Sleep Deprivation In Frankenstein

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The symptoms of sleep deprivation are apparent in the characters in Macbeth, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Frankenstein. These symptoms affect each character’s daily life. Sleep deprivation is a common predicament among the characters in Macbeth, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Frankenstein. Sleep is a five letter word with, at least, an eight hour requirement. Many people are curious as to why humans need sleep. This curiosity has lead to countless studies, and research dedicated to this phenomenon. First it was assumed the brain needed time to rest, but then it was realized the brain is just as active when the body is asleep than it is when awake (“Sleep,” Health 55). Not much is known about why humans need sleep, but what is known…show more content…
Victor Frankenstein finds himself unable to obtain a beneficial sleep, because of nightmares he experiences when he closes his eyes. Victor is frustrated with his insufficient quality of sleep: “dreams that had been my food and pleasant rest for so long were now become hell to me…Morning, dismal and wet, at length dawned and discovered to my sleepless and aching eyes the church of Ingolstadt” (Shelley 45). Victor states that he typically looks forward to his time of rest, but the nightmares he has about the Creature interrupt it. This lack of an effective sleep routine results in him feeling overtired the following days. Victor displays and describes certain symptoms of sleep deprivation: “Exhaustion succeeded to the extreme fatigue both of body and of mind which I had endured…when I place my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion” (Shelley 82). His extreme exhaustion is the result of years of stress concerning the Creature. As Victor’s life progresses he begins to long for sleep and the peace sleep brings with it. Robert Walton comments on Victor’s “Yet he enjoys one comfort, the offspring of solitude and delirium; he believes that when in dreams he holds converse with his friends and derives from that communion consolation for his miseries or excitements to his vengeance” (Shelley 201). During the day Victor is tortured by the thought of his creation, and the ramifications that have followed. When Victor reflects on his life he realizes “it was during sleep alone that I could taste joy” (Shelley 195). Victor could only find consolidation in his sleep because it is the only time he can truly escape his
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