Theme of Abandonment, Isolation and Alienation in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a novel that explores various themes, including the theme of abandonment and isolation. Throughout the novel, Shelley presents numerous examples of abandonment and alienation which affect different characters in different ways, and shape their behavior and actions. The theme of abandonment and alienation in Frankenstein is closely related to the idea of isolation.

Isolation is one of the novel’s central themes and is presented in different forms. For example, Victor Frankenstein isolates himself from society in his pursuit to create life from inanimate matter. His work leads to his eventual alienation from society, as he becomes obsessed with his work, and loses touch with those around him. Similarly, the creature created by Victor experiences isolation and alienation due to its physical appearance. The creature is rejected by society and remains isolated throughout the novel, which causes it to become vengeful and eventually leads to its destructive behavior.

The theme of abandonment is central to the novel, as it is the catalyst for the monster’s feelings of isolation and alienation. Victor Frankenstein abandons the creature he has created, leaving him alone in the world with no guidance or purpose. This neglectful act causes the monster to feel as though he has no place in the world. The monster’s abandonment sets off a chain of events that leaves him isolated from society and forces him to confront his own existence. This isolation only amplifies his feelings of alienation, as the monster realizes he is fundamentally different from the people around him. He says, “I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me.”

Initially childlike and curious, the creature gradually becomes aggressive and vengeful due to the treatment it receives from Victor, and the society in which it lives. The creature pleads for acceptance from Victor, but he rejects it and even abandons it completely. This abandonment serves as the creature’s initial experience of alienation as it is forced to seek acceptance and shelter from a world that abhors its appearance.

Similarly, Victor’s pursuit of knowledge and obsession with his work leads to his eventual isolation and abandonment. As he delves deeper into his work, Victor’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, prioritizing his work over his close relationships. He becomes obsessed with his ability to create life from inanimate matter and is driven to isolate himself from the world, working on his project day and night. This behavior leads to his eventual abandonment of the creature, and his inability to take responsibility for his actions eventually leads to his deteriorating mental state.

Victor’s abandonment of the creature and subsequent alienation lead to his complete alienation from humanity. He becomes tormented by his decisions, the death of loved ones, and the guilt of creating the creature that brings chaos to society. Victor fails to take responsibility for his actions, and society eventually rejects him, causing him to become isolated and abandoned. His experiences demonstrate the fragility of the human psyche, highlighting the dangers of obsession and isolation.

Similarly, Victor’s isolation and obsession caused his abandonment of the creature and eventually led to his irreversible isolation. The novel is a warning against the destructive nature of isolation, abandonment, and obsession and underlines the importance of social connections and relationships. Victor admits: “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world.”

In conclusion, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores the themes of abandonment, isolation, and alienation through the stories of Victor Frankenstein and his monster. The novel demonstrates the devastating effects of neglecting human connection, as both characters suffer from the consequences of their actions. The themes of abandonment, isolation, and alienation are closely intertwined, as each contributes to the other’s experience. The novel serves as a cautionary tale, warning readers of the dangers of forsaking human connection, and emphasizing the importance of empathy, compassion, and mutual understanding.