Write a well-structured paragraph examining how imagery is used to successfully illustrate one of the themes seen in Frankenstein such as, love and hate, morality and ethics, revenge and retributive justice, the fragility of life, acceptance and tolerance, or loneliness. Choose three to four examples of effective imagery and explain how each is successful in representing the theme.

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All the suggested themes are well developed within Mary Shelley’s novel, and she regularly uses imagery in developing those themes.

Loneliness is one theme that connects Victor, his creature, and Robert Walton . For different reasons, none of them is fully part of society and, at some time,...

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All the suggested themes are well developed within Mary Shelley’s novel, and she regularly uses imagery in developing those themes.

Loneliness is one theme that connects Victor, his creature, and Robert Walton. For different reasons, none of them is fully part of society and, at some time, all feel alienated and alone. They differ significantly in the reasons they feel this way and in how they handle this emotion. The frame story of the Arctic voyage helps establish this theme as Shelley makes the physical distance and alienation represent the emotional ones.

On his voyage of exploration, Walton has deliberately isolated himself from most of the world and, as an officer, keeps a distance from his ship’s crew as well. In letter 2 to his sister, he writes extensively of his loneliness and desire for a friend, a sentiment that is enforced by the ocean imagery.

But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margaret. ... I bitterly feel the want of a friend. ... I shall certainly find no friend on the wide ocean. ...

In the third letter, as he is about to depart, he expands on this idea of isolation in the Arctic climate.

I am going to unexplored regions, to “the land of mist and snow. ...”

Robert also expresses the connection between the exceptionally curious individual and the isolation that singular pursuits cause. Nature imagery figures prominently. In letter 4, after the ship picks up Victor, he tells his sister

The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions seem still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments, yet when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.

Victor Frankenstein, from the point he decided to embark on alchemical and then scientific experiments, had begun to chart his own, solitary course. After he creates the “demon,” who kills his brother William, and then Justine loses her life, Victor fully retreats into a solitary existence (chapter 9).

I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation—deep, dark, deathlike solitude.

Drawing no consolation from the company of family or Elizabeth, Victor wanders the mountains. Images of natural isolation, cold, and ice again stand for loneliness. Within the “high and snowy mountains,” the towering Mont Blanc completes the solitary feeling.

Mont Blanc, the supreme and magnificent Mont Blanc, raised itself from the surrounding aiguilles, and its tremendous dôme overlooked the valley.

For the creature, isolation and loneliness go hand in hand. He literally belongs nowhere and has no family.

And what was I? Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant; but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property.

He has merely a rustic hovel to shelter him “from the inclemency of the season, and still more from the barbarity of man.” In wandering through the countryside, his fascination with the families he watches accentuates his solitude. The scenes inside their “delightful house,” with its fire and cooking standing for warmth and companionship, sharply contrast with his life outside.

I admired virtue and good feelings, and loved the gentle manners and amiable qualities of my cottagers; but I was shut out from intercourse with them. ... Miserable, unhappy wretch!

After he tries to create a relationship with the family and is driven away, cold and loneliness are again depicted together (chapter 16).

Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface of the earth was hard, and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter.

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