In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there are many themes present. One prominent and reoccurring theme in the novel is isolation and the effect it has on the characters. Through the thoughts and feelings of both Victor and his monster, Frankenstein reveals the negative effects of isolation from society. The negative effects that Victor faces are becoming obsessed with building a monster and becoming sick. The monster faces effects such as confusion about life and his identity, wanting companionship, and wanting to seek revenge on Victor. Victor and the monster are both negatively affected by the isolation they face.
After learning about the life of Mary Shelley, I have grown to appreciate the novel, Frankenstein, even more since the first time I read it. She led a life nearly, as tragic as the monster she created through her writing. Mary seems to pull some of her own life experiences in Victor’s background, as in both mothers died during or after childbirth. Learning about Mary’s personal losses, I have gained a better appreciation of her as an author and a woman of the 17th century. She had association with some the most influential minds of that
Victor being the stubborn individual that he is, could still not be swayed from studying what he wanted. This only pushed him to read further into this category of the supernatural and begin reading from authors such as Albert Magnus and Paracelsus. Victor was even quick to state “My dreams were therefore undisturbed by reality; and I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the of the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life” (23). His stubborn nature becomes more evident when Victor finally gets to Ingolstadt for his education. After being criticized for only studying those authors by M. Krempe, a professor that Victor is to study under, and refuses to take the recommendation from Krempe to study other authors. Victor is quick to say, “I returned home, not disappointed, for I had long considered those authors useless whom the professor had so strong reprobated; but I did not feel much inclined to study the books which I procured at his recommendation” (28). His constant stubbornness won’t even allow him to take suggestions from a Professor that he is supposed to learn from. This of course allows for bad choices to be made and just goes to show how Victor lacks compassion for the people around
“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man,” said 19th century author and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle. Humans are naturally empathetic; without any external human stimulus, the human psyche has no outlet of which to vent this empathetic ability, and the subtle laws that govern our most basic morals and natural tendencies begin to fall apart. In Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, author Mary Shelley incorporates the theme of overwhelming obsession to weave the meaningful and momentous tale of true outcasts that are subjected to the agony of isolation. Victor Frankenstein’s lust for forbidden knowledge leads to the creation of a monster, which he ultimately shuns and abhors with passion. The monster, like a newborn child, is malleable to the world, and as the object of disgust and loathing, is corrupted and driven to murderous deeds by his absolute misery of his lonely isolated life. In Frankenstein, author Mary Shelley creates a powerful story of torment and obsession through the skillful use of the literary devices of symbolism, irony, and foreshadowing.
In the story of Frankenstein, Victor decided among all other possible things, to create “human life”. What brought him to want to make such an atrocity? The answer is his conscience. In his deeply scientific mind, he has the means and knowledge like no other. His level of intelligence is some of which humans long to grasp, throughout their entire lives. However, having this vast abyss of intellectual superiority comes with its own set of disadvantages as well. One of which, being that he must not decide whether he should create a creature off of selfish interest, rather consider its benefit to society. Had Victor backed himself up with research, he may have been knowledgeable enough on the topic of human creation, to know that a person’s emotions
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is an epistolary novel containing many different elements of darkness, theme, and Romanticism. Victor enjoyed experimentation and discovering new aspects of life. His ambition to become a creator begins the novel’s plot and theme. After a regretful decision of creation, Victor discovers the danger and power of nature, allowing it to take over his mind and control his emotions. One of the main themes, guilt, lingers throughout the story after one of Victor’s experiments went wrong and his best creation soon became his biggest regret.
The gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley highlights the idea that the real monsters of the world are humans and society, and that most traits that most humans despise are actually within all of us. Frankenstein shows that any human can be so corrupt as to be a “monster”, and that beings society considers repulsive and evil can be human at heart. Shelley exposes human faults such as hubris and irresponsibility through the main character of the novel Victor Frankenstein, who creates a living being and refuses to care for it, sending it into the unwelcoming hands of society. Victors irresponsible actions lead to many deaths and events. As the novel progresses, Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the Monster he creates become more and more similar
To begin our analysis, I will look to how Mary Shelley positions Victor Frankenstein's motivations to create life against natural laws within the ideas of individualism, as Victor can correlate directly to the educated human at the center of Enlightenment, Industrialism, and Romanticism values. With the burgeoning interest in scientific discovery during the Industrial Revolution "transform[ing] British culture" and "changing the world"(Lipking 2065), many concepts of society were also changed, which Shelley looked to explore through Victor's actions. Rooted in the scientifically curious spirit of Industrial England, Victor's attempt to create life can show many examples of how an importance of the individual acquisition of knowledge and accomplishment can disrupt society. Victor's...
Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, has captured people’s attention since it was first written. People often wonder how much of Mary Shelley’s life is documented in her novel. From the theme of parental abandonment, to the theme of life and death in the novel, literary scholars have been able to find similarities between Frankenstein and Shelley’s life. The Journal of Religion and Health, the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and the Modern Psychoanalysis discuss the different connections between Shelley’s life and Frankenstein. Badalamenti, the author of “ Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein?” in the Journal of Religion and Health, primarily discusses the connection between Victor
The character of Victor Frankenstein illustrates the path of destruction scientists can create when ignoring their moral community. Individuals, who possess good ambition for knowledge, power, self-perfection, and strength in one’s society, are vulnerable to their own delusions and instability, to corruption, fate, and nature. Victor was so impassioned with his life’s work that he had lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit (Shelley 32). Frankenstein’s blinding ambition prevented him from seeing the potential consequences of his actions until it was to late.
In Frankenstein, Shelley creates two very complex characters. They embody the moral dilemmas that arise from the corruption and disturbance of the natural order of the world. When Victor Frankenstein is attending school, he becomes infatuated with creating a living being and starts stealing body parts from morgues around the university. After many months of hard work, he finishes one stormy night bringing his creation to life. However, “now that [Victor] had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (Chambers). Right after Victor realizes what he has done, he falls into deep depression and must be nursed back to health by his friend. Victor spends the rest of the story facing consequences and moral problems from creating unnatural life. When he realizes that the ‘monster’ has killed his brother, even though no one believes him, he feels responsible for his brother’s murder because he was responsible for the existence of the ‘monster’. Also feeling responsible, Victor...
Isolation is often a result of choosing to seek refuge in solitude, however, in many cases, it is a result of brutality from a surrounding environment. In Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel, Frankenstein,a gruesome and painful story serves as a cautionary tale in order to prevent another from a similar downfall. Although Victor Frankenstein is the narrator for the majority of the novel, the audience learns of the destruction that has followed his decisions as well as the forced estrangement upon those he has encountered. In Frankenstein, Shelley uses relatable characters that reflect the harsh superficial aspects of society.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein originated as a ghost story told among her close friends. "It was a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils" (Shelley 34) is the first line Shelley conceived when she began composing her famous novel. In this sentence, the "accomplishment" to which Victor Frankenstein refers is the creation, which receives animation on this "dreary night." By calling the creation his "accomplishment," Victor unintentionally names the creation. However, by the end of this "dreary night," Victor names the creation no less than six times, each time getting progressively more derogatory, and more insulting. This evolution of Victor’s attitude about the creation occurs during the time immediately following the creation. In these few hours, Victor’s imagination creates an increasingly grotesque image of the creation. This developed condemnation that Victor imposes onto the creation is similar to all of the creation’s other encounters with human beings. This repeated rejection causes the creation to realize that "All men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things" (Shelley 65). Eventually, therefore, the creation accepts its role as a monster based solely on the reactions it receives from other human beings. However, these spiteful reactions are inspired by irrational fears that result from the human nature of the characters to form preconceptions about the creation based on their prior experiences.
The movement is one of the most important literary periods of history,; affecting literature, music, and art of the time. Mary Shelley uses all these philosophies when writing “Frankenstein”. The book reflects many elements of the Romantic era such as the supernatural, exotic, and loneliness. Victor Frankenstein was not a romantic hero, but his monster on the other hand certainly presents itself as one. Victor Frankenstein is a man that is obsessed and self-centered with great ambition. His life is the mirrored reflection of tragedy and greed. In his case, failure and excessive pride cause s him to rush into things, which is notisn't prepared because he fulfills his ambition and makes the biggest mistake of his life by creating the monster.
In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, many similarities can be seen between the creature and his creator, Victor Frankenstein. While Victor and the creature are similar, there are a few binary oppositions throughout the book that make them different. The binary oppositions in the novel serve as thematic contrast; and some of the most illustrative oppositions between the two characters are on the focus of family, parenthood, isolation and association with others.