In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores a wide range of themes concerning human nature through the thoughts and actions of two main characters and a host of others. Two themes are at the heart of the story, the most important being creation, but emphasis is also placed on alienation from society. These two themes are relevant even in today’s society as technology brings us ever closer to Frankenstein’s fictional achievement.
First, let’s examine the alienation from society suffered by Frankenstein’s monster. The cause of his ostracism was his horrific physical appearance. It was so bad that people would not even allow him the chance to speak or get to know the person behind the hideous face. Shelley is criticizing the importance appearance plays in defining our roles as members of society. The monster knows all too well how people will receive him and so tries to appeal to a blind man, the only type of person who could be dependent on him. Sadly for the wretch, the blind man had others on whom he could depend as well, and upon seeing him caused a stir. His one chance at gaining acceptance
thus ruined. This causes his anti-social behavior, a problem we deal with presently.
Alienation from society causes violent lashings out at the world that rejected him. We have seen this recently with the school shooting at Columbine. The two boys responsible for the bloodshed claimed that their motive was the daily ostracism they had to endure from other students. So too was this the torturous daily routine for the Shelley’s monster. And when Frankenstein rejected him, he sought to make Victor an empathizer by killing those whom he loved. Perhaps less than revenge, the monster only wanted someone to know what it is like to be alone and denied love.
This brings us the theme of creation, which really contains smaller ‘sub-themes.’ There is the relationship between the creator and his creation as well as the question of whether or...