Frankenstein-Maslow

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In the novel, Frankenstein or the Modern Day Prometheus by Mary Shelley, she describes a series of psychological events, these events match the order of the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows the order or progression of human needs. Abraham Maslow proposed that healthy human beings have a certain number of needs, and that these needs are arranged in a certain order, with some needs (such as physiological and safety needs) being more basic and important at first than others (such as social needs).

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often presented as a five-level pyramid, with higher needs coming into focus only once the lower, more basic needs are met. Shelley shows us each of the different parts that make up the hierarchy as well as the problems/consequences that may arise if one need is unable to be attained and/or maintained. This essay will compare the Maslow Hierarchy with the psychological/mental growth of the creature.

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Abraham Maslow categorized the needs as deficiency needs and growth needs. Maslow called the bottom four levels of the pyramid deficiency needs’ because a person does not feel anything if they are met, but becomes anxious if they are not. Physiological needs such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are deficiency needs, as are safety needs, social needs such as friendship, and ego needs such as self-esteem and recognition.

In contrast, Maslow called the fifth level of the pyramid a growth need’ because it enables a person to ?self-actualize’ or reach their fullest potential as a human being. Once a person has met their deficiency needs they can turn their attention to self-actualization. Maslow claimed that without being able to meet all four deficiency needs, they would not be able to progress into the growth needs. In Frankenstein, the protagonist, Viktor Frankenstein, creates an ugly human-like creature in a bizarre science experiment. Viktor is frightened by his hideous creation and leaves the creature to survive on his own.

Mary Shelley shows us the psychological development of the creature and how certain events and interactions affect the creature. Once the creature becomes aware of himself, the physiological needs of food and water become apparent. I felt tormented by hunger and thirst. This roused me from my nearly dormant state, and I ate some berries which I found hanging on the trees or lying on the ground. I slaked my thirst at the brook; and then lying down, was overcome by sleep (Shelley, 105). The creature’s first need was hunger and thirst, just like how in Maslow’s hierarchy the first need is food and water. Before the creature worries about possible danger or about other people, the creature realizes that he must find something to sustain itself.

With the first need met, the creature can focus on the next need.

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