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Explore Mary Shelly's Presentation Of Alienation In Her Novel "Frankenstein"

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Explore Mary Shelly's Presentation Of Alienation In Her Novel "Frankenstein" Mary Shelly wrote "Frankenstein" as a bet between her husband (Percy Shelly) and their friend (Lord Byron). Many features in the novel can be related to Shelly's life, and I will point these out through out this essay. The basic plot of Frankenstein is that Victor Frankenstein creates a monster that experiences huge amounts of alienation, which results in it committing three murders. Victor chases the monster to the North Pole. There Victor dies of exhaustion after telling Captain Walton his story. When the monster hears of his death he vows to commit suicide. Captain Walton experiences of alienation are mostly self-imposed. He sails to the North Pole in exploration of the world, and his only communication is through letters that he sends by passing them to ships heading in the opposite direction. This is shown in letter III on page 13 when he writes "This letter will reach England by a merchant man now on his homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps for many years." ...read more.


This shows that victor is so engrossed and wrapped up in science; he doesn't notice the world and nature around him. The use of the word "insensible" can be related to the creature's initial state. Shelly wrote this to describe and emphasise victors rejection of the out side world. As soon as victor has created the creature he realises just how much he has alienated him self. Comments such as: "Now I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart," Convey this to us. This shows that only when it is too late does victor realise what he has done to himself. Now it would be seen like he had an outburst of common sense, but back in Mary Shelly's time many people would think this to be an act of god. They would think that god made him realise, because he was angry that man had abused it's power, and given life against gods will. ...read more.


This would have been seen as a sensible course of action during Mary Shelly's time. However in the modern world, it would be seen as cruel and brutal. This demonstrates the difference between the two periods of time. Much of the settings in Frankenstein also add to the theme of alienation. One of the first examples of this is when victor finally completes the creature. This is shown when victor says to Walton; "It was a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils." The use of the word "dreary" further emphasises the bad weather and cold time of year. The narrative structure in the novel is very complex. This is best described through a drawing. This shows that the creature is at the centre of the story. He then tells his story to victor, who then tells Captain Walton. The diagram also demonstrates, more acute feelings of alienation that characters feel the closer to the centre the person is. ?? ?? ?? ?? English 10XI Iain Gill 10DM ...read more.

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