Contents Index

Narcissism as Symptom and Structure: The Case of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Joseph Kestner

From Frankenstein/Mary Shelley, ed. Fred Botting (New York: St. Martin's, 1995), pp. 68-80.

{68} In his essay 'Narcissism and Modern Culture', Richard Sennett presents two cases of pathological narcissism, the first of which involves hysteria:
The doctor is presented with the involuntary expression of feeling, a demon breaking through the surface of polite order and this naturally suggests a duality or two levels or a peculiar set of connections between what is evident and what is hidden in the mind . . . The patient signals the doctor through sharp little eruptions.
On the other hand, Sennett argues, there are those 'people who evince no concrete, betraying symptom of distress, but rather report on malaise endemic to their character states: an inability to feel or to become aroused; a persistent sense of illegitimacy which is at its strongest when one is being rewarded as legitimate; a sense of being dead to the world'.1 This second kind of narcissism manifests itself as follows:

Every time he gets close to another person he gets scared and has to run away. His feelings for the other are not strong enough to overcome his terror, or, he reports he 'goes blank' at a certain point in his relations with the other person . . . While making love he feels empty, bored. The manifest content of such a distress is 'I cannot feel'; the latent content however, is that the Other, the other person {69} or the outside world, is failing to arouse me. The statement of inadequacy is double-edged. I am inadequate; those who care about me, by their very caring become inadequate for my needs and not really the 'right ones'. As a result of this double-edged formula, the person caught in this bind feels that those who try to get close to him, and violating him giving him no room to breathe; and so he flees on to the next person who is idealised as perfect until he or she begins to care.

This is what clinical narcissism is about. It is egoism2 rather than egoism, but egoism of a special kind. The world is a mirror of the self, a surface on which one's own needs are projected, needs one genuinely yearns to have fulfilled. But when another image is reflected back, outside oneself but reaching to oneself, that whole ability to desire, to imagine and to body forth one's desire is threatened, as if when two images are reflected on the mirror, the mirror itself will break.

It is to this situation that the myth of Narcissus speaks. True, he is in love with his own beauty, but the myth would still make sense if he were in love with his own unhappiness . . . The emotional structure of the myth is that, when one cannot distinguish between self and other treats reality as a projection of self, one is in danger.3

Sennett's analysis of the Narcissus myth illustrates that there is rarely one type of individual involved in this pathology: in reality, there are two, one whose reaction evolves an hysterical 'demon', another whose symptoms induce a solipsistic, benumbed self-projection. In this consideration of the narcissistic condition, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus (1818) constitutes one of the greatest explorations of pathological narcissism.

Victor Frankenstein's evident longing for another, despite his close friendship with Henry Clerval and his betrothal to Elizabeth, leads to the creation of a being who becomes the Inadequate Other which is in reality Victor himself. Gérard Genette argues in his 'The Narcissus Complex': 'In itself, the reflection is an equivocal theme: the reflection is a double, that is to say at the same time an other and a same. This ambivalence provokes in baroque thought an inversion of significations which makes identity fantastic (I am an other) and otherness reassuring (There is another world, but it is similar to this one).' Genette further emphasises the concept noted by Sennett, the narcissist's desire to flee 'on to the next person who is idealised as perfect until he or she begins to care'. To Genette, the flight is the result of the reflection, 'two motifs already ambiguous'. Since Mary Shelley's novel employs the element of flight (Walton to the pole, Victor from the Creature, the Creature in pursuit of {70} Victor), Frankenstein embodies an additional element of the Narcissus complex:

In this image of himself over which he bends, Narcissus does not discover in its resemblance a sufficient security. It is not the stable image of Herodias . . . it is a fleeing image, an image in flight, because the element which carries it and constitutes it is consecrated in essence to vanishing. Water is the place of all the treacheries and all the inconstancies in the reflection which faces him, Narcissus can neither identify himself without anxiety nor love without danger.
Victor Frankenstein's longing for the Other, then the fleeing from the Other, then the Other's pursuit of Victor, all constitute signal instances of the corollary of the narcissist's reflection, flight. As much as Mary Shelley's novel concerns 'The Modern Prometheus', it is much more involved with 'The Modern Narcissus'.

