Alienation and Isolation in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Alienation and Isolation

Alienation and isolation have been apparent in society since the beginning of man. When an individual stumbles outside the realm of social normality they are viewed as degradation to society or a threat to normal society.(“Truthmove” 2012) In the gothic tale of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley frequently displays the many different forms of alienation. Victor Frankenstein and his creation were two of the characters in this book that went through alienation and isolation.

Victor experiences alienation regularly throughout the majority of his life. From an early age Victor Frankenstein isolated himself from the outside world. While not engaged in his studies of natural philosophy Victor could be found in the company of his family and his closest friend Henry Clerval. In the novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein states, “I was, to a great degree, self-taught with regard to my favorite studies. My father was not scientific, and I was left to struggle with a child’s blindness, added to a student’s thirst for knowledge.” (Shelley 36) In this quotation Mary Shelley is trying to convey the fact that the young Victor Frankenstein had been totally mesmerized by this new thirst of knowledge, and nobody to share this interest with and nobody to mentor him in his studies. At the age of seventeen, Victor leaves his family and friends in Geneva to pursue his studies of natural philosophy and science at the university in Ingolstadt. Victor isolates himself from the outside world, including his family as he finds himself getting closer to finding the secret of life. Victor has not been alienated by his family, classmates or friends; this is a lifestyle of constant learning and isolation that he has chosen for himself. Overly obsessed with his experiments and the creation of the monster he hides away in his laboratory until his subject of research is brought to life. After Victor has forsaken his creation and the monster has taken his...
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