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Maslow and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59 
  • Words: 1225
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Frankenstein illustrated the hierarchy of basic human needs when they’re fulfilled, when they’re unsatisfied and the effect of both.

There are basic human needs: Physiological, Safety, Love, Affection and Belongingness, Esteem, and lastly, Self-Actualization.   Once our lower level needs are met, we are prompted to satisfy our higher level needs. (From Maslow, 1970).   Victor Frankenstein was raised in a wealthy family, with a mother whom adored and loved him unconditionally, siblings who admired him, an adopted sister whom he cherished and a father whom is kind. “No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence...When I mingled with other families I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted in the development of filial love (Shelley 23)."

Victor was provided every basic human need in becoming a well rounded and educated man.   He had his family, his friend, Henry Clerval, and his love, Elizabeth.   His last need, Self-Actualization, he pursued with upmost determination; he left his home and his family, college bound.   His was future promising. While studying at The University of Ingolstadt, a passion and fondness for Chemistry was brought forth.   It was there that Victor’s mere interest in Science became an obsession and a life from darkness was born.   “No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.” (Shelly 51)

  His quest for knowledge had taken over; morals were compromised, values were exterminated and basic human needs became disastrous, dangerous, and ultimately demolished.   Victor secluded himself...


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