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             Nero Gerald Peters Contemporary Theory: Lacan & Freud Final Paper December 21, 1999 A Freudian Interpretation -Victor Frankenstein - In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the main character, Victor, has a short, but important dream right after he brings his creature to life. I have chosen to interpret this dream for several reasons. Firstly, there is no need to doubt that Victor's retelling of the dream is anything but the truth. Also, there would be no reason for Victor to be compensating for lapses in the dream by creating falsities. In order for the novel to work, these assumptions must be made. Also with Victor's dream, there is no need to try to extract his past from the dream because in the four chapters before the dream we get that information. Victors retelling of his dream is this: I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but as I imprinted the fist kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change and I thought that I held the dead corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the graveworms crawling in the folds of the flannel. The first thing I identified in the dream was the symbolism. In his works on dreams, Freud often stresses the existence of sexual motivation in dreams. He identifies many symbols of genitals and sexual intercourse. One of the symbols for the phallis is a snake. I extended that symbol to include the graveworms that are mentioned in Victor's dream. The existence of this symbol led me to examine the possibility that sexual feelings may have caused this dream. The two characters that are mentioned in the dream are Elizabeth, his intended wife, and Caroline, who is his now deceased mother. The presence of Victor's love object and his mother ensure the existence of sexual feelings in the dream. The way in which Victor describes embracing and kissing Elizabeth implies that he has sexual desire for her.

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