Please provide three quotes from Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, that demonstrate that Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the creature are lonely and isolated. (Please give one quote per character.)
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In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, many of the characters are isolated. While Victor and Walton choose to isolate themselves, the monster is isolated based upon circumstances out of his control.
Letters Robert Walton has written to his sister open the novel. In his first letter, Walton admits that his travels will take him to a place of isolation.
I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight.
Here, Walton admits that he knows the place he is going to is desolate. Regardless of this fact, Walton believes that the place holds beauty, despite its cold and isolated exterior. Therefore, Walton, in his search for beauty, isolated himself from the love of his sister and society.
Prior to going to university, Victor was the "apple" of his parents' eyes.
"Much as they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me. My mother's tender caresses and my father's smile of benevolent pleasure while regarding me, are
my first recollections.
When he arrived at Ingolstadt, Victor was faced with very different circumstances.
I, who had ever been surrounded by amiable companions, continually engaged in endeavouring to bestow mutual pleasure, I was now alone.
Victor's isolation was based upon the fact that he believed himself "totally unfitted for the company of strangers." Therefore, Victor's isolation (initially) was a choice based upon how he felt about strangers. Later, Victor's isolation was a result of his obsession with reanimating life.
Victor isolated himself in order to dedicate all of his time and energy to his "craft."
My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement.
The summer months passed while I was thus engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit. And the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time.
The monster was alienated from the moment Victor realized he had been successful at reanimating life. At the first sight of his creation's eye, Victor fled his flat. Once the monster and Victor come face-to-face again, Victor again abolishes the creature.
“Begone! I will not hear you. There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies. Begone, or let us try our strength in a fight, in which one must fall.”
The monster, only wanting to be accepted by his "father," asks for him to hear his story. At first, Victor refuses. It is only after the monster tells Victor that he can destroy him (after he listens to his story) that Victor reconsiders.
There are many times throughout the monster's tale which show his isolation from humanity.
“It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold also, and half frightened, as it were instinctively, finding myself so desolate."
There is no doubt that the creature felt utterly alone when recalling this event.
He raised her, and smiled with such kindness and
affection that I felt sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature:...a mixture of pain and
pleasure...I withdrew from the window, unable to bear these emotions.
Here, the creature truly realizes what it means to be alone. He has never felt the love and kindness he sees between the De Lacys. Instead, the sight pained him.
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the theme of isolation prevalent throughout the story. While I am struck more by the loneliness of the creature (in that I believe Victor Frankenstein is the real monster here), it is easy to understand that at some point in the story, Victor also becomes isolated as he must keep the secret of what he has created. Walton, very much like Frankenstein (in his obsessive, personal quest as he fails to take into consideration the welfare of others) is also isolated from the world around him...not only because he is in uncharted waters in "northern climes," but also because no one else can really understand his passion...especially the sailors who fear for their lives.
When the creature watches the De Lacey family through the niche in the wall of their cottage, he expresses a sense of loneliness as he describes himself as a "solitary being:"
The young man and his companion often went apart, and appeared to weep. I saw no cause for their unhappiness; but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched.
We also sense his deep loneliness when the monster desperately tries to befriend old De Lacey:
I am an unfortunate and deserted creature; I look around, and I have no relation or friend upon earth. These amiable people to whom I go have never seen me, and know little of me. I am full of fears; for if I fail there, I am an outcast in the world for ever.’
The reader can sense the creature's loneliness as he begs Victor for a mate so that he will not be alone. He blames his violent actions on his "forced" loneliness:
My vices are the children of a forced solitude that I abhor...
Victor is alone in his knowledge of how William died: he is unable to share his secret—feeling (justifiably) to blame; he is also certain that people would think him insane if he told them who had killed William:
My first thought was to...cause instant pursuit to be made. But I paused...I remembered...the nervous fever with which I had been seized just at the time that I dated my creation, and which would give an air of delirium to a tale otherwise so utterly improbable. I well knew that if any other had communicated such a relation to me, I should have looked upon it as the ravings of insanity.
Victor is isolated in his misery—alienated from the world because of his creation, and now its murder of his brother.
Walton lives in a world reserved for the dreamer—or the visonary— able to see what he might accomplish with ceaseless dedication. When Walton finds Victor on the ice, as he listens to his story, the captain/explorer realizes that he has found a kindred spirit—finally someone who can understand what drives Walton on, willing to risk his and others' lives to achieve his goal. He recognizes what they have in common as he also realizes that his new-found friend will leave him soon, and he will return to his lonely existence:
Must I then lose this admirable being? I have longed for a friend; I have sought one who would sympathise with and love me. Behold, on these desert seas I have found such a one; but I fear I have gained him only to know his value and lose him.
All three of these characters share a sense of loneliness and isolation.
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