The importance of Frankenstein to the literature of narcissism, however, is not restricted to its content. If this were so, it would be interesting but not remarkable. Discussing further the Narcissus myth, Genette notes: 'The Self is confirmed, but under the species of the Other: the mirror image is a perfect symbol of alienation'.4 How does this 'mirror image' become functional as a literary structure? How the literature of narcissism finds a structure of narcissism is the more profound and more necessary question. One must distinguish between literary works which deal with narcissism and literary works which, while dealing with narcissism, structure themselves in a narcissistic manner. What is the structural equivalent for the 'image speculaire', the double, the mirrored narcissistic Other? Two essays, Jean Ricardou's 'The Story Within the Story' and Tzvetan Todorov's 'The Categories of Literary Narrative', provide the essential response to the structural presentation of narcissism in a literary text.

For Ricardou, it is the mise en abyme, the enclosure of one story within another story, which supplies this structure: by the mise en abyme, the narrative is 'imposing on itself in a narcissistic manner'.5 As heraldry encloses one coat of arms within another, so the narrative constructed by a mise en abyme, an enclosed narrative challenging the primary narrative, becomes structurally a narcissistic text. A particularly crucial instance of the mise en abyme exists for Ricardou in the Oedipus legend, where Oedipus was himself a mise en abyme in his mother's womb: it is not insignificant, therefore, that Victor Frankenstein experiences oedipal dreams after creating {71} the Creature. The mise en abyme assumes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein the form of a Rahmenerzählung or 'frame narrative', where one tale encloses another. In this way it realises one of Todorov's essential structure devices as expressed in 'The Categories of Literary Narrative': 'Embedding [enchâssement] is the inclusion of one story inside another'.6 Mary Shelley's attempt to find a structural corollary for her narcissistic tale exists in her use of three narratives. The first, which serves as the 'outer frame', is a series of four letters from the Arctic explorer Robert Walton to his sister Margaret Saville in England. When Frankenstein strays to Walton's icebound ship, he recounts to Walton, chapters 1 through 10, his story of the invention of the Creature; within his tale, chapters 11 through I6, the Creature recounts his story to Frankenstein, who recounts it to Walton. With the seventeenth chapter, the narrative becomes once again Frankenstein's to chapter 24, when Walton returns to his letters and concludes the narrative. The mise en abyme can be visualised thus:

This series of embeddings or mises en abyme constitutes the 'image speculaire', the structural double and series of reflections so crucial to the presentation of a story of narcissism. It is the special form of narcissistic reflection noted by Genette, 'reflection being penetrated without being dissolved: it is no longer concerned with a formal alteration or dispersion, but with a truly substantial evanescence'.7 Furthermore, he continues, the reflection, while penetrated without being dispersed, paradoxically presents a surface of depth: 'the most innocent watery surface covers an abyss [un abîme]: transparent, it allows one to see; opaque, it suggests it all the more dangerously as it conceals it. To be on the surface is to dare the depth.' In this manner, Mary Shelley's narrative structure in Frankenstein employs a narcissistic mise en abyme to analyse a narcissistic abîme. 'Narcissus contemplates in the water another Narcissus who is more Narcissus than himself and this other is himself an abyss [abîme],' {72} Genette notes.8 This triple embedding illuminates the similarities among the three protagonists -- Walton, Frankenstein, the Creature -- which signal their doubleness and otherness, the one the doppelgänger of the next, including their desire to explore, their failure to love, their loneliness, their avid reading, and their egoism. Furthermore, in his Tenth Lecture, 'Symbolism in Dreams', Freud noted that 'for the male genitals as a whole the sacred number 3 is of symbolic significance'.9 Mary Shelley's triplyembedded mise en abyme, therefore, reflects the latent homosexuality and egoism that characterises the three men. While one may conceive the Creature as Sennett's hysterical narcissist, Frankenstein as the introverted narcissist, and Walton as the resolution of the two, one must remember Gennette's observation, perfectly reinforced by the structural mise en abyme, that in narcissism 'the self is a succession of unstable states where . . . nothing is constant except the instability itself':10 each of these men embodies Otto Kernberg's definition of narcissism as 'libidinal investment of the self'.11 Thus, Frankenstein, through its structure, presents a narrative of narcissistic Selves and Others.

