Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(3); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.060302.
School of Foreign Languages of Shanghai University, Shanghai, 200444, China
Mary Shelley’s representative work Frankenstein is the first of modern science fiction in western literature. Frankenstein, the protagonist of the novel, abuses science and creates a manlike monster. The monster cannot engage himself in the human society and eventually goes to ruin. In light of American social psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchical theory of needs, this paper analyzes the five levels of needs that the monster is confronted with as he steps into human society. After mastering the basic survival skills to satisfy his physiological need and safety need, which can be categorized as deficit needs, the monster tries to meet belongingness and love need by observing human’s daily life, mastering human language, and establishing emotional connection with human beings. However, human’s indifference and abandonment deprives him of esteem and recognition, which leads to his devastating revenge against his creator-Frankenstein. This paper points out that the monster’s self-actualization without love and esteem is the root of his tragedy.
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, monster, Abraham H. Maslow
Siwen Meng. The Monster’s Tragic Self-actualization in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 3: 8-12. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.060302.
 Tang, W. W. (2008). Irresistible Fate -- an Analysis of the Tragic Life of the Monster in Frankenstein from the Perspective of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Journal of Institute of Education (Social Science), 2, 81-83.
 Huang, F. M. (2004). Theory of Needs and Its Application. Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2.
 Maslow, A. H. (1987). Self-actualizing Man. Beijing: SDX Joint Publishing Company, 152.
 Mary, S. (1991). Frankenstein. New York: Bantam Books, 99, 101, 110, 88, 128, 131, 132, 80, 196-197, 152, 194, 1-2.
 Thompson, T. W. (2000). Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN. The Explicator, (4) 58, 192.
 Chao, S. L. (2010). Education as a Pharmakon in Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN. The Explicator, (4) 68, 223-224.
 Hetherington, T. (1997). Creator and Created in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The Keats-Shelley Review, (1) 11, 25, 19, 35.
 Coleman, J. R. (2004). Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN. The Explicator, (1) 63, 22.
 Wang, Q. Y. (2012). An Analysis of the Eccentric Behavior in Frankenstein from the Perspective of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Social Science Front, 2, 273-274.
 LeCussan (2001). Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. The Keats-Shelley Review, (1) 15, 114.