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Frankenstein: Theme of Isolation by Mary Shelley

This is a novel written by Mary Shelley. The novel title refers to a scientist known as Victor Frankenstein, who learns to treat life and creates a being in the image and likeness of man but more powerful and average (Fleck 250). However, the idea of depicting man as God is wrong. This novel starts with Robert Walton, who sought for a new way through Russia to the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic Ocean. Shelly defines several themes in the novel which are tied to actions performed by characters associated with them.

The themes in the Frankenstein novel are developed through the characters’ actions and personalities, which help in giving insight into the full understanding of the concepts anticipated by Shelley. The novel is full of terror and agony which has made it qualify as science fiction. The book story is written in a concise manner where Shelley allows the main characters to speak as the narrator to pass the main themes to her audience. The theme of isolation is outlined and carried on throughout the context, mainly through Victor.

In Shelley’s gothic novel, isolation is a significant theme attributed to Victor. Family bonding is essential for breaking emotional isolation, and since Victor lacks that family bond, he ends up being alone and devastated.  Victor lived in “his world” with no people to bond with; as his father stated, “once Victor accepts himself and considers them as a family, he will think about the affection of the family and hear from him regularly.” Victor excluded himself from his family while also ignoring their letters, and he rarely responded since he was only focused on his project as he once said: “ he could not tear my thought from my employment.” Victor’s mind was only concentrated on creating another being and did not focus on interactions with family or forming bonds with friends.

In the novel, the theme of isolation is developed around the main character in which victor is portrayed as isolated (Pollin and Burton 100). He has no one to tell about his inventions and creations because he has no one to express his emotions to. This is due to the loss of his lover, friends, and family. Isolation in this context is far more described by portraying characters’ loneliness and the acts that are attributed to the isolated nature of the specific character developed in the setting of the book. The inability to express emotions leads to the growth of hatred, which is channeled and expressed in inappropriate ways and results in harming society, as described in the book.

In the preface, Frankenstein is a novel that provides a clear depiction of isolation. Cases of murder, despair, and tragedy occur due to a lack of connection to society or family. In the novel, Shelley tries to define isolation as being the separation from other people, whether physically or emotionally, leading to the self-destruction of Victor and the creature he had created. This shows that the real evil in Frankenstein is not the monster nor Victor but isolation. The novel is characterized by passion and a tale of deep sorrow as well as misfortunes. Shelley explores the theme of loneliness in different ways and presents it to the readers, accompanied by its reputation. Shelley effectively describes this theme through Victor by examining his actions and how depressed he is.

Victor experiences isolation from society and his family during his studies. He, therefore, faces the worst imaginable fate, and where he views violence, revenge, and hatred as caused by isolation. According to Victor, the monster turns vengeful not because he is evil but because isolation fills it with anger and hatred. The devastation experienced by Victor leads to imprecise and poor judgment and thus ends up with unbearable decisions. As described by Victor, isolation from society leads to emotional disorder, which is implicated through social evils committed by him. The message portrayed by Shelley that isolation is considerably associated with the way people live their lives and also how people interact with each other in society of not limited only to emotional relationships and bonds.

In the Frankenstein novel, the victor is described as the one who brings isolation to himself. Throughout most of his life, Victor had isolated and grounded himself in his chambers trying to solve the math and create a creature (Cole and David 69). Victor had excluded himself from society, and that resulted in implicit implications for the community since, by creating the creature, he unleashed a monster. The misfortune brought about by isolation keeps the book’s ideas alive by making the readers want to know what each action resulted in. To cope with loneliness, Victor finds a way of expressing his emotions through the creature he created. Although isolation is viewed to have negative impacts, Victor found it as an essential factor in his work since he did not experience disruption during his project. This implies that isolation can result in something good if used in the right manner since, through it, the victor was able to achieve his dream and create a powerful being as he had anticipated.

In conclusion, isolation, as portrayed by Shelley, is a dangerous factor in one’s life. Isolation is destructive and makes the affected characters suffer adverse consequences from it. As observed, Victor was aspired by isolation to create a monster whom he could not take responsibility for and whom he could not control and hence led to the self-destruction of Victor’s life. Additionally, by Victor excluding himself from everyone, he ended up losing family affection and bond, and also, the love for his work cost him a family relationship.

Work Cited

Cole, David. “Teaching Frankenstein and Wide Sargasso Sea Using Affective Literacy.” English in Australia 42.2 (2007): 69.

Fleck, P. D. “Mary Shelley’s Notes to Shelley’s Poems and” Frankenstein.” Studies in Romanticism (1967): 226-254.

Pollin, Burton R. “Philosophical and Literary Sources of Frankenstein.” Comparative Literature 17.2 (1965): 97-108.



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