Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment include elements of both isolationism: the policy of separating yourself from everything; and loneliness: the unpleasant feeling in which a person experiences solitude from inadequate levels of social relationships (Wikipedia). Both motifs are seen in each novel and contribute to an overall theme of alienation. This feeling of alienation was derived from the authors’ personal experiences. Shelly and Dostoevsky invented fictional characters that struggled with mental and physical separation that reflected their subconscious. The main characters they created were Rashkolnikov in Crime and Punishment and Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein. These characters’ conflicts were partially precipitated from each of their social circumstances in the plot and partially from poor decision-making as individuals. Thus, the common theme has made the two novels, Frankenstein and Crime and Punishment, infamous for proving alienation’s evil affects in distinguishing ways.
Shelly and Dostoevsky’s life stories of heartache reveal a familiar starting place to write grotesque novels. Shelly educated herself amongst her father's intellectual circle during a time period of woman suppression. Her inspiration for Frankenstein came after the loss of her first premature born child. She revealed her dream: “…that my little baby came to life again - that it had only been cold [and] that we rubbed it before the fire [and] it lived” (Duluth Public Library). From this dark place, she was able to conceive Frankenstein’s horror story that was suspenseful enough to win a scary story contest amongst her friends. Similarly, Dostoevsky experienced an oppressed atmosphere from his tyrant father and pious mother around the early nineteenth century when Russian serfdom was coming to an end. Sigmund Freud noted that his reoccurring melancholic themes could reveal guilt over his repressed wish for the death of his own father (Literature Resource Center). Both Shelly and Dostoevsky’s lives were reluctant to isolationism from society and loneliness from self-seclusion. Their works expressed a belief that alienation from society and separation from humanity would lead to despair and death.
Death was experience in the beginning plot to Crime and Punishment. Raskolnikov murdered the local, corrupt pawn broker which laid the foundation for his internal conflicts. He struggled to justify his sins and cope with his guilt for the rest of his life:
“He could find neither words nor exclamations with which to give voice to his disturbed state of mind. The sense of infinite loathing that had begun to crush and sicken his heart even while he had only been on his way to the old woman had now attained such dimensions and become so vividly conscious that he was quite simply overwhelmed by his depression” (Dostoevsky 9).
The study of sociology suggests a correlation between the feeling of attachment or lack thereof to drive a man...