Examine Shelley’s portrayal of the Creature in the light of this argument. Alienation is indeed a major theme in the novel. It is not only the creature who is alienated. Shelley produces a number of parallels in the isolation of the daemon to the alienation of other characters, such as Walton and Frankenstein himself. This to me proves that the novel is a very significant rumination on the theme of isolation. Although the novel is classified under the genre of Gothic Horror, it includes no ghosts or supernatural occurrences. Each gory event or horrific idea displayed in the novel is possible: that is what makes it truly fearful.
The real terror in the book is the fact that mankind will never cease to isolate individuals, any person for any insignificant reason. The novel covers each possibility of this, frightfully conveying the human capacity to hurt what or who we don’t know. The daunting thing is that it could be any one of us who is alienated; everybody must possess at least one characteristic that makes them unique – it is the fact that it could be turned against us at any point to isolate us from the world. In Frankenstein, Victor is a self-estranged man.
The flaws in his character that cause him to be so isolated ultimately result in the introduction of the creature into the world, to be unjustly isolated also by Victor’s own doing. Victor Frankenstein has too much ambition for his own good: “Wealth was an inferior object, but what glory would attend the discovery… ” The isolation that he experiences is very much self-inflicted. Frankenstein was self-taught in subjects that only he had interest in: the principles of life. The major path that he followed was influenced by this solitary learning of an unconventional topic.
Fastidiously studying a topic left untouched by all before him, his ignorant ambition conquers all morals as he persists searching for recognition and immortality -As a result of mans quest for knowledge the ultimate isolation of a being is created. “Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room. ” This is ironic – the rejection of the being results in his death, as it causes a revengeful hatred to pervade the creature.
From the moment the creature is alive, He is rejected by his creator: “I remembered Adam’s supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him. ” I believe one of the daemon’s major feelings of individual disconnection comes from the loss of his father, and his creator. The wretch finds himself standing alone in life; there has never been the comfort of a father or God’s physical presence and the reassurance that there is somebody watching over you, supporting you. With his father and his God gone, the creature is now responsible for himself.
There is no compelling force telling him what to do and advising him how to live his life: “But where were my friends and relations? No father had watched my infant days. ” Mary Shelley could correctly convey these feelings as she also grew up motherless. Much as God left our lives when we awoke to science and mathematics, I think we could look at the wretch’s reaction also as a parallel to our own feelings. As we lose our God we become lost and destructive, as the wretch is lost when his creator leaves him. The wretch starts out kind and gentle:
“I admired virtue and good feelings and loved the gentle manners and amiable qualities of my cottagers. ” However, he is unable to cope with his sadness so he sets out to find his creator and to beg him to end his suffering by giving him a companion. When his creator refuses, unable to deal with the permanence of his isolation and misery after his only hope is destroyed, he turns his rage on Frankenstein and vows to get revenge on the creator of his misery. He also lashes out and destroys the only people he has ever cared for because they do not return his affection – they turn him away with disgust.