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Isolation in Frankenstein

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Jessica Rodriguez Rodriguez 1 English 5b Professor Dumler 28 Feb. 2005 Isolation in Frankenstein 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. ...read more.


He chooses to not accept responsibility for ignoring those closest to him. He chooses to be apart from all of them. Rodriguez 3 After returning home, Frankenstein's isolation continues due to him knowing and understanding what he has done. He becomes so engulfed in his own agony and self - centered pity, that he pushes himself away from his family when they need him the most. Instead of admitting what he has done and what has really killed William, Frankenstein allows Justine to take his fall. His guilt and feelings of anguish take him further and further into isolation. He states, "solitude was my only consolation - deep, dark, death-like solitude" (Hunter 59; ch.1). Upon his consent to create a female for the creature, he departs from the only person who could help him, Clerval. He, again, becomes "immersed in a solitude" (Hunter 113; ch.2). Frankenstein's actions caused the deaths of many of his loved ones. He resolves to get revenge and, therefore, ends up in complete and absolute isolation. Frankenstein's creature is another character that experiences much isolation. As is different with the previous characters, the creature does not choose his isolation. Frankenstein creates this being and then rejects and abandons him. ...read more.


One is inclined to realize how serious the content of the novel is as a result of this dismal feeling. A sense of despair and desperation is created, while the tone draws upon the sympathy of the reader. The reader is drawn both to Frankenstein and to the creature. In a sense, it is simple to place oneself in either of the character's shoes. Rodriguez 5 One has surely felt lonely at some time, whether it be at the hands of another or because of one's own actions. These grave and daunting sensations are vital to the novel's gothic feeling. Frankenstein's theme of isolation is a great one. The causes of the isolation are clearly evident, as are the effects of it. Every character deals with his or her loneliness differently. For some, isolation is their only option. There is no choice as to whether or not he or she will interact with people. For others, there is a conscious choice to remove himself or herself from loved ones. The effects of the isolation, however, are the same for all - death. Walton is fortunate enough to have understood that this action, which he was participating in, had very severe consequences. He becomes aware of what is to come before he forces himself and his crew to experience this isolation and eventual death. ...read more.

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