Frankenstein by Mary Shelley An analysis of some of the themes and motifs in Shelley's novel

Essay by egyptiandudeCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2008

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Alienation & Isolation in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley develops the theme of alienation and isolation and its consequent increase of hostility through various characters throughout her novel Frankenstein. The theme may have originated from various elements, including Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, who felt that the isolated individual would become vicious. This idea was shared by Shelley and manifested in the characters, Victor Frankenstein and his monster (The Journals of Mary Shelley). These two individuals were not born hostile, however, but were driven to perform their hostile actions in order to force the acknowledgement of their existence.

A third character with whom Shelley identifies the theme of isolation would be Robert Walton, the seafaring adventurer who is narrating the story. Although he is surrounded by a ship full of men, Walton confides early on to his sister that he feels isolated because none of the members of his crew could "keep hardly a word with me."

Furthermore, Shelley portrays Walton's isolation through his instant friendship with Frankenstein, and intellectual being.

From early in the story, the reader can visualize Frankenstein's isolation when speaking of his youth. He says that his father was the only one who had educated him when he was young; therefore, he never attended any formal schools, or interacted with many children his age. It is this type of isolation that will later lead to Frankenstein's creation of the demon�.

Frankenstein, at college, had found a keen interest in natural philosophy, and, because he wasn't accustomed to social interaction, had soon immersed himself in his studies, rather than meeting new acquaintances, unlike his friend Henry Clerval, who would always engage himself in conversation with new friends. In the midst of working hard to discover the "secret of life," Frankenstein lost all sense of morals and...