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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“Solitude vivifies; isolation kills” -Joseph Roux This quote unveils that the idea of choosing to be alone for philosophical pursuit and the stimulation of the mind doesn’t deviate from an ultimate outsider who longs for companionship as well as affection. Isolation can lead to destruction and insanity. In Chapter 14 of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the creature gets an insight on the cottagers’ lives in the past.
At times it can cause people to feel isolated, and distant from their friends and family around them. In the novel Frankenstein, Victor abandons the monster he has created. He created a creature that he thought would be beautiful, but unexpectedly it turned out the opposite, he had created a monster. Victor was terrified of the hideous creature and abandoned his creation, unknowingly leading to its destruction and distress. The novel is an example of how being different from society can cause people to feel ashamed of themselves.
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tells a fictitious tale of the scientist Victor Frankenstein executing his dream of forming life. As soon as his creation awakens, Frankenstein sprints away full of disappointment and dread. Consequently, this sparks the beginning of the creature’s infamous attitude of anger. Despite him carrying around the stereotype of emitting evil, the creature counters it throughout the novel. Part of the novel examines his immense kindness and his unavoidable loneliness. Unfortunately, those two, manageable emotions don’t last long due to his unmanageable rage outweighing them. Shelley conveys these three sentiments on pages 128-131 through imagery and tone in order to tie those rhetorical functions into the greater theme
Beginning with the theme of isolation. In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is so consumed by his work and discoveries that he has not seen any of the people that he loves for a very long time. He realizes that summer is passing and he has still seen no one, apart from letters to and from his father he has not been in contact with others. His father is concerned by this and Victor senses how his father feels and explains that “...the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time” (Shelley 33). This isolation causes Victor to almost die from longing for the presence of other people.
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
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an attempt at connection—a narrative woven by its three principal narrators that attempts to share their legacies, dreams, and destructive secrets. The novel begins with the sea captain Walton writing to his sister about his longing for a companion, a wish paralleled by the other collaborators of this tale. The whole narrative, therefore, is an effort to connect with others and alleviate loneliness and seclusion. It is fitting then, that this very notion of isolation is the greatest destructive force in the novel, as it facilitates and prompts monstrous behaviors. Emotional isolation from both family and society drives Frankenstein and his creation to dangerous and vengeful behaviors, which ultimately cause their
Victor Frankenstein, blinded by ambition or driven by madness? In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley embodies a cloud of characteristics that follow Victor along for the entirety of the novel. As a young scholar, Victor was driven to invest in his interests of chemistry and science. Hence, Victor soon became enamored with the ideas that lie in between life and death. Further pondering led Victor to become obsessed with the idea of bringing inanimate objects to life. The death of his mother leads Victor into denial. As a result of his mother 's death, Victor’s emotions falsely lead him to believe that he could have some control over the fate of peoples lives. Thus, Victor’s beliefs soon equated to a set of rules that he himself must follow. Consequently,
Isolation and abandonment can cause many different reactions from people. In the words of William A. Sadler Jr., a sociology professor, “We often do not know how to cope. It can make us confused, distraught, depressed, frightened, and even outraged” (Sadler 105). In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, several of these effects are presented in Victor Frankenstein and his creation. They both suffer from being isolated from their creator, society, and family units.
While Victor is not literally alone, due to his family and best friend Henry Clerval, Victor understands himself to be emotionally imprisoned. As a result of this he resolves that he cannot communicate his emotions to the people who, on the surface seem to be the ones closest to Victor such as Clerval or his wife Elizabeth, but in all actuality, Victor comes to the conclusion that he must face his emotional turmoil alone. In his younger years, Victor would attempt to cope with his emotions by engrossing himself in his studies of science, biology and early genetics, however, by encompassing himself in his work he only solidifies himself as an outcast. Victor even displays the depth of his emotional solitude when he asserts “swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys. Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate”(Shelley 27)