Studia Universitatis Petru Maior - Philologia. 2018, Issue 25, p108-119. 12p.
Literary criticism and Dialectic in literature
The two concepts of freedom and identity are among the keywords in humanities and social sciences which have attracted the attention of almost every philosopher and theorist throughout history. Each of them revisited the concepts according to her/his Weltanschauung. Among all, G. W. F. Hegel -the German idealist philosopher- is one of the most influential theorists, famous for his heavily complicated definitions of these two concepts. His master-slave dialectic is one of the most renowned examples regarding freedom and identity, which through the irreducibly locked reciprocal relationship, the identity of each of the two sides is formed. Following Hegel, Jacque Lacan -the contemporary French philosopher and psychoanalyst-returned to Hegel, striving to reconsider the terms and definitions in order to develop his own psychoanalytical theories. He borrowed the master-slave dialectic and shaped it in a totally different form. The 19th century British novelist, Mary Shelly, in her worldly acclaimed novel entitled Frankenstein, illustrates the mutual relationship between Victor and his handmade creature, which could be analyzed through the lens of Hegelian and Lacanian master-slave dialectic. This paper aims to highlight the presence of both Lacanian and Hegelian master-slave dialectic in Frankenstein and further, to conclude how the historical assumption of such relationships is distorted: the master is no longer a master, but a slavish being dependent (on) the slave. The discussion, eventually, would guide not only to a better understanding of the novel, but also to a better comprehension of the functioning process of the modern man's psychological structure. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]