“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. Through his observation of how they live, he discovers Felix’s efforts to save a Turkish merchant from prison. As Felix attempts to free the prisoner, he immediately falls in love with the merchant’s daughter, Safie; however their plan comes to a halt when the government finds out Felix’s role in liberating the merchant. This results in the …show more content…
As he draws the similarities between himself and Safie’s father, he points out the “barbarous sentence” the merchant has to face. Similarly, the monster faces a sentence after being created: the rejection from his creator and human society without evaluation of his personality. The creature experiences a sense of compassion as he draws his attention towards the cottagers and becomes aware of their transition to becoming outcasts. In this chapter, it exposes the physical conditions that came with the misfortune of the DeLaceys family.
“Such were the events that preyed on the heart of Felix and rendered him, when I first saw him, the most miserable of his family. He could have endured poverty, and while this distress had been the meed of his virtue, gloried in it..” (Shelley 194)
The creature is able to relate to the cottagers as they had been isolated from society with the intentions of showing gratitude and helping those around them. With the cottagers being deprived of their fortune and condemned “to a perpetual exile from their native
Now that I have told you how Felix executed his plan you may be wondering why Felix would execute this plan. Although Felix grew up with a bunch of expensive things he was never given a bunch of love. He dropped out of college, could never keep a job for more than a month, and was not really well liked. Not even the four people whom he considered his closest friends truly liked him at all. To make matters worse his parents died a year ago.
The first glimpse of isolation we see comes from Robert Walton. The Arctic seafarer whose letters to his sister open and close Frankenstein. Walton picks the tousled Victor Frankenstein up off the ice, helps nurse him back to health, and listens to Victor’s story. Within his second letter to his sister he confides in her “But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy,
(Ch.8) and without the acceptance he yearned for, he became bitter and resentful, acting out ruthlessly. The monster was completely misunderstood and at no stage a welcome guest. In spite of his benevolent and kind spirit, he was beaten up and even shot at. No one was willing to attempt to understand him except for Agathe who was blind, but even that was short lived as Felix was quick to attack the creature. Although labelled as a horrifying monster, nothing but his exterior fit this description, until he was discriminated by society.
The Creature commences as “benevolent and good” (pg. 69) as he firstly observes the positive aspects of mankind. The positive nature of mankind is emphasized by the deeds of the two younger cottagers who “several times placed food before the old man when they reserved none for themselves.” (pg. 77) The deeds taken by the two cottagers deeply affected the Creature as it demonstrates the human ability of unselfishness and the effect of human kindness. The creature states that “this trait of kindness moved me sensibly”
During his time studying the family, the monster becomes more “open to love and compassion, valuing education, language, and communication as he develops the ability to comprehend and share with others,” (Brackett). At first, the monster routinely stole food from the cottagers, however, when he discovered that this action brought hardship upon them he satisfied himself “‘with berries, nuts, and roots... gathered from a neighboring wood,” (Shelley 118). This improvement in character strengthens the idea that a natural education is superior.
The monster shows his sorrow after being rejected by the cottagers; “I continued for the remainder of the day in my hovel in a state of utter and stupid despair. My protectors had departed, and had broken the only link that held me to the world. For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom” (Shelley 97). The creature leaves where he was abandoned to a cottage of the Delacey’s there he learns about humanity. After learning he accidentally drives the Delacey’s apart from him, causing great depression and anger (Frasait).
This time spent here helped to begin to develop the creature’s mind, proving he was in fact rather intelligent. The monster knew that he was different from these people, often describing them all as beautiful. He knew they would not accept him, and yet his search for belonging and family continue to surge the novel forward. While the creature is lonely and hurting, his actions slowly become malicious.
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.
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.
The monster finds the cottagers to be “excellent creatures”(77) and is intrigued by their humble lifestyle. To help the cottagers begins to collect wood for the cottage and during the winter he made a path for them to get to their hunting area. The cottagers are people impoverished and have to life out in the country because of that. 36. The monster begins to understand his place in the world, or rather that he doesn’t really have a place.
Nature seems to mock the creature, as “the cold stars shone in mockery” because “all, save [him], were at rest or enjoyment”, due to the creature’s loss of his only near-companions (117, Chapter 16). Simple cottage folk that he observed from a great distance were his only source of contact to the world. He wished for their friendship, however, he was only met with their horror and disgust. The creature only desires friends who will show him love and affection but receives only pain and suffering. Because he never gains the love of any person he meets, his depressed demeanor is revealed through his depressing descriptions of dark and decaying nature.
William Frankenstein’s demise elicits the poignance and tremendous guilt Victor feels for having created the Daemon. Victor questions himself, “ ‘Did anyone indeed exist, except I, the creator, who would believe...in the existence of the living monument...which I had let loose upon the world?’ ” (Ch. 7, 93). Victor realizes that the true murderer of his younger brother is his creation and not the accused Justine Moritz. He contemplates whether anyone one would believe him if he announced the truth, but no one would, As a result, Victor begins to feel deeply contrite since he is the reason for Justine’s execution.
The creatures first encounter with a human being only proves how humane it is, despite his horrid appearance as the old man is delighted with him "I am blind, and cannot judge of your countenance but there is something in your words which persuades me that you are sincere". However, the younger citizens of the cottage enter and the creature is back to square one as they immediately react defensively against it- conveying how the creature will never be accepted with such distorted appearance since it is immediately identified as inhumane and
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
They ways in which they are affected by this abandonment proves that isolation has grave effects on human interaction and social development. One way that the theme of isolation negatively affecting social development is presented in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is through the character’s separation from their creators. The creature is abandoned by Victor, his creator, as soon as he awakes.