Human Psyche Being a Key Feature in Frankenstein

668 Words3 Pages
One of the key features Mary Shelley explores in her novel 'Frankenstein' is the dark side if the human psyche. This can be demonstrated through the characters of Frankenstein, Elizabeth and the monster via the desire for forbidden knowledge of science. Shelley also explores the sexual repression of Victor Frankenstein which could ultimately lead him to a 'dark side' of his human psyche. Therefore it can be said that Mary Shelley does explore the latter to a large extent. One of the ways Shelley explores the dark side of the human psyche is the suppressed and forbidden knowledge which Victor Frankenstein is hungry for. We can see this when Frankenstein states 'how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge'. However it will ultimately lead to a happier life that the man 'who believes his native town to be the whole world'. This drives Frankenstein to exceed the boundaries of science hence create new life. Shelley portrays the desire of knowledge as lust which, if left unhindered, can drive a man to peril. Although Frankenstein's initial intentions were to exceed the boundaries of science the over ambitious nature led him to be 'hidden in darkness' and 'locked up from nature' leading the monster to Frankenstein's peril. A feature of the gothic genre is Victor's psychotic nature which emphasizes the dark side of the human psyche in emotional and physical form. Some critics such as Rebecca Wallis have argued that the 'dark Sid elf the human psyche' can be found within victor's sexuality. The point in the novel which this critic focuses on is the moment before intercourse between Victor and Elizabeth when Victor states ' this night is dreadful, very dreadful'. One the one hand it could be interpreted as the foreshadowing of the monster's arrival however another interpretation is the homosexual nature of Victor. In Victorian society this was considered as a crime and
Open Document