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Frankenstein Consumed By Illness Essay

829 words - 4 pages

In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein illness seems to be a way for the main character to separate from society. When people are sick they tend to remove or distance themselves from others. In Frankenstein’s case, he falls into a deteriorating physical state whenever he comes into contact with the monster. His physical conditions seem to be directly linked to any confrontation with the monster. It can be seen that Frankenstein subconsciously uses sickness as an escape from his guilt and responsibilities of the monster. Subsequently, illness can be seen as a way for Frankenstein to hide and forget the actions he indirectly committed. Although in reality, illness is not effective because ...view middle of the document...

He dwells on his inner guilt and realizes that his “state of mind preyed upon…[his] health, which had never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained” (Shelly 80). After the death of Justine, he admits that he is drowned with guilt and “the weight of despair and remorse pressed on his heart which nothing could move” (Shelly 80). Frankenstein neglects his emotional health throughout the novel. Instead of openly confronting his guilt he continues to feel “the never-dying worm alive in… [his] bosom, which allowed of no hope for consolation” (Shelly 78). As a result, it is no surprise that Frankensteins fell into more declining states as the novel progressed and the murders of Clerval and Elizabeth took place. Despite the fact that illness is a means of escape, Frankenstein was not able to find retribution this time. For this reason, he questioned “Why did…[he] not die? More miserable than man ever was before, why did…[he] not sink into forgetfulness and rest” ( Shelly 163).

Frankenstein subconsciously blamed himself for the murders of his loved ones. Illness was a way to reveal how Frankenstein struggled internally with the actions of the monster. It wasn’t until later in the novel when he admitted that he called himself “the murderer of William, of Justine, and of Clerval” (Shelly 163). However