Loneliness and Solitude: The Making and Demise of a Human Being

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Alienation and loneliness are two things not to get confused because of the circumstances that revolve around arriving to that state of being. Alienation refers to the feeling of being isolated from society, while loneliness refers to the state of being alone and completely void of human interaction. In Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, determined seafarer Robert Walton and headstrong protagonist Victor Frankenstein both face moments of complete solitude where they have reached their lowest point and there was no one there to offer them comfort, and they have both faced alienation, whether intentionally or unintentionally. However, the difference between those two characters is how they take action and combat their solitude. The way Robert Walton deals with isolation, compared to how Victor Frankenstein’s process of isolation shows a contrast between the two that is apparent in the novel, even when they show how both characters sympathizes with their loneliness to ultimately show a different side of human nature. First, Robert Walton begins the novel as a lonely seaman who solely wished to have a companion onboard to conversate with and not be a total outsider. Walton’s alienation, like Frankenstein, manifested itself in the form of brash intelligence and motivational work and ambition without giving any full thoughts to the consequences, although there were apparent repercussions to be had. Walton serves as the facet that shows the reader the extremities of what could happen to a character on the brink of total consummation for unpossessed knowledge, or “country of eternal light”. His fondness for Frankenstein as a new guest onboard his ship reveals that his character’s endless search for knowledge did have its limits when it came to companionship. “ …And to say, with all the fervor that warmed me, how gladly I would sacrifice my fortune, my existence, and my every hope, to the furtherance of my enterprise.” (Shelley, 11) In a way, you can say that...
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