Frankenstein Essential Quotes by Theme: Loneliness
by Mary Shelley

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Essential Quotes by Theme: Loneliness

Essential Passage 1: Letter 2

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: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate in my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavor to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans. How would such a friend repair the faults of your poor brother!


Robert Walton has long had the dream of sailing to uncharted regions at the North Pole. In the age of exploration in the eighteenth century, daring individuals continue to try to find a route, a Northwest Passage, around the northern shores of the North American continent. With an inheritance, Walton has supplied himself with a ship and crew, spending years in the preparations. Now, he is ready to begin his voyage, leaving from the northern port of Archangel in Russia. Yet fulfilling his dream has become less important as he realizes his loneliness and his friendless condition. He confesses to his sister, Margaret, that he is lonely on the voyage, as much as he was throughout his life. He yearns for a kindred spirit, a bosom companion to share his thoughts and dreams. Not only companionship, but accountability is what Walton desires. His hopes are for someone who will guide him away from his faults and toward a life of honor and nobility.

Essential Passage 2: Chapter 2

...We possessed a house in Geneva, and a campagne on Belrive, the eastern shore of the lake, at the distance of rather more than a league from the city. We reside principally in the latter, and the lives of my parents were passed in considerable seclusion. It was my temper to avoid a crowd, and to attach myself fervently to a few. I was indifferent, therefore, to my schoolfellows in general; but I united myself in the bonds of the closest friendship to one among them. Henry Clerval was the son of a merchant of Geneva.


Victor grows up in a close and loving family. Being the eldest son, he enjoys his parents undivided attention until he is seven years of age, when his brother Ernest is born. Living in the Swiss city of Geneva, the family also has a country home where they spent most of the time. The family, along with Victor, lives in relative seclusion from their neighbors. The home in Belrive is open only to those who reside there, and the chosen few who are invited to become a part of the Frankenstein circle. There Victor gains a single friend, Henry Clerval. He avoids most of the boys his own age, choosing a solitary existence, except for Henry. Though many friendships are available to him, he rejects them all in favor of just one. Henry Clerval will then be his chief, and indeed only, friend outside his immediate family, and will play a part in the story. Henry eventually joins Victor in Ingolstadt after Victor creates the monster.

Essential Passage 3: Chapter 10

How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause thee to turn a favourable eye upon thy creature, who implores thy goodness and compassion? Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather from your fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? They spurn and hate me. The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days’ the caves of ice, which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge. These bleak skies I hail, for they are kinder to me than your...

(The entire section is 1,421 words.)