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.
A writer named Nikita Gill once said “When you see a monster next, always remember this. Do not fear the thing before you. Fear the thing that created it instead.” This quote can be related to the novel Frankenstein where instead of the actual creature being perceived as the monster, the person who created it deserves to be called one. Using the archetypal lens, Victor can be seen as the real monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from his cruel characteristics, continuous patterns of monstrosity, as well as symbols and themes involving nature.
Victor questions why men so instinctively attempt to become superior to nature when men are also a product of nature. He criticizes that if humans reverted to our primal instincts, “hunger, thirst, and desire” (67) that we’d be free, or content with our lives. This is his subliminal self-reflection as he understands that seeking the secret to life, by creating the monster, did not bring him happiness but rather brought him misery and self-loathing. In this last line of the passage, Shelley highlights a major morale and theme of the story which is using science to tamper with nature, a critique against the enlightenment period. The consequences of Frankenstein’s creation have not only caused the death of William and Justine but will also become the reason for his own inevitable doom
Such passion is seen in Victor’s ‘noble intent’ to design a being that could contribute to society, but he had overextended himself, falling under the spell of playing ‘God,’ further digging his grave as he is blinded by glory. His creation – aptly called monstrous being due to its stature, appearance, and strength – proved to be more of a pure and intellectually disposed ‘child’ that moves throughout the novel as a mere oddity, given the short end of the stick in relation to a lack of familial figures within his life, especially that of parents. Clearly, Victor Frankenstein had sealed his fate: by playing God he was losing his humanity, ultimately becoming the manifestation of Mary Shelley’s hidden desires, deteriorating into The Lucifer Principle by which the author Howard Bloom notes social groups, not individuals, as the primary “unit of selection” in human psychological
e and isolation can easily Throughout the book of Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, there are many themes. Similar to Frankenstein, the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt and written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, shows similar themes as Frankenstein. Through these examples we see how knowledge may cause trouble to a society, that ambition can lead to obsession and obsession can lead to evil. In addition natural influences earth or in a person or animal can set up a story and become someone's reality and introduce more problems than thought, and finally that isolation and loneliness changes a person in ways that are not commonly understood. I would like to focus on the aspects of isolation or loneliness, and danger of knowledge.
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
(Shelly 42, 43) Here, the effects of his continued pursuit of knowledge and neglect of well-being is shown evidently. Once Frankenstein creates the monster, his unquenchable thirst for knowledge is frightened into silence. He then presently returns to the outside world,
Previous to the existence of the monster, readers are introduced to an ambitious, benevolent Victor Frankenstein. He exuded an excitement and passion about learning, though only for very specific subjects. “My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desire to learn.” (Shelley 19) Though his studies on creating life artificially had eventually grown tiresome—“My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had
Whereas Frankenstein does not properly value the domestic affection he is given until it is violently taken from him, his creation learns that this is what values most in life and yet is not able to gain this affection from others. Francis Bacon says in his essay Of Friendship “I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage”. Shelley highlights the need for a sense of belonging and companionship by letting both her main figures suffer the pain of not having this need fulfilled and, in consequence, they both “quit the stage” (Bacon) and turn their backs on humanity. Social isolation, although through different circumstances, was the predominant cause for both Frankenstein and his creature’s demise. Even Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley’s husband, wrote in his preface to Frankenstein about the “amiableness of domestic affection” (Shelley 9).
Frankenstein In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a conflict as old as life itself emerges as the story progresses; parent versus posterity in a struggle for reconciliation. Victor Frankenstein and his creation become tied up in a constant battle as the creation seeks his origins, finding a horrifying truth; the creator had abandoned the creation. This central conflict derives from the creation of the creature, inability of Frankenstein to appreciate his creation, and the creation’s need for a parental figure. The conflict addresses themes of the book such as human desires for prestige, acceptance, and the intimacy of a relationship with one’s creator.
Victor Frankenstein is selfish. The novel portrays Victor as a selfish character who is only concerned about his own well-being. Frankenstein wanted to manipulate the power of life. He abandons his creation because of the creature’s appearance and also withholds information or lies about his creation. Due to Victor 's selfishness, readers feel sorry for his creation.
How does Mary Shelley’s construction of the secondary characters reflect upon the protagonist? Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, character parallels and analogies between Victor Frankenstein and the creature are strongly emphasized. More evidently, the character doubles between the creator, Victor, and his creature are presented through their demeanor, their desires, and their demands. Shelley emphasizes parallelisms of nature, alienation and vengeance to underscore their similarities, leading some readers to interpret Victor and his creature being so similar that indeed, they are the same person. Both lonely and outcasts in the world, Victor and his creation live forlorn and dreary lives, hungry for the love of another, desperate for
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.
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.