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In: English and Literature

Submitted By snakeman
Words 1165
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Throughout Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, the theme of loneliness and isolation can be seen through the characters Victor Frankenstein and the Monster as well as some smaller role characters Robert Walton, Elizabeth and Safie through each of their experiences in life. A key character in the book, Victor Frankenstein is depicted multiple times as suffering through loneliness and isolation in his young life, his career and from the aftermath of his decisions. The Monster as well is depicted going through the struggle of loneliness as soon as his creation, all the way to his death. Robert Walton can be seen suffering loneliness on his journey to the north while Elizabeth and Safie can be seen suffering through loneliness in their lives. Through these characters the theme of loneliness and isolation is seen in each of their stories. A key character in the book Victor Frankenstein can be seen suffering through the constant theme of loneliness brought on by others but many times him. The first time in the book where Victor feels the suffering of loneliness is when his mother dies before he sets off to school in Ingolstadt. When hearing the news of his mother’s death he is quite shocked and come to a tough realization, “I, who had ever been surrounded by amiable companions...was now alone. In the university...I must form my own friends and be my own protector” (34). Victor had always been cared for by his parents and now with his mother gone and him moving to a new place made him feel quite alone and isolated having to be the one to care for himself with no one he knew at Ingolstadt to give him the comforts he was used to. When Victor begins to create the Monster he alienates himself from his friends and family and suffers from it physically. Working day and night, “[He] was oppressed by a slow fever... and [he] shunned [his] fellow creatures as if [he] had been guilty of a crime” (47). Victor isolates himself by working day and night to create life for two years and because of it becomes ill. The theme of isolation and loneliness is moving on from physiological to physical seen through Victor’s actions as he distances himself from society, friends and family as if he were a criminal. When Victor is finished creating the monster, he doesn’t just become isolated from others but from himself as well. Victor wants to tell someone about what he has done but, “Could never persuade [himself] to confide to him that event that was so present to [his] recollection but [he] feared the detail to another would impress more deeply” (60). Victor becomes paranoid and loses himself, isolating himself from his mind. Victor begins to shut down everything around him including himself not telling anyone anything even if it would make him feel better. The theme of loneliness and isolation can be seen through Victor’s experiences which are usually brought up by him. Victor’s creation, the Monster is seen through his story experiencing the theme of isolation and loneliness from creation to death. The monster suffers through loneliness and isolation due to the way he looks. The Monster isolates himself because, “[He] remembers to well the treatment [he] had suffered the night before by the barbarous villagers” (108). The monster isolates himself from everyone as he is immediately rejected by those who see him because of his monster like appearance. Later on in the book the Monster realizes he is a monster who has nothing and was born an outcast which makes him feel anger and loneliness. The Monster sees his ignorance and realizes, “I possessed no money, friends or property. I was endued with a figure hideously deformed. I was not the same nature as a man” (119). The Monster’s realization isolates him further as he accepts that he was born in to the world whose fate would lead him to be alone. When the Monster is speaking to Robert Walton he tells him that even the worst of people have someone other than him. After reading Paradise Lost the Monster tells Walton on the ship, “The fallen angle becomes a malignant devil. Yet even the enemy of God and man had friends...I am alone” (213). The Monster comprehends that even the worst people including the devil have a companion but he has no one and that is how he will die, alone. The theme of loneliness and isolation is present throughout the Monster’s life from creation to death as he never had anyone to confide in even though he constantly tried to find a companion. Not only do key characters in the book portray the theme of loneliness and isolation but many smaller roll characters do as well. Robert Walton is another character who suffers through the theme of loneliness and isolation on his journey to the north. In a letter to his sister he writes, “I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy...I have no friend, Margaret” (5). On his journey to the north, Robert has no one to call a friend as he thinks no one is on the same level as him intellectually which introduces the theme of loneliness to the book. Elizabeth, Victor’s cousin suffers through loneliness and isolation when Victor isolates himself from her to continue working on his creation and when he falls ill due to it. In Elizabeth’s letter to Victor she writes, “You have been ill and even the constant letters of dear kind Henry are not sufficient to reassure me...Get well and return to us” (55). Hearing of the state that Victor is in has made Elizabeth very apprehensive and all the while added on to her suffering of isolation. Another character that faces loneliness and isolation is Safie. The monster tells us that, “Her mother was a Christian Arab, seized and made a slave by the Turks” (124). Safie was looked down up as an outcast due to her being the daughter of Turk and a Christian Arab which introduces the theme of isolation in her character as well. Safie, Elizabeth and Robert Walton are all small role characters who Mary Shelly displays the theme of loneliness and isolation within their lives and experiences. Mary Shelly portrays the theme of loneliness and isolation through characters and their experiences. The theme of loneliness and isolation can be seen in the life of Victor Frankenstein where he suffers through isolation usually brought on by him. The Monster suffers through loneliness through his life from creation to death due to his monster like demeanor causing all to fear him and fail in attaining a companion. Smaller role characters also display the theme of loneliness and isolation seen on Robert Walton’s journey, Elizabeth’s experiences and Safie’s life as she was looked upon as an outcast. The theme of loneliness is portrayed throughout Mary Shell’s Frankenstein through isolation that each of these characters experience.…...

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