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Alienation - The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley,

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Alienation By Charlie Nelson The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, contains the motif of alienation throughout the entire novel, and expresses this motif through several characters in the book. Walton begins the book off saying that he longs for a companion on his journey that equals his own status. Victor, however, alienates himself to begin with, yet eventually is alienated from everyone he loves thanks to the monster. The monster has a reason for alienating Victor, however: the monster was created, brought into society, and alienated by Victor, his own creator. Elizabeth too feels alienated by Victor, who is too busy pursuing his experiment in Ingolstadt to pay any attention to her. In short, alienation is a recurring motif that returns throughout the book to haunt several characters. The novel begins with Robert Walton writing to his beloved sister, and he writes of how he is alone. He says: I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate in my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavor to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feelings. I desire company of a man who could sympathise [sic] with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. ...read more.


In Walton's last letter to his sister, the monster says in hindsight: "I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on". Victor (and no one else for that matter) wants anything to do with the monster. When Victor beholds what he created, he is terrified. The monster leaves his house, which pleases Victor because not only was it cold out, but there is an epidemic going around that might kill him. Outside, the townspeople scorn the monster. Once, the monster tries to help a lady cross a river, but the lady's companion thinks that the monster is going to hurt her, so he proceeds to shoot him. On another occasion, even after gathering wood for them, a family runs the monster out of their house because he looks scary. The monster says this of the event: Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage. Felix darted forward, ... dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick. (p.178) All the monster seems to want is compassion. He then reads Paradise Lost, which makes him believe that he is alienated ("Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence, p.170) ...read more.


Before Victor goes off to Ingolstadt, Elizabeth and Victor ponder marriage, but Victor says he will marry when he arrives home. Yet, after several years, Victor tells her that he is too caught up in his studies and experiments to return home at the time. This makes her feel unloved, similar to how the monster felt. Victor does in fact have a deep love for Elizabeth, yet it is ashamed that he waits so long to marry her. When he finally does, however, he has already made the monster angry which results in her death. Shelly has two main messages she wants to send us through this one motif of alienation. The first is what she shows us through Walton, the monster, and Elizabeth. This message is that people who are alienated from society, one another, or even from a god or creator, are longing for companionship. She has chosen this message to illustrate that one is in fact the loneliest number. The second message she delivers through Victor, and is more of a moral than a fact. Through Victor she shows that when we take things like friendship, love, or family for granted, we will be devastated when it is gone. She is telling us that we need not to seclude ourselves from one another because one of these days, the other will not be around and we will never again get the chance to know them. 1 ...read more.

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