapless Justine.
After a time and being comforted by his nameless father, everyone else seems to have known his name.
He eventually marries Elizabeth, he is armed to the teeth with pistols and a dagger. As a big storm brews up his paranoia breaks upon him like the heavy rain, a thousand fears assaulted him. He calms his new wife, but then leaves her on a pretext, he paces the passages of the house. When he hears her scream, the creature had come to have his revenge, she screamed again.
The cathaxis of the creature was partially satiated, though the text says she was most likely strangled. The subtext is that she was raped to death, the creature most likely raped her bodily orifices, at the very least she was strangled while being raped.
Narcissus finds his defiled Lotis Elizabeth, her binary opposite escaped and became a lotus flower. Elizabeth was deflowered. So Victor’s world collapses after he fires and misses his created beast that has Futterd his bride. Sadly this was in the real, she wasn’t symbolically dead or was this some Greek tragedy or play where Silenuse’s donkey would alert the party with raucous braying.
Victor makes his way to his family home to ‘protect his father and brother’,
His father sinks into despair `at the tidings of his foolish son victor. His Brother still lives, but his Father dies in his arms a few days later, unnamed.
Struck from the mental register of Victor.
Victor finally sinks into the abyss that had almost swallowed him so many times braying like a donkey. Beset by his personal failure or having otherwise become aware of his lack of superiority, Victor falls into an acute depressive or anxiety state, or even becomes temporarily psychotic. Locked away from people in a gloomy dungeon.
He comes out of his malaise and allowed to walk about outside , finally to everyone else in his right mind. But he is consumed by hatred for the malignancy, he Demands that a judge help him, by making a full confession of his deeds. To an incredulous judge, who politely declines to help on the case simply because who could pursue such a man.
Victor Pursues the creature across continents finally to his own doom at the north pole. The creature keeps him going by taunting him, pushing Victor’s Id into a rage so that he is blinded by it but still can continue. The Creature consigns a village to death by stealing all their winter food, he moves on towards the wastelands of snow. Victor unable to sustain himself any longer, is taken aboard a ship where he recounts his tale. Victor is so weak he eventually as the captain passes through the ice that had kept them bound for so long, the captains success seals Victor’s fate. He makes an attempt to get up but his body will no longer support him and he collapses, to die later.
The Creature expresses sorrow at Victor’s death and poses the Question who is the monster ? You the human race or the creature what they made him ?
The Serf who’s little girl he saved from drowning thanked him by shooting him. The creature robbed of it’s purpose now makes his escape to burn himself alive, but we never find out if he does or not. Can such as he find redemption.
By James Annal
Sources-Wikipedia on Lacan
Wikepedia on Freud
Introducing Lacan handbook.
http://samvak.tripod.com/faq66.html the inverted narcissist
http://www.iep.utm.edu/l/lacweb.htm language and law Lacan.
http://www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/psychoanalysis/definitions/sublimation.html sublimation. Fixation.