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Carl Jung as Relates to Frankenstein

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Cami Rose

on 16 April 2016

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Transcript of Carl Jung as Relates to Frankenstein

Carl Jung
Jung was a student of Freud
Freud and Jung had a falling out when they developed conflicting theories
They both came to be two of the most well known names in psychology
Freud went on to examine the individual as a single entity, while Jung focused on the collective state of mind
Jung expanded on Freud's theory of the ego and called it persona; it is the way we portray ourselves to the world
We try to portray ourselves as good while our actions might not reflect our internal view of ourselves
Dream Theory
According to Jung, dreams are primarily symbolic in nature, and this symbolism is often universal, just like archetypes, regardless of the dreamer. However, the way the symbol relates to the dreamer's life can be interpreted in many ways.

Their main purpose is to allow the persona of the dreamer to understand circumstances in their life, especially from a different perspective.

Frankenstein is full of unusual dreams, which all hold deep and powerful messages.
The Shadow Complex & Frankenstein
The Shadow directly relates to Frankenstein repeatedly in the novel.
The Slave vs. Master motif is present in the story, as each of the 2 main characters refer to themselves as slave to each other at different points in the text
"A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light, and falling into his own traps... it must be... the conscious personality, who integrates the shadow... and not vice versa. Otherwise the conscious becomes the slave of the autonomous shadow." (Stevens, p.g. 50)
Jung's Theories
The Shadow
Collective Unconscious
Dreams
Jung in Relation to Frankenstein
Jung's theories reflect on Mary Shelley's, Victor's, and the Creature's internal and external conflicts, in relation to real life and the events in the text.
Carl Jung as Related to Frankenstein

Shadow Complex
Collective unconscious
Sources
Dream moods, Inc. (2014, June 2). Dream Moods: Dream Theories: Carl Jung. Retrieves April 11, 2016, from http://www.dreamoods.com/dreaminformation/dreamtheory/jung.htm
Dream moods, Inc. (2016, January 8). Dream Moods A-Z Dream Dictionary. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/
Sharp, D. (1991). Jung Lexicon. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.cgjungpage.org/learn/jung-lexicon
"Carl Jung." Carl Jung. Simply Psychology. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2016, February 27). Shadow (psychology). Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)
Diamond, S. A. (2012, April 20). Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: What is the "Shadow"? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/201204/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-what-is-the-shadow
Earthpages.org. (2011, October 25). Throwing Light on the Shadow: Carl Jung’s Answer to Evil. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://epages.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/throwing-light-on-the-shadow-carl-jungs-answer-to-evil/
-Psyche made up of separate but related systems; ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious.
-Collective unconscious refers to a level of unconsciousness shared with the human species, comprising of latent memories from ancestral & evolutionary past.
- Human mind has been "imprinted" with certain characteristics from evolution.

Collective Unconscious & Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's nightmare when she came up with her idea:

Victor was standing beside the Creature, which came alive

Victor tries to sleep, but when he wakes, he sees the Creature at his bedside, staring at him.

The dream clearly relates to her surroundings at the time, as well as the pressure to create a ghost story, but it is symbolic as well.

Usually, dreams of monsters symbolize the repulsive aspects of oneself; in Mary's case, this could symbolize her unhappiness in her new life, which she brought upon herself.

The Creature opening the bed curtains can represent Mary Shelley feeling exposed or that something about her is being revealed to others, through her book.

Lastly, the experiment that brings the Creature to life may symbolize Mary trying something new (writing on this scale) and daring to do something unconventional in all areas of her life.
Victor's particularly disturbing dream the night he creates the Creature:

He kisses Elizabeth, but she dies immediately, and turns into Victor's long-dead mother.

This foreshadows Elizabeth's death

Signifies all the womanly influences in Victor's life being destroyed.

Also, holding his mother in his arms is symbolic, because she
gave him life
, and once held him in her arms. This may be an effort of his mind to make Victor understand that he ought to nurture the Creature he brought to life.
When Victor begins to take laudanum, after Henry is killed, he has vivid hallucinations and nightmares:

He keeps seeing eyes, sometimes the Creature's yellow watery eyes, and sometimes Henry's dead, black eyes.

The eyes may symbolize that Victor feels scrutinized by the Creature at every moment, while alternatively being blamed by Henry for his death.

Later, he dreams that the Creature is strangling him, while he hears sounds of suffering. He may have been experiencing the dream from Henry or William's perspective, since they both were strangled.

Victor may be wishing he had died instead of his loved ones.
-Jung's idea of people carrying dreams over from their ancestors applies to the creature carrying over memories from his past life.
- Specific
archetypes
of Jung's collective unconscious also apply to the creature
Archetypes
Archetypes are images & thoughts that have universal meaning across cultures, appearing in dreams, literature, or religion.
1) Persona
- Outward face presented to the world. Conceals our "real self". Called the conformity archetype.
- Public face or role a person presents to others may be different than who we really are.
- Pertains to the creature, who looks very different on the outside than how he feels on the inside, and later changes his ways so that his two "appearances" match each other.
2) Self
- Provides unity in experience. Ultimate aim of everyone is to achieve selfhood/self actualization.
- The creature is never able to acheive self actualization because the prior levels of need have not been met, despite his best efforts. Therefore, the creature is never truly satisfied with his life, which offers some explanation of his desire to end it.
The shadow is one of the repressed aspects of our personality
Jung believed that the shadow might be a desire frowned on by our conscience or peers
The parts of ourselves that we don't accept become incorporated into our alter ego, also known as the shadow
The shadow is dark for two reasons; the first being that it expresses the inferior parts of our mind and the second is it never received direct attention
The Primitive Self
Throughout Frankenstein, the Creature is portrayed as the Shadow. He is animalistic & primitive, because he was never nurtured by Victor, and was outcast by society
The Shadow ultimately becomes power-striving and selfish because of its comparative misery. The Creature followed this trend, leading to the murders of several members of Victor's family.
The Creature is unacknowledged to such an extent that, to add insult to injury, he doesn't even have a name. He is left anonymous, ironically, since he is searching for himself, yet has no name, just like the Shadow.
Alter-Ego
The Shadow is defined as the undesirable aspects of your true self.
In the novel, this would be the Creature for Victor.
Also, when actually communicating with one's shadow, it sheds light on one's own state of mind, and allows the persona to understand themselves. This is a prime example of when Victor speaks to the Creature for the first time, and realizes that he ought not to have abandonned the Creature in its time of need, while acknowledges the duty he had to his Creation.
It may imply that the persona is trying to resolve conflicting emotions.
In this case, the persona (Victor) and the Shadow (Creature) have extremely conflicting views when it comes to the potential second Creature.
Conclusions
Carl Jung is rightfully one of the foremost names in the psychology field.
His evaluation of the psyche is deeply based on the collective mindset
His theory of the Shadow suggests that our internal self is more primitive and is composed of darker emotions than the outward persona.
The theory of the unconscious and subsequently, archetypes, is prevalent through the character development of the creature.
Dream theory is the idea that our subconscious portrays messages primarily through universal symbols.
Each of these theories is continually represented throughout the lives of Victor, the Creature, and Mary Shelley herself.
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