Mary Shelley's Juxtaposition Of Loneliness

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Mary Shelley, in the last pages of Frankenstein, expresses that loneliness is the source of anguish. Shelley supports this with the juxtaposition of happiness and despair, biblical allusion, and parallel structure in order to point out that one’s affliction is caused by a lack of compassion and companionship. Shelley’s purpose is to show the result of perpetual loneliness so that she may better point out the necessary requirements of meaningful existence. Shelley first uses the juxtaposition of happiness and despair to show how loneliness causes anguish. The monster, in relating his story to Walton, expresses that he once sought sympathy for his loneliness. He said that, “it was the love of virtue, the feelings of happiness and affection with which my whole being overflowed” (159). However, upon receiving none, the monster states that, “virtue has become to [him] a shadow, and that happiness and affection are turned into bitter and loathing despair” (159). In these two statements, Shelley juxtaposes the monster’s initial want for happiness through sympathy to that of his despair as the result of receiving none.…show more content…
Continuing his conversation with Walton, the monster expresses that he is desperately lonely. He compares himself to the devil, but still says that, “Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am quite alone” (160). Shelley alludes to the fall of lucifer to show that the monster, too, was scorned by those around him; however, she takes it a step further by having the monster state that he is lonelier than even the devil. By alluding to such a hated wretch as the devil, Shelley situates the monster in an even worse position as the result of his loneliness, which further separates the monster from humanity. Furthermore, because the monster is so alone, he is perpetually vexed by anguish that led to him having a miserable
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