Walton's narrative, the outer frame of these mirrors, instantly signals the narcissistic nature of his personality. Writing from St Petersburg Walton tells his sister: 'My daydreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight.'12 In this passage, the pole/penis indicates that the motive for Walton's voyage is not as he contends, 'the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole' (p. 270) but a self-love, which he expresses when he mentions his object as 'a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye'. In his Twenty-Sixth Lecture, Freud argues that the delusion of grandeur, such as Walton reveals, 'is the direct result of a magnification of the ego due to the drawing in of the libidinal objectcathexes -- a secondary narcissism which is a return of the original early infantile one'.13 As the first letter continues, the narcissistic nature of Walton's personality becomes obvious: he was a poet, he tells Margaret, and 'for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation' (p. 271). While he fails in that venture, he spurns the luxury a legacy might have given him; instead, 'I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path' (p. 271). This impression is reinforced in the second letter when Walton writes, 'I have no friend' (p. 273). To emphasise this narcissistic isolation of Walton, Mary Shelley never {73} has the sister respond to Walton's letters, nor does the reader ever learn how they were transmitted, if sent at all.

In Letter IV, Walton recounts his taking Victor Frankenstein on board his ship, stating his finding of his narcissistic Other: 'I said in one of my letters . . . that I should find no friend on the wide ocean; yet I have found a man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart' (p. 283). That Walton recognises Victor as the 'brother of my heart' suggests the homosexuality latent in his narcissism, noted by Freud's observation that homosexuals 'proceed from a narcissistic basis, and look for a young man who resembles themselves', a trait clear in the Greek myth where Narcissus is loved by the god Apollo.14 Walton acknowledges that Victor has a 'double existence' (p. 285). With Frankenstein recognised as the Other, it is clear Walton's 'voyage is really a process of narcissistic introversion and selflove. By the mise en abyme, Mary Shelley embeds Frankenstein's narrative within Walton's, the structural equivalent of the fixation on the Self/Other.

By the age of seventeen, Frankenstein tells Walton, he 'ardently desired the acquisition of knowledge' (p. 305); influenced by the works of Paracelsus, Albertus Magnus, and the instruction at the university at Ingolstadt, Victor at the age of nineteen 'succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter' (p. 312). Immediately, after declaring this power, Frankenstein tells Walton: 'I will not lead you on, unguarded and ardent as I then was, to your destruction, and infallible misery. Learn from me . . . how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge' (p. 313): thus, Walton's search for the polar route and Frankenstein's finding of the secret of life are mirror images. 'On a dreary night of November', the result occurred:

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -- Great God! . . . The beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. (p. 318)
Freud's essay 'On Narcissism' illuminates several elements of this passage. First, it reflects the megalomania that may accompany the grandiose self-image of narcissists; Freud specifically mentions as a {74} trait 'a technique for dealing with the external world -- 'magic' -- which appears to be a logical application of these grandiose premises':15 thus Frankenstein's interest in pseudo-science like that of Paracelsus is a specific sign of his narcissism. The creation of the Creature, an ego-ideal, is further narcissistic. In the Twenty-Sixth Lecture, Freud discusses libidinal choice of object, noting one process, 'where the subject's own ego is replaced by another one that is as similar as possible'.16 Such persons, writes Freud in 'On Narcissism', 'are plainly seeking themselves as a loveobject, and are exhibiting a type of objectchoice which must be termed "narcissistic"'.17 This objectchoice is distinctive; initially it has the 'beauty of the dream':

