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This essay will explore the theme of isolation in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” It will discuss how both Victor Frankenstein and the monster experience physical and emotional isolation, and the impact this has on their actions and psyche. The piece will examine the novel’s commentary on the consequences of isolation and societal rejection. At PapersOwl, you’ll also come across free essay samples that pertain to Frankenstein.
One theme presented in Marry Shelley’s book Frankenstein is the theme of isolation. Right from the beginning, someone has felt isolated from someone else. The three characters consistently developed the theme of isolation are Victor, the Creature, and Elizabeth. Though the three experience isolation, their isolation experience differs. Unlike the Creature and Elizabeth, Victor chose to isolate himself from people. This is evidenced from right when he was working on his research and when he tries to create a life. Victor separates himself and loses contact with his friends and even family.
Elizabeth also suffers isolation, her isolation begins when Victor starts to develop the creature, Elizabeth does not experience isolation out of her will, she is willing to visit victor, but she is unable to do so since victor does not reply to her letters. The creature Character suffers isolation throughout the book, with just a look at his appearance; he makes every individual he encounters run away. The behavior makes him shunned and exiled by society and even by victor who created him.
How it works
The author through the theme of isolation tries to bring out the idea of how people are isolated and lonely in real life. Through this theme, the author induces some questions that we can ask ourselves, is Isolation a choice that people make or is it an inherent fault? Is isolation imposed on those who are innocent? The author tries to show us that when people are rejected by society, they tend to withdraw themselves and end up suffering isolation.
Shelley uses embedded narratives in her book. Through this structure, Shelley manages to integrate the main stories within the framing narrative. This is seen right from the beginning where Shelly starts with the framing narrative. These are Walton letter to his sister before she moves to the main story, i.e., Victor’s story, then in Victor’s story, there is the story of the monster, how he survives and how he comes to learn from the De Lacey family.
In the above context, there are three different narrators, as readers, we directly learn more about Walton’s expeditions presented in his own words. Walton after that meets victor. Victor’s narration has been well highlighted through the letter that Walton had written to his sister. The narration points out of the monster’s development through Victor. The development theme is in turn explained by Walton to us the readers and her sister through the letters. This is a complicated but effective narrative structure.
In chapter 24, Shelley breaks off Victor’s direct narration and presents a letter that Walton writes to her sister, the letter turns on Walton’s narration. From the letter, Walton tells Margaret that he sometimes feels curdled and his blood congealed with horror when he reads the story. As it reads,” You have read this strange and terrific story, Margaret; and do you not feel your blood congeal with horror, like that which even now curdles mine? Sometimes, seized with sudden agony, he could not continue his tale; at others, his voice broken, yet piercing, uttered with difficulty ….” (Shelley,360).
There is a reason that Shelley embedded narration, by using this structure, she can lead the readers gradually to the central ideas of the book. If these ideas were presented directly or suddenly right from the beginning, the whole concept presented in the novel might be shown as being beyond the brief. Introducing readers gradually to the concepts makes the reader know and believe everything about the monster such that by the time to the Monster narrates the story in its own words, the reader already believes that the monster can speak and argue logically.
The frames narration is neither linear nor complete, though this is the case, as readers, we are not taken directly from the start of the narrative to its end, and then to the beginning of the next narrator’s story. The embedded description acts as a source through which readers can judge the validity of the individual narratives and develop a link to the isolation themes expressed in the book. When judging from victor’s story alone, the lines between fiction and reality tend to be blurred. However, when Victor’s body and Walton, mentioned in the as the creature, are embedded and physically presented in the story’s mainframe, it is finally easy to see the real story of Victor in reality as well as the prejudice that makes it. Thus, we get to learn about the isolation experienced by the creature.
One would argue that embedding or nesting frames when discussing or presenting a multilevel novel in, this case, the Frankenstein, is odd enough to propose that reading is a linear process of discovery. It would then appear that the ability of a narrative to make sense and be understood by readers was just a matter of reaching the earlier covered context. This can be countered in a simple statement, depending on the complexity of the ideas presented in a narrative and more in circumstances where the connection between the reality and what is displayed in the context is wide such that the concept presented seem unreal. The author can use the embedded narration structure to introduce users to the ideas presented gradually.
The first task was to read the book; multiple drafts followed this; each draft had its ideas as there are many themes and styles presented in the book. I then analyzed in the drafts that could be combined depending on whether the ideas presented could be were related. It was difficult and time consuming merging the selections as the connection was not obvious. Besides, associating how the salient formal aspect connects to the content was not an easy task. However, this was solved through research and brainstorming. It would be great if we can lean on how to develop mind maps and come up with a flat outline indicating what needs to be covered in a regular college paper.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. City: Broadview Press, 2012.Print.
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