Mary Shelley, in her book, Frankenstein, has a reoccurring theme of isolation, in which she isolates the main character, Victor Frankenstein, from the rest of society in order to create a creature. Likewise, the creature that is created is also isolated from the rest of society as he is rejected from his creator as to his appearance. The theme is present throughout the novel as it reinforces Victor’s downfall from a normal boy to a grown man intrigued with creating life as he slowly becomes a madman that everyone soon fears. Isolation causes a loss of humanity as it affects the mind and body. Isolation from society does not teach social interaction, causes regret about oneself, provides one with negative feelings, and causes regretful actions.
Frankenstein, written and published in 1818 by Mary Shelley, is a well known science fiction novel wherein a scientist creates life through unnatural means. Victor Frankenstein, the story’s protagonist, goes through a series of emotions in his attempts to create life. In isolating himself from the outside world Victor becomes arrogant and ultimately creates a Godlike image of himself.
Emotional and physical isolation in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are the most pertinent and prevailing themes throughout the novel. These themes are so important because everything the monster, Victor, and Robert Walton do or feel directly relates to their poignant seclusion. The effects of this terrible burden have progressively damaging results upon the three.
Does Isolation Really Affect You? Joseph Roux, a French priest, poet, and philologist states, “Solitude vivifies; isolation kills”. Solitude is the state of being alone, while isolation is to remain alone or be apart from others, whether it’s emotionally or physically. Physical isolation is when people distance themselves from any physical contact from humans, while emotional isolation is when they shun something emotionally.
Frankenstein created the creature so he could manipulate the power of life, not to learn from the experience. He is so immersed in his studies, fascinated by the creation of life. He studies what the human body is made up of and how it falls apart. Victor completely disengages from the world when away at school after his mother dies of scarlet fever.
The Monster and Exile Every person in life is created with a strong sense of belonging. Whether the belonging is to a person, a place, or a moment in time, they still feel connected and influenced by it. Exile is an action that separates a person from this connected belonging, and can suffer great consequences, but can also enrich their lifestyle. In Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the creature creaked by Victor Frankenstein is forced, from the very beginning of his existence, away from his creator and society as a whole. This type of exile turned the creature into what he is, shaping his ideas and mentalities.
It is quite telling that the most severe punishment in our society other than the death penalty or torture is solitary confinement. Although, isolation is in itself a form of torture, it can drive someone to the brink of insanity. Although published nearly 200 years ago, Mary Shelley clearly understood the potential detrimental effects of isolation, as demonstrated in her famous novel, Frankenstein, where both main characters, Victor Frankenstein and his creation, suffer from and cause isolation for the other. Mary Shelley directs the reader to believe that isolation is the true evil, not the monster, Victor or any emotion inside of them. At the beginning of the novel, Victor is isolated from other people, causing to forget his scientific
The monster is spurned by society because of his horrific appearance, his body, alone and hated, unfit for the company of strangers, just as Frankenstein fears he is. He is miserable which makes the hatred grow, as he says, “all men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things!” In fact, this wretchedness and enforced isolation is the monster’s main character trait, parallel to the isolation being Frankenstein’s biggest fear. Now that Victor is in college, he does not have his family to fall back upon for affection.
However, despite the fact that they have slight differences, when comparing their experiences and characterization, it is apparent that they are more similar than they are different. They are similar because, they both lived in isolation, were abandoned, and lived like outcasts in the modern society. They both lived in isolation because other people thought that they were different. For instance, Victor Frankenstein was left all alone at a tender age after the death of his mother, and he never got a feeling of having a family. In addition, Victor was obsessed with dead bodies and creating a being.
Why does the novel prevail on the theme of isolation? This theme is perceived from beginning to end as the story unfolds. Isolation refers to when a person has nothing besides himself or feels out of a group. In this novel, there are three main characters that the reader can perceive as being isolated. The characters are: Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and the creature; however they reflect the theme in different ways.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the tale of a mad scientist is told who surpasses the limits of science and what is typically considered to be possible for man to achieve. One of the many underlying stories, though, can be seen in the monster who is created and then brought to life at the beginning of the novel. The monster’s development throughout the novel begins with initially being rejected and neglected by his creator Victor Frankenstein. The monster turns aggressive soon after and seeks revenge on Frankenstein’s family, killing off each one, one at a time. These actions are obviously very unlike that of an average human child, but when you look at his horrendous acts as being in response to negligence by a parental figure, they can
Victor Frankenstein turns away from his responsibilities by ignoring the existence of his creation. Throughout the novel, Victor is constantly running away from the monster and not giving him attention, which resulted in the monsters change of personalities. For example, in page 71 the creation said, “All men hate the wretched; how 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.” This quote suggests that because of the ignorance of Victor the monster began to become evil and have the urge to seek
This section of the text where Frankenstein is in “some remote spot of Scotland”(186) alone with no one shows a shift in his character. Victor Frankenstein is now in a land where “the soil is barren… a few miserable cows and oatmeal for its inhabitants”(186) and “there were but three miserable huts. ”(187) this description of the land through the use of the words “barren,” “miserable,” “few” and “huts”(187) show just how empty the land is, which reflects Frankenstein's emotions at the time. He has discover the truth about his brother, he has been threatened by the creature and has failed to complete the task of creating a female creature.
He hopes that this trip can repair his broken soul from the death of Justine and William. For Victor to cope with his feelings and heal from the deaths, he must: Victor goes into solitude so he can relax and focus on nature and forget about his worries. He isolates himself from society and the flaws that are apart of the world. In fact, the use of nature throughout the novel Frankenstein and Nature change the mood drastically.