This ideal ego is now the target of the self-love which was enjoyed in childhood by the actual ego. The subject's narcissism makes its appearance displaced on to this new ideal ego, which, like the infantile ego, finds itself possessed of every perfection that is of value . . . The object . . . is aggrandised and exalted in the subject's mind.'18
In addition to the narcissistic nature of Frankenstein's megalomaniacal propensity for science and for the narcissistic fantasy of his creation, the nature of his narcissism is explored even more deeply in his dreams immediately following the creation of the Creature:

I was disturbed by the wildest dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dear mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel. (p. 319)
Upon awakening, Frankenstein 'beheld the wretch -- the miserable monster whom I had created'. The narcissism of these passages is apparent: the combined reflection and the desire to flee, the simultaneous idealisation and debasement of the Other, the longing followed by rejection, the self-exaltation leading to self-disgust, the self-projection leading to self-rejection. The dream per se is profound: first, Frankenstein as he becomes a male-mother to his own self-image/Creature repudiates other women for the sake of the mother. In addition, the fact that the mother is dead and the Creature is a male suggests Freud's recognition that among some {75} narcissists with homosexual tendencies 'in their later choice of love-objects they have taken as a model not their mothers but their own selves'.19 The full implication of this dream is revealed in the events on Frankenstein's wedding night. Frankenstein observes, 'I bore a hell within me, which nothing could extinguish' (p. 351), indeed the Creature was within Frankenstein (I am an other). This 'within' becomes evident when Frankenstein meets his Creature and hears his tale, in another narcissistic mise en abyme.

The Creature prefaces his narrative with a direct evocation of his narcissistic status vis-à-vis Frankenstein:

'All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us . . .'

'Remember, that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam: but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. (pp. 363-4)

The Creature's allusion to Genesis is startling, for it suggests Freud's association of narcissistic symptoms with biblical creation when he quotes Heine's poem: 'Illness was no doubt the final cause of the whole urge to create. By creating, I [God] could recover; by creating, I became healthy'.20 After repeated rejection, ostracism and repudiation, the Creature finds Frankenstein's journal, which reinforces the narcissistic mirror image relationship:
'Every thing is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and loathsome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors and rendered mine indelible. I sickened as I read. "Hateful day when I received life!" I exclaimed in agony. "Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance."' (p. 397)
His form is a 'type' of Frankenstein's, beheld in the water: 'I cherished hope, it is true; but it vanished when I beheld my person reflected in water (p. 398, emphasis added). The narcissistic bond is cemented when the Creature, as had Frankenstein, observes he has 'a hell within me' (p. 403), recognising the mise en abyme that is his narcissistic origin: he is Frankenstein's foetus mise en abyme.

Although Frankenstein promises to create a female counterpart for the Creature, he fails to do so, ostensibly because of conscience. However, Freud's essay 'On Narcissism' again shows the nature of this excuse:

Large amounts of libido of an essentially homosexual kind are drawn into the formation of the narcissistic ego ideal and find outlet and satisfaction in maintaining it. The institution of conscience was at bottom an embodiment, first of parental criticism, and subsequently of that of society . . . The self-criticism of conscience coincides with the self-observation on which it is based.21
The narcissist, argues Freud in the Twenty-Sixth Lecture, has a peculiar kind of conscience: 'He senses an agency holding sway in his ego which measures his actual ego and each of its activities by an ideal ego that he has created for himself in the course of his development'.22 Frankenstein's assertions about conscience are thus data of narcissism. No female self-image, furthermore, appeases the narcissistic longing for the homosexual Self/Other.

This pathology is confirmed on Frankenstein's wedding night. At the inn, prior to consummating his marriage with Elizabeth, Frankenstein records:

I had been calm during the day; but so soon as night obscured the shapes of objects, a thousand fears arose in my mind. I was anxious and watchful, while my right hand grasped a pistol which was hidden in my bosom; every sound terrified me; but I resolved that I would sell my life dearly, and not shrink from the conflict until my own life or that of my adversary, was extinguished.

Elizabeth observed my agitation for some time in timid and fearful silence, but there was something in my glance which communicated terror to her, and trembling she asked, 'What is it that agitates you, my dear Victor? What is it you fear?'

