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.