Freud’s splitting of the psyche put the monster-like id at the core of our persons. Freudian readings of Frankenstein see the monster as the outward expression of Victor’s id or his demoniacal passions. Upon its publication, Frankenstein garnered commercial success as a Gothic novel, but critically it was for the most part condemned as sensationalist and gruesome. While the quality of prose in Frankenstein has often been maligned, the novel’s thematic elements have inspired a wealth of critical study. Some scholars have explored the religious undertones of the book, noting parallels between Christ’s parable of the prodigal son and the predicament of Frankenstein’s creature.
But hanging in the drawing room, the most public of rooms within the private home, this portrayal of Alphone’s altruism also becomes a kind of public performance. Caroline’s mourning is staged for the portrait-sitting; and the picture itself perpetuates Alphonse’s original performance of benevolence, when he “rescues her from the painful fate of working-class womanhood” . This is reaffirmed by the repetition of Caroline’s pose—kneeling by her dead father “in an agony of despair”—by various characters throughout the novel.
Agnes being not just a woman, but an intelligent woman, was something that was looked down upon, and people were scared of that. That’s just to give you a little bit of context so that we can start this essay topic. Elizabeth is perhaps the primary example of the abandoned child in the novel, which is populated by many orphans and makeshift families. Despite her lonely origins, she finds love and acceptance, and stands in contrast to the creature’s inability to find true familial connection.
We possessed a house in Geneva, and a campagne on Belrive, the eastern shore of the lake, at the distance of rather more than a league from the city. We resided principally in the latter, and the lives of my parents were passed in considerable seclusion. It was my temper to avoid a crowd and to attach myself fervently to a few. I was indifferent, therefore, to my school-fellows in general; but I united myself in the bonds of the closest friendship to one among them. He composed heroic songs and began to write many a tale of enchantment and knightly adventure.
The Creature demands that Victor create a female companion like himself. The Creature promises that he and his mate will vanish into the South American wilderness, never to reappear, if Victor grants his request. Should Victor refuse, the Creature threatens to kill Victor’s remaining friends and loved ones and not stop until he completely ruins him.
Eventually, the chase leads to the Arctic Ocean and then on towards the North Pole, and Victor reaches a point where he is within a mile of the Creature, but he collapses from exhaustion and hypothermia before he can find his quarry, allowing the Creature to escape. Eventually the ice around Victor’s sledge breaks apart, and the resultant ice floe comes within range of Walton’s ship. Though Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement, Brian Aldiss has argued for regarding it as the first true science-fiction story. In contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, Aldiss states, the central character “makes a deliberate decision” and “turns to modern experiments in the laboratory” to achieve fantastic results.
A seemingly infinite series extends back into more tales as the monster invokes Goethe, Milton, and Plutarch. Indeed, authority for the narrative seems lost, receding further and further from sight, into the impenetrable caverns of the Alps, or “toward the very heart of non-meaning, toward the lifeless pole” . The scientist has no evidence; Victor’s narrative line leads to no original, “internal” authority. It leads to the monster.But the deadweight loss from a tax of $2 per unit will be smallest in a market with to end there at “the very heart of non-meaning” requires that our reading follow Victor’s criteria for authority, that we accept his “line” and repudiate the monster. Peter Brooks, for example, denounces the “truth” conveyed by Frankenstein as monstrosity itself, or language as “monstrous.” He reads the stories within stories as an infinite regress, as the “metonymic sliding” of the monster’s “miserable series of being” .
His enthusiasm for the great venture is marred only by his lack of a friend. Ironically, he continues to worry about the creature’s treatment of others even when both of them slip deeper into the Arctic iceland, far away from any form of civilization, and even after he hears of the creature’s benevolent efforts to help the De Lacey family survive. The ending of the novel only reaffirms Victor’s truly selfish motivations, as he fails to consider the needs of Walton’s crew by asking them to continue their journey in order to kill the creature.