'Oh! Peace, peace, my love,' replied I; 'this night, and all will be safe; but this night is dreadful, very dreadful.' (p. 466)

Having told Elizabeth to retire, Victor suddenly hears 'a shrill and dreadful scream. It came from the room into which Elizabeth had retired. As I heard it, the whole truth rushed into my mind' (p. 467). Like Echo in the Greek myth, Elizabeth is destroyed by her {77} Narcissus. The whole truth of this episode is that, fearing sexual contact, Frankenstein wanted the woman dead, desiring only to love himself, latently homosexual. The narcissistic Other (the Creature), by strangling Elizabeth, intervenes to prevent the normal separation of 'ego-libido' and 'object-libido' discussed by Freud in 'On Narcissism'. Instead, Frankenstein's libido is a narcissistic auto-erotism.23 Just as the face of the Creature had appeared when Frankenstein awakened from his dream about Elizabeth and his mother, so now does 'the face of the monster' (p. 468) grin at him through the inn window.24 In fact, through the narcissistic Other, Frankenstein is himself grinning. The mise en abyme, the story within the story, proves how integral is the Creature to Frankenstein, and of Frankenstein to Walton, all 'types' of one another.

When the narrative returns to Walton's, the primary narrative, the narcissistic symptom is confirmed: 'Frankenstein discovered that I made notes concerning his history; he asked to see them, and then himself corrected and augmented them in many places' (p. 483): the men thus share the pen/penis, and the act of writing, like the act of narrating through the mise en abyme, becomes a narcissistic and onanistic gesture. When Frankenstein dies, Walton records: 'It is past; I am returning to England. I have lost my hopes of utility and glory; I have lost my friend' (p. 489); his flight led to his reflection. On learning of his creator's death, the Creature vanishes in the icy waste, Walton is bereft, and the mise en abyme concludes. The solipsism of Frankenstein and the demonism of the Creature, uniting in Walton through the mise en abyme /foetus narrative, reveal the nature of Walton's narcissistic 'libidinal investment of the self'.

In the literature of narcissism, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is distinguished by the reciprocal strength of its content and its structure, where the mise en abyme structurally embodies the self-generating, self-contained narcissists of her narrative. Mary Shelley has presented symptoms of narcissism in her text which involve the reader 'A symptom is a pain which does not explain itself. It requires an act of decoding, of reading . . . Symptoms are the language of repression: they are a hermeneutic system,' writes Sennett. In a passage clearly relevant to Frankenstein, he writes:

As long as non-self-referencing signals, i.e. symptoms, appear, psychic work is being done to create a within, a foreground screening a background, a surface and a beneath. The action of creating a hermeneutic system in need of decoding is the psyche.25
{78} It is the achievement of Frankenstein that Mary Shelley ('foreground') has created by Ricardou's narcissistic mise en abyme the abîme 'within' recognised by Sennett, a 'background' (Frankenstein), a 'surface' (Walton), and a 'beneath' (the Creature). As Gérard Genette notes in 'The Narcissus complex', 'to be on the surface is to dare the depth'. The reader exists to 'decode' the 'hermeneutic system' of Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus to realise that in its depth it is Frankenstein; or the Modern Narcissus.

From The Nature of Identity: Essays Presented to Donald E. Hayden by the Graduate Faculty of Modern Letters (Tulsa, 1981), pp. 15125


[Joseph Kestner's essay combines a structural analysis of Frankenstein's narrative with a Freudian interpretation of the theme of narcissism. The novel is interpreted in the manner of a case study in structural psychoanalysis rather than in terms of its literary and historical context. Citing the work of famous structuralists, Gérard Genette and Tzvetan Todorov, the essay's close analysis of the novel's structure shows how its content is reflected in its form: the frame structure, encasing the monster's story within Frankenstein's which is within Walton's, is formally equivalent to a mirror, symbolic of narcissism. Within the structure of the text narcissism is signalled by the reciprocal identifications shared by the male narrators in which they are seen to mirror each other's egoistical desires. This is interpreted in the light of Freud's accounts of narcissism as a manifestation of homoeroticism. Focusing on the novel's structural relation of form and content, the essay does not pursue the suggestive cultural and sexual implications it opens up: male desire, exclusiveness and fantasy, however, are all concerns examined in various ways by the following essays in this collection. Ed.]

