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Concious And Unconscious Mind In Frankestein By Mary Shelley

1369 words - 6 pages

Conscious and Unconscious Mind in Frankenstein
Sigmund Freud’s theory on the unconscious and conscious includes two parts of the mind. The unconscious mind includes biological instincts, mainly aggression. A person does not know what is stored in the unconscious mind. It contains disturbing material, too threatening for the person to acknowledge. The thoughts in the unconscious mind are kept buried under conscious thoughts. The conscious part of the mind includes awareness and what the person feels. Freud compares the unconscious and conscious parts of the mind to an iceberg, the tip of the iceberg as the conscious mind and the part beneath the surface as the unconscious mind. The ...view middle of the document...

1; 1). Walton continually imagines what the North Pole will actually be like. His imagination is lively and creative and is portrayed in the letters to his sister. Frankenstein’s goal is to create life from an inanimate object and imagines this creature similar to a human being. Frankenstein’s imagination eventually takes over and “[is] too much exalted by [his] first success to permit [him] to doubt [his] ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man” (ch. 4; 38). Victor’s imagination leads him on the journey to completing his goal. The Wretch also relates to both Walton and Frankenstein. Even though the Wretch is Victor’s creation, it has a goal as well. The Wretch’s goal is to find love after being abandoned by Victor. All three of the characters also experience a period of isolation. Walton “[has] no friend” (ltr. 2; 4). Isolated and alone, Robert continues his journey to the North Pole. Victor is alone at Ingolstadt as he creates the monster. Victor plans to “finish [his] work in solitude” (ch. 19; 142). He likes to work alone and creates his first and second creations in complete isolation. After Victor abandons him, the Wretch “find[s] [himself] so desolate” (ch. 11; 84). It experiences this period of loneliness in the woods after the rejection from society. Frankenstein and the Wretch are similar and can be applied to Freud’s conscious and unconscious mind theory. The reader can clearly see Victor’s feelings, and the Wretch is more hidden, like the part of the iceberg beneath the surface.
Because they are the same unnamed character, Victor is considered part of the conscious mind. Freud’s theory explains that the conscious part of the mind is the part society views, like the small part of the iceberg at the top. It includes feelings, perceptions, and sensations inside of one’s awareness. Victor is the main narrator of the story within the story, and his feelings are expressed the most. Victor has a variety of feelings throughout the novel, including love, horror, and depression. The sensation of love influences Victor in his early childhood. Victor recollects that his parents “[are] attached to each other, they [seem] to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow upon [him]” (ch. 1; 19). This relates back to Freud’s theory, as the sensation of love is the part the reader sees as the conscious mind. Victor also experiences horror and dread after he creates the Wretch. Frankenstein realizes that his dream “vanishe[s], and breathless horror and disgust fill [his] heart” (ch. 5; 42). Victor transitions from love to hate and disgust. Victor’s emotions are seen in society. He also “mingle[s] with this horror” (ch. 5; 43). Again, the reader sees the horror sensation in Victor. He is the conscious part of the mind, as his feelings are not repressed and hidden. These are the sensations the reader can clearly see throughout the novel. Victor’s main sensation that he feels is depression and...

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