The famous songwriter and musician Billy Joel once said, “I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” From this alone, one can conclude that the themes of alienation and rejection occupy the minds of everyone, including a famous pop musician. Because these themes are something shared by everyone, they are common in all forms of literature. Two prime examples of this can be seen in Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein and John Gardner’s 1971 parallel novel Grendel. Two secondary examples of these themes are seen in Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange and Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club. Each one of these novels have numerous themes, such as anger, hate, prejudice, nihilism, and existentialism, but they can all be defined in two words: alienation and rejection. From this, it can be proven that alienation and rejection affect everybody, therefore are an indispensible premise in literature.
In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, alienation and rejection are experienced by the two protagonists, Victor Frankenstein and his creature, for many reasons. The most apparent example is the creature made by Victor. The creature was, in simple terms, horrifying and ugly. He was constructed from the body parts of the deceased and was considerably larger and more exact than the average human body. Every character that came across the creature, assuming they had sight (the exception being Mr. Delacey), were struck with fear and either ran from him or tried to kill him. Considering that the creature was a “noble savage” who had human characteristics and emotions, this trend of alienation eventually turned his life miserable to the point that his only way...
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...lence they are associated with, are an indispensible part of literature.
Hence, alienation and rejection are major themes in both the lives of human beings and the pieces of literature mentioned above. The range of literature mentioned is enough to confirm that all literature is going to have times when these themes are necessary. Regardless, these themes and elements add various levels of depth and texture to a story. Without them, literature would be losing a lot and certain aspects of writing would lose the flavor that makes them unique.
Burgan, Michael, Dennis Calero, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein. Minneapolis: Stone Arch, 2008. Print.
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 1986. Print.
Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Knopf, 1971. Print.
Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton &, 1996. Print.
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