1. Richard Sennett, 'Narcissism and Modern Culture' October, 4 (1977), 71. Sigmund Freud discussed hysteria vis-à-vis narcissism in the Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, the Twenty-Sixth Lecture, 'Libido Theory and Narcissism', in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. and ed. James Strachey (London, 1953-74), XVI, p. 428. Several good assessments of literature and its relation to psychology are the following: Psychopathology and Literature, ed. Leslie Y. Rabkin (San Francisco, 1966); F. L. Lucas, Literature and Psychology (Ann Arbor, 1957); and Psychoanalysis and Literature, ed. Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek (New {79} York, 1964); the last includes Lionel Trilling's important essay 'Freud and Literature'. A good survey of contemporary theories of narcissism is contained in the second chapter of Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism (New York, 1979), including discussions of hysteria, Richard Sennett, and Otto Kernberg.

2. Freud, in 'Libido Theory', distinguishes narcissism and egoism, stating, 'Narcissism . . . is the libidinal complement to egoism' Standard Edition, XVI, p. 417.

3. Sennett, 'Narcissism', pp. 71-2.

4. Gérard Gennette, 'Complexe de Narcisse', Figures I (Paris, 1966), pp. 21-2; translations mine.

5. Jean Ricardou, 'L'histoire dans l'histoire', Problémes du nouveau roman (Paris, 1967), p. 172; trans. Joseph Kestner as 'The Story Within the Story', James Joyce Quarterly, 18 (1981), p. 323-38.

6. Tzvetan Todorov, 'Les catégories du récit littéraire', trans. Joseph Kestner, 'The Categories of Literary Narrative', Papers on Language and Literature, 16 (1980), 23.

7. Genette, 'Complexe', p. 24.

8. Ibid., p. 28.

9. Freud, 'Symbolism in Dreams', in Standard Edition, XV, p. 154.

10. Genette, 'Complexe', p. 26.

11. Otto Kernberg, Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism (New York, 1975), p. 315.

12. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (Baltimore, 1968), p. 269. Page numbers hereafter cited in brackets in the text. This is the 1831 text embodying the author's final revisions. In contrast to the 1818 edition, the 1831 edition contains a greater amplification of Frankenstein's childhood, considerably more information about Elizabeth and Clerval, and greater detail about the death of Justine, all of which contribute to a deeper understanding of the narcissism of the novel. The 1818 text, with an Appendix collating the variants, has been edited by James Rieger.

13. Freud, Standard Edition, XVI, p. 424.

14. 'Three essays on the Theory of Sexuality', Standard Edition, VII, p. 145. In The Greek Myths, I (Baltimore, 1955), Robert Graves records that the love of Apollo for Hyacinthus/Narcissus was the first instance of homosexual love between a god and a man; the mortal Thamyris also loved Hyacinthus, 'the first man who ever wooed one of his own sex', p. 78.

15. Freud, Standard Edition, XIV, p. 75.

{80} 16. Ibid., XVI, p. 426.

17. Ibid., XIV, p. 88.

18. Ibid., XIV, p. 94.

19. Ibid., XIV, p. 88.

20. Ibid., XIV, p. 85.

21. Ibid., XIV, p. 96.

22. Ibid., XIV, p. 429.

23. Ibid., XIV, p. 76-7.

24. In the Tenth Lecture, Freud discusses two images crucial to the narrative of Frankenstein's wedding night, the pistol, a phallic symbol (Ibid., XV, p. 154), and the window, a body orifice (Ibid., XV, p. 158). In the narrative, Frankenstein conceals the pistol/penis from Elizabeth, repudiating contact with her and desiring connection with the narcissistic Self/Other, the Creature.

25. Sennet, 'Narcissism', p. 76.