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Ever since Sigmund Freud came up with his awe-inspiring and ever profoundly crafted theory Psychoanalysis, it makes it easier for people of diverse layers; be it academicians and medical practitioners, students or collegers, readers with immense curiosity in understanding the shaping and development of human personality; and hence understanding what sets and classifies human being apart from other fellow living beings, namely Animal and Plant.
So, what is it then Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is depicted by Sigmeund Freud as a study of human entity, by entity it includes in it one primal personalities and its development to the motives behind the human doing certain act. Further looking into it, Psychoanalysis has it then human personality structure divided into three dividends, with them being
The Id falls in unconscious part of the human brain. The Id seeks for instant gratification for one desires without further thought, it overlooks the wisdom of forward thinking and consequences, thus it is called ‘the pleasure principle’; the aim of it is to rid the person tension usually experienced as pain or discomfort, while relief from tension is experienced as pain or discomfort that results in feeling please and discomfort.
The Ego lives in conscious part of the main brain. Unlike the Id that seeks the gratification of desires here and now, the Ego considers the consequences of the taken decision or action, it is first further internalized it, thus the made doing based on ‘the reality principle’; the aim of it is to postpone the discharge energy until the actual object that will satisfy the need has been discovered or produced.
The Superego is the moral or judicial branch of personality, it is located in between unconscious and conscious with the former slightly dominant. The superego strives for perfection and nurtured overtime as the assimilation of the one standards from immediate surrounding (parents or relatives the person first has intense interaction with at his earlier stage) regarding what is good and virtuous, bad and sinful, thus the taken doing based on ‘moral principle’.
Family: the important of Nurturing Figure
The existence of nurturing figures are of pivotal importance to develop an intact and balance personality, John Locked once stated that a new-born can be likened to tabula Rasa, thus the fillings or the personalities of the physical form –that later much influenced the newborn tendency towards certain principle, the better is to have it baked thought in every made decisions and actions, highly influenced by the set of surroundings the newborn first has interaction with in his early stage of mental and physical development; especially important in oral to phallic phase, because he will adopt and imitate the sets of principles from them. Instead of being well-nurtured the monster received only an act of irresponsibility and abandonment from his creator; after he failed himself in making a decent looking creature but a deformed one.
“Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room, and continued long time traversing my bedchamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep… I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness.” (Shelley 45)
As David R Shaffer further explained about tabula rasa: “They (newborn) share no prejudice or preconceptions; they speak no language; they obey no man-made laws.” The non-existence of nurturing figure in the early phase of the monster’s first awakened as a human being shaped him only falsified human ideals, instead of love and affection, he received excessive rejection from his creator, later by the society, this fact upturns his innate innocent disposition.
“The fallen angel becomes the malignant devil. Yet, even the enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.”
“All men hate the wretched; then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” (The Monster)
Lost of Innocence; The Buried Hidden Colour
Non-existence nurturing figures to feed the monster psychological needs wraps up with lack of self-esteem and affection are of essential important in shaping one’s personalities as the process of moral internalization from immediate surroundings is first adopted in the earlier phase of development because it is the time when the newborn internalizes the given values by the immediate surroundings. The monster is a tangible proof of flawed personality development because he grows the Id stronger in him,
“My feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants, and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.” Shelly, 104
The Id has been closely linked with animal instinct and pleasure principle, the aforementioned quote only shown the monster violent tendency, this is so because the series of rejection he received either from his creator and society; the latter is the monster first contact with society to De Lacey family, only De Lacey left him a good impression and treated him properly while the rest are strongly rejected him, one of them Felix even threw him rocks as a welcome to his presence.
“This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and, as a recompense, I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound, which shattered the flesh and bone. The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth.” Shelly, 108
This is only lessen his sense of humanness and the lost of his innocent. Initially, the monster grew an understanding to Delaney’s poverty; only to proof that he is capable of empathize, by helping them in anyway possible, one of his small act of caring is bringing the firewood to the cottagers when he is in search of food. This changes the monster thought then, due to mistreatment.
Ambition; The Mind Leads to Damage
Victor Frankenstein as depicted on the Frankenstein ever so firm and grounded towards his ambition in creating a living creature as it is in line with his lifetime interest and inquiry of knowledge in science and natural philosophy, he is dedicated to the fields, so much so it makes him less human but a walking physical ridden by deep seated ambition;
“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.” Shelley,57
Victor is very much ridden by his Id and overlooked the contribution of the creating a living form to the society betterment, if anything, it serves a total reverse, because the ambition of make living a wretched creature leads him instead to the series of losing the relatives: Elizabeth, William Frankenstein, Justine and Clerval. The act itself rooted from Victor’s irresponsibility, instead of nurturing, teaching and flaunting the creature with human principle, he left him abandoned. His powerful ambition guided along with a genius mind when not rightly rendered proved only bring him no advantage but damage. But at last Victor comes into realization, as he tell Walton whom the ambition resembles him in some way; that the pursuit of knowledge when it is not aimed to clear purposes will gain one no valuable impact.
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”
The wrap up
The presence of Sigmund Freud theory psychoanalysis is a great help in understanding the innate personalities of Frankenstein’s main characters; Victor Frankenstein and the Monster, thus based on the theory of Id, Ego and Superego, Frankenstein in its entity only shows what is called flawed personality development in human being.