Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, has several themes imbedded in the
text. One major theme is of isolation. Many of the characters
experience some time of isolation. The decisions and actions of some
of these characters are the root cause of their isolation. They make
choices that isolate themselves from everyone else. However, other
characters are forced into isolation for reasons that are not in their
control. The actions of another cause them to experience loneliness.
The story begins with Robert Walton writing to his sister, Margaret,
about his voyage to an undiscovered place. In these letters, as the
voyage gets underway, he writes of his loneliness. Letter II states,
?I have no friend ?? (Hunter 16; ch 1). He describes how his
?enthusiasm of success? will be experienced alone and also how he must
suffer his disappointments alone. He states, ?I desire the company of
a man? (Hunter 10; ch. 1 ). In another letter, Walton is telling his
sister about a conversation he had with Frankenstein about
friendship. Frankenstein tells Walton, ?I once had a friend ??
(Hunter 16? ch. 1), implying that he no longer has any friends.
Isolation is evident from the very beginning.
Robert Walton chooses his isolation. He chooses to take this voyage.
Walton has planned this trip for six years. He states in his first
letter, ?I am required not only to raise the spirits of others, but
sometimes to sustain my own?? (Hunter 9; ch. 1). He understands exactly
what he is getting into and he chooses to continue anyway. George Levine
states in his critical essay, ?Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism,?
that Walton is ?isolated from the rest of mankind by his ambition ?? (...
... middle of paper ...
...t is to come before he forces himself and his crew to
experience this isolation and eventual death.
Hunter, J. Paul. ed. Frankenstein: Contexts, nineteenth century
responses, criticism. By Mary Shelley. Norton Critical Edition. New
York: New York. 1996.
Levine, George. ?Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism?. A Forum
on Fiction, Vol. 7, no. 1 (1973): 17-23. Rpt. in Frankenstein:
Contexts, nineteenth century responses, criticism. By Mary Shelley.
Ed. J. Paul Hunter. Norton Critical Edition. New York: New York.
Poovey, Mary. ?My Hideous Progeny: The Lady And the Monster.? The
Proper Lady and the Woman Writer. Chicago: U of Chicago P. (1984):
121-31. Rpt. in Frankenstein: Contexts, nineteenth century responses,
criticism. By Mary Shelley. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. Norton Critical
Edition. New York: New York. 1996. 251-61.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Throughout time man has been isolated from people and places. One prime example of isolation is Adam, "the man [formed] from the dust of the ground [by the Lord God]" (Teen Study Bible, Gen. 2.7). After committing the first sin he secludes "from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken" (Teen Study Bible, Gen. 3.23). This isolation strips Adam from his protection and wealth the garden provides and also the non-existence of sin. Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, is able to relate to the story of Adam and the first sin to help her character, the Creature, associate with Adam.... [tags: Frankenstein essays]
1836 words (5.2 pages)
- Emotional isolation in Frankenstein is the most pertinent and prevailing theme throughout the novel. This theme is so important because everything the monster does or feels directly relates to his poignant seclusion. The effects of this terrible burden have progressively damaging results upon the monster, and indirectly cause him to act out his frustrations on the innocent. The monster's emotional isolation makes him gradually turn worse and worse until evil fully prevails. This theme perpetuates from Mary Shelley's personal life and problems with her father and husband, which carry on into the work and make it more realistic.(Mellor 32) During the time she was writing this novel, she... [tags: Frankenstein essays]
1145 words (3.3 pages)
- Isolation as a Key Theme in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein A key theme of isolation is The Modern Prometheus. Prometheus was a son one of the last Titans. He was isolated like Frankenstein's creature, as Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to a man, one of the sons of God. Victor Frankenstein gave life to the monster and was isolated for his creation, as God only creates life. In the Modern Prometheus, fire was a gift from Zeus similar to life as a gift from God in Frankenstein.... [tags: Papers]
1052 words (3 pages)
- Humans are naturally social and interactive. Occasionally, a person will want or need to be away from others, which are very natural (Good Therapy Organization). However, prolonged isolation is not such a good thing, in fact, it can be downright harmful. In fact, isolation for extended periods of time can be considered a risk factor. Isolation can be categorized with smoking and obesity in terms of how damaging it is to the human body, as reported by an article written about how seclusion affects the mind and body (Edmonds).... [tags: prolonged isolation,joseph conrad,mary shelley]
1629 words (4.7 pages)
- We as humans want to be with each other. We actively pursue this goal be finding friends and significant others. While a moderate amount of solitude can be good we crave togetherness with others. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein isolation is a key theme in the novel. The creature created by Victor Frankenstein is driven into isolation from society based on people’s fear of him. Both the creature and Victor experience first hand the effects that isolation have on the creature's actions. Thus Frankenstein shows very clearly how lifelong isolation keeps someone from developing a moral compass and in turn makes them do wrongful deeds.... [tags: monster, creature, isolation]
1631 words (4.7 pages)
- Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, follows the conquest of Victor Frankenstein, as he brings the dead to life, and then portrays his guilt and shame for creating such a thing. The monster seeks revenge on his creator’s family when he grasps that he will never be accepted by mankind. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a gothic novel that utilizes several different romantic themes, such as individualism and alienation, glorification of the ordinary, and the supernatural. Firstly, individualism is something that follows Victor throughout his entire life regarding his childhood and his family, scientific work, and society.... [tags: victor, isolation, individualism, alienation]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein follows Victor Frankenstein a student in Ingolstadt who is able to bring to life a Creature composed of various corpses. Ashamed and disgusted with his creation he runs and is forced to keep his creation a secret which eventually leads to the death of his whole family.When the Creature described as Intelligent and sensitive is left to fend for himself; he is faced with prejudgement and isolation. As it is able to learn through observation he learns how he was created and develops an intense dislike for his creator.... [tags: Creation, Isolation, Creature]
817 words (2.3 pages)
- At the start of the novel the Creature has clear childlike characteristics. Aside from having the inability to speak, read and write the Creature is described as having “yellow skin”(Shelley 51) and “watery eyes”(Shelley 51), traits associated with a newborn. Once usually connects newborns to innocence and purity which can correlate to Shelley’s view that men are born innocent, but through social pressure are able to develop a destructive and dangerous character. “I was departed on none and related to none.... [tags: Creation Isolation, Creature]
931 words (2.7 pages)
- Isolation Isolation is one the roots of the problems and calamities endured by many characters depicted in the beloved and Dr Frankenstein. We see individuals like Sethe forced into slavery, she was abandoned by her mother, who was killed after a failed attempt to run away. She experienced hard times before being sold to sweet home at a tender age. Fast forward down years later, she started her own family with Halle. We see Sethe turn out to be someone who is obsessed with taking care of her children, we know she would do anything for her children, which included killing them to avoid capture by schoolteacher and his goons.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Mary Shelley, Novel]
1479 words (4.2 pages)
- An idea becomes a vision, the vision develops a plan, and this plan becomes an ambition. Unfortunately for Victor Frankenstein, his ambitions and accomplishments drowned him in sorrow from the result of many unfortunate events. These events caused Victors family and his creation to suffer. Rejection and isolation are two of the most vital themes in which many dreadful consequences derive from. Victor isolates himself from his family, friends, and meant-to-be wife. His ambitions are what isolate him and brought to life a creature whose suffering was unfairly conveyed into his life.... [tags: murder, rejection, karma, Mary Shelley]
976 words (2.8 pages)