Isolation in Frankenstein

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The Isolation of Victor Frankenstein
Isolation and loneliness can do great injustices to the human brain. People are programed to function in cohabitation with others of their kind, to form relationships with them. So, when these relationships fail or seem to be absent from one’s life, the aloneness can ache. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the reader sees the developing isolation of Victor Frankenstein, which can be attributed to his personality and upbringing, as well as his unwavering obsession with his scientific success.

Certain people seem to have something in their genetic make up which makes them more social than others. These people seem to interact with crowds at ease and, as the social butterflies within their peers, tend to avoid isolation. Victor Frankenstein is not one of these people. It is not necessarily a fault of Victor, but merely a reality. As he would explain, it simply “was my temper to avoid a crowd, and to attach myself fervently to a few (19).” This personality trait contributed to the increasing isolation Victor became subject to. The few he so fervently attached himself to exclusively included his own family and Clerval, all of whom stayed behind upon his departure to Ingolstadt. Victor explained, “I was indifferent...to my schoolfellows in general (19).” So, once he was away at school, for the first time feeling the absence of his “familiar faces”, he felt alone and “totally unfitted for the company of strangers (25).” Victor’s struggle with his natural “repugnance to new countenances (25)” led to him feeling truly alone for the first time in his life. Ultimately, the natural ways of Victor combined with his comfortable and domestic upbringing had left him sheltered and timid. This reality made the culture shock of leaving home a lonely one.

Another factor that contributed to Frankenstein’s isolation was his fixation on his learning and scientific endeavors. Victor agreed with the theory that “If the study to which...
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