Frankenstein Essay: Isolation
By: Graham Wolch
Isolation is the separation from others whether it is emotionally or physically. Through out the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the theme of isolation carried on. In the novel Frankenstein both Victor Frankenstein and the creature (whom Victor created) suffer from isolation both physically and emotionally. This isolation experienced by both of them would eventually lead to self-destruction of both their lives.
Victor brought isolation upon himself, through out his life. Victor was deprived of "rest and health"(56) and had "worked hard for nearly two years"(56) while he isolated himself in his chamber creating the creature. Once Victor had created the creature he went into emotional isolation to try and cope with the fact that he had created a monster. Victor lived in his own world. His family and friends never stopped loving him, even though he rarely responded to the letters they sent him. While isolated in his chamber concentrating on creating another being, Victor ignored the wishes of his father; "I know that while you are pleased with yourself you will think of us with affection, and we shall hear regularly from you. You must pardon me if I regard any interruption in you correspondence is a proof that your other duties are equally neglected."(54) Victor ignored his father's wish and isolated himself from his family since he "could not tear my thought from my employment."(54)
Unlike Victor, the creature was forced to live in isolation from society. Since nobody could with take the "breathless horror"(56) presented by the creature's appearance, this made it impossible for the creature to have any hope in socializing with any human with eyes. The creature was not responsible for his abandonment. He was hated and rejected from the moment of his creation. The horrible image of the creature's physical appearance physically isolated him from society. The only person who accepted the creature for what he was, was De Lacy, and he was blind. De Lacy listened to the creature's heart-breaking story of being lonely with no friends. De Lacy comforted the upset monster by telling him that he was "really blameless"(128) and that it would be a "pleasure to be in any serviceable to a human creature."(128) This was probably the happiest point in the creature's life, since he did not feel isolated or lonely in the company of De Lacy. Unfortunately this relationship ended horribly when De Lacy's family returned and Felix chased the creature away and struck him "violently with a stick."(129) This made the creature realize that he would forever be rejected from society. "I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me."(148) This realization of complete loneliness gave the creature a huge craving for attention. He felt that he could only get the attention of Victor by killing the ones closest to Victor.
Since Victor's isolation was brought on by himself, he was able to rejoin society. He returned home shortly after receiving a letter from his soon to be wife, Elisabeth. Even though Victor was still suffering from some emotional distress, he was still able to return home, unlike the creature who had no one to love and couldn't be accepted by any normal human, thus having no way of escaping his isolation. The creature's need for attention led him to the murders of the people closest to Victor. He told Victor that he "will revenge my injuries: if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my archenemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred"(139) Murder was the creature's way of receiving attention. The more he killed Victor's loved ones, the more attention the creature received from Victor. Eventually he had killed everyone close to Victor and had gained Victor's full attention, when Victor vowed to do everything within his "power to seize the monster."(190) Now both Victor and the creature had no one to love, only one person to seek revenge from.
The amount of love given to Victor and the creature effected the emotional and physical isolation, which the both experienced. Since the creature was never loved he was permanently isolated from human society. In order to deal with this isolation, the creature kill off all of Victor's loved ones, thus ruining Victor's life by making Victor experience the feeling of having nobody to love. Through out the novel, the feelings of hatred and isolation shared between Victor and the creature, led both of them to their self-induced deaths.
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