The Role Of Isolation In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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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…show more content…
The monster tells Victor of his feelings when he states, “You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains…I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery.” (153) After months and months of the monster trying to connect with the world, he eventually realizes that the efforts are worthless and vows to do to his creator what his creator did to him. To make Victor isolated would give him the same curse the monster has suffered through for its entire new life. Later, the creature asks himself, “Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” The creature easily could kill Victor if that was his desire but its real desire was to make Victor suffer as the monster did. To make Victor experience the feeling isolation, the creature sets out to destroy what he hold most dear, Elizabeth. Victor describes his spouse as the “body of Elizabeth, my love, my wife, so lately living, so dear, so worthy.” Nowhere else in the novel does Victor come even close to describing another human in this manner. Once the monster escaped, Victor realized how important it was to be near people he loved, he had learned the terrors of isolation. The creature then uses this against him by killing the person who brought Victor out of isolation, pushing him back into an even deeper sense of isolation from which Victor can never
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