Frankenstein Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay

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Macbeth. Othello. Lex Luthor. All notable characters; all notable downfalls. Important characteristics and attributes are essential to a well-rounded and dynamic character. Undesirable qualities, although unwanted, are necessary in the main characters for character development and advancement. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has attributes that are still discussed, researched, and theorized about today. This fact is no small feat, considering Mary Shelley had no prior knowledge of modern psychology. He suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and depression; these two disorders are evident throughout the novel. A reader can analyze through Victor’s actions and decisions. It is clear that he suffers from these …show more content…

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that may occur after going through an extreme emotional trauma. There are many causes of this disorder, including domestic violence, war, rape, and assault (Board). Victor’s PTSD first stemmed from the death of his mother, but fully developed at the first sight of the wretched creature he had created. At this moment, Victor exclaimed “the beauty of the dream vanished” and with this, “breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (Frankenstein 138). The very sight of this fiend plagues Victor’s memories throughout the story. The four main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are also quite noticeable in Victor: reliving the event, avoiding others, hyperarousal, and negativity. (Board). Victor also had terrible nightmares after this altercation, stating that he “was possessed by a kind of nightmare,” feeling powerless to a monster whose “grasp was around my neck and I could not free myself from it” (Frankenstein 537). Frankenstein kept away from most people, another symptom, in an attempt to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of his psychological trauma (Paul’s Case). Alphonse, Victor’s father, also notices this in his son, questioning why he is “still unhappy and still avoiding our society” (Frankenstein 438). This detachment from everything in his life is a classic PTSD symptom, further proving the fact that Victor Frankenstein suffers …show more content…

Symptoms of which include fatigue, guilt, indecisiveness, insomnia, indifference, and suicidal thoughts and tendencies (Major Depression). After William’s and Justine’s deaths, Victor becomes more guilty, even being “torn by remorse, horror, and despair” over something he might not have committed but indirectly caused (Frankenstein 232). This led to a downward spiral of guilt and him wondering if he could have prevented these instances. Victor is not alone, with major clinical depression affecting 6.7% of adults and with 20-25% of adults suffering from depression at some point in their lives (Major Depression). According to a Japanese study, 11.6% of Japanese-Americans suffer from depression, and that anxiety is directly correlated to depression (Cheung). This theory makes sense in Victor’s case as well. With anxiety being nervousness and unease, depression is quite similar in that depression is an immense sorrow and dejection. Frankenstein admits he has anxiety, stating “With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony” (Frankenstein 137). Depression, even though some critics say is not a real phenomenon and is “all in their heads,” is clearly shown throughout

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