Frankenstein’s Monster: An Archetypal Lover

To understand the content of this post, one must first understand the context and basic concepts of Jungian Archetypal Psychology. Carl Jung was a famous psychologist who believed that the human psyche follows archetypal patterns, and that personality could be predicted according to said archetypes. While the number of archetypes increases as we delve deeper into more specific psychological characteristics, for the sake of simplicity, this analysis will focus on the 12 major archetypes.

These 12 archetypes are divided into three sets of 4; The Ego, the Soul, and the Self. This gives a general understanding of where the interests of each archetype lie. It is important to note that one person may have an amalgam of different archetypal characteristics, however there is always one dominant one. It is also important to understand that the given archetype of a person may change after a life-changing event has occurred, as is the case for Frankenstein’s Monster.

From what is described in the beginning of the novel, where the Monster is introduced and has a chance to re-tell its experiences, readers can clearly see that, initially, it is not evil. Given the desires that drive the Monster, it is clear that he belongs to the Lover archetype. The Lover aims a sense of intimacy and belonging with others, and does so through passion, admiration, and selflessness. This is clearly visible when the Monster assists the family of peasants in their daily struggles. Completely altruistic in being, the creature merely wishes to be of assistance. However, the Monster’s personality directly clashes with his physical appearance. Though he has perfect white teeth and flowing black hair, his eyes remain pale and dead, which is a permanent barrier to his sense of inclusion.

After facing colossal rejection from the object of his admiration, the Monster’s personality consumes itself in chaos. His passion degenerates to rage, self-loathing, and vengeance. All the positive aspects of the Lover are warped into their negative counterparts. This follows the typical symbolism of the “Son eating the Father”, as is represented in Oedipus, as well as numerous myths throughout history. This leads to both the demise of the Father (Frankenstein) as well as Son (the Monster). The creature becomes essentially the antithesis of his own being.

Sources:

http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html

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