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The Consequences of Society’s Rejection in Frankenstein by Marry Shelley
Frankenstein is Marry Shelley’s masterpiece, written when she was only 18 years old. The novel explores of theme of loneliness and rejection. The monster created by Victor Frankenstein is rejected by human society because of his appearance. Mary Shelley explores the feelings of creature totally ignored and abused by the society. The novel became a reflection of the inner state of Mary Shelly. It reflects sufferings and looses of the author. As notes Anthony Badalamenti in his article Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein: : “She was also the product of her own past, suffering three successive losses in her early life that reveal why themes of being alone and abandoned run through the novel”(Badalamenti, 431). All these sad events and constant feeling of loneliness helped Mary to create a very deep and powerful character.
Victor does not think about possible results of his experiments. He does not think what will happen when he finally succeeds and created a living creature. He is severely punished by his attitude when the creature created by him turns to monster. The author illustrates that the guilt for murders can not be put only on Frankenstein’s creation. Society and social norms finally result in feeling of loneliness and estrangement. “The monster complains that his maker and mankind are moving his nature from goodness and benevolence to wrath and violence. He attempts the company of men and is rejected with horror, fear and abuse” (Badalamenti, 432).
Victor Frankenstein is driven by his ambition when he creates his monster. He does not think about the consequences but rather makes experiments: “One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life” (Shelley, 46). Victor does not think about the feelings of the creature he produces. He is concerned only with scientific tools which give him control and power. “Frankenstein so beautifully explores the consequences of living and working in isolation. After cloistering himself to bring dead flesh to life, Victor Frankenstein condemns his creature to loneliness. The creature does the same to him in revenge. Solitude makes monsters of both” (Thomas). Victor creates a monster but he doest not understand true meaning of his actions.
Loneliness and alienation is one of the main themes of the novel. It is notable that all main characters of the novel experience feelings of loneliness and alienation. The Monster, Victor and Walton experience these feelings. Victor Frankenstein, does not have good relations with his family. He does not keep in touch with his father and sister despite they really want to have good relations with him. The author describes in great detail good relations in Victor’s family and their desire to keep in touch with Victor. Despite this fact Victor does not make any attempt to support any relations with his family. He dedicates all time and effort to science but it does not bring him enough moral satisfaction. Victor can not find the way out for his negative feelings and uses since and experiment as a way to entertain himself and to get rid of loneliness. The author uses the old theme of Faust when the search for technical progress and scientific advances results in the loss of humanity. Victor does not possess feeling of love and compassion. The Monster notes for several times that he wants to find these feelings in his creator but constantly fails. He compares himself to other people who deserve love and understanding of God, who created them, and states that his creator has abandoned him: “Sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam’s supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, andin the bitterness of my heart I cursed him”. (Shelley, 111) Sad irony that the monster is not deprived of human feelings in contrast to his creator. The monster feels loneliness and alienation. It seeks for understanding and love but can not find a living creature which would share its feelings.
Physical appearance becomes the main barrier for the creature. It does not allow it to build normal relations in the society. People do not make any attempts to find out about the inner world of the Monster after they saw how it looks. The creature readers works by Goethe and Milton and feels even more lonely and frustrated. The more it finds out about the world around, the more it hates it. “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitantsand have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.” (Shelley, 98). Feeling of alienation and loneliness only grows with the flow of time. Victor, the creator, turns off from the thing he has created He doest not want to take response for his actions and he rejects the thought that the creature may feel pain and other negative emotions same like other people do. Victor can not come in terms with his emotional side. He dies alone and looses all his dear people.
The theme of social rejection is one of the main themes of the novel. The author shows the consequences of social opinion. The creature created by Victor turns to monster because it can not find understanding and compassion in the society. People do not give the creature any chances only because it looks terrible to them. In her novel, Mary made an attempt to express her own frustration and to turn attention of people to the theme of social deprivation and rejection. She was recording instead her reflections and feelings–her grief, her loneliness, her thoughts of the future, her wish to die (Nitchie, 49). Mary knows what she write about since she had to pass many personal hardships and looses. She wants her readers to understand the feelings of creature which knows no compassion or understanding. The monster was created by Victor only physically. In reality it was crated by the society. Indifferent attitude and disgust finally resulted in the birth of real monster which threatens its creator and society.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. New York: Doubleday, 1999.
Badalamenti F. Anthony, Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein? Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Fall, 2006), pp. 419-439, http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/27512949?seq=1&type=ref
Vincent, Patrick, Mary Shelley’s Fictions: From “Frankenstein” to “Falkner.” Studies in Romanticism, 01-01-2003 http://elibrary.bigchalk.com/elibweb/elib/do/document?set=search&dictionaryClick=&secondaryNav=&groupid=1&requestid=lib_standard&resultid=17&edition=&ts=17C3927A2C2AC8AB18B9C85D443AD211_1272266531597&start=1&publicationId=&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B92045209
Thomas, Louisa, Their Love Is Alive, Newsweek, 09-14-2009 http://elibrary.bigchalk.com/elibweb/elib/do/document?set=search&dictionaryClick=&secondaryNav=&groupid=1&requestid=lib_standard&resultid=3&edition=&ts=17C3927A2C2AC8AB18B9C85D443AD211_1272266531597&start=1&publicationId=&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B170737047
Nitchie, Elizabeth, Mary Shelley: Author of “Frankenstein” Greenwood Press, 1970. http://www.questiaschool.com/read/3455777?title=Mary%20Shelley%3a%20Author%20of%20%22Frankenstein%22
Frankenstein: Creation as Catastrophe Paul Sherwin PMLA, Vol. 96, No. 5 (Oct., 1981), pp. 883-903 http://www.jstor.org/stable/462130?&Search=yes&term=Frankenstein&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DFrankenstein%26wc%3Don%26dc%3DAll%2BDisciplines&item=6&ttl=8505&returnArticleService=showArticle
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Spectacle of Masculinity Bette London PMLA, Vol. 108, No. 2 (Mar., 1993), pp. 253-267 Published by: Modern Language Association http://www.jstor.org/stable/462596?&Search=yes&term=Frankenstein&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DFrankenstein%26wc%3Don%26dc%3DAll%2BDisciplines&item=9&ttl=8505&returnArticleService=showArticle
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