Clinical Gaze In Frankenstein

729 Words3 Pages
“Clinical gaze”, a term coined by French philosopher Michel Foucault from The Birth of the Clinic, deals with the transformation of doctor-patient relationships over time. Since the birth of modern medicine, Foucault states that doctors tend to view their patients more as a disease and less as a person. Before the improvements in science were made during the 19th century, doctor carefully listened to their patients and heavily relied on their narratives to make a diagnosis. Not only were these narratives were a central part to the doctor-patient relationship, but they also helped build a sense of trust within the doctor and individuality within the patient. Doctors were viewed more an “advisor” and “friend” rather than a complete authoritative…show more content…
Victor Frankenstein is a young, curious science student who is intrigued by the meaning of life and whether life can be recreated scientifically. He creates a grotesque looking yet extremely emotionally human-like creature in an unorthodox experiment. However, after the creature is brought to life, Victor is ashamed of his creation and refuses to establish any sort of relationship with the creature who desires human interaction. The creature repeatedly states, “Listen to my tale…do hear me…listen to me…” to Victor in hopes of creating some sort of relationship (Shelley 69). Victor is stuck in a clinical gaze when dealing with the creature. He cannot get over the creature’s ugly physical attributes in order to listen to the struggles that the creature faces while adapting to society. Just like how a patient wants to be heard by his or her own doctor, the creature just wants Victor to listen to him once and hear his story. The creature considers Victor to be “his creator” and hopes that by telling him about his thoughts and experience that he can make some sense about why he feels as such and can offer guidance and consolation to…show more content…
Since the creature is not able to express himself to anyone, he takes his suffering and uses it to retaliate against Victor. This is an example of how clinical gaze affects the patient’s identity and response. According to Eric Cassell in “The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine”, when the patient realizes changes are going to happen due to the illness that they have been diagnosed with, “the threat of disintegration” of their daily life, of their identity, and of their life starts to alter the manner in which they interact with the people and the environment around them (9). Though the creature has not been officially diagnosed with an illness, the loneliness and anger that overwhelm him change his outlook on life. “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” shouts the creature in frustration (Shelly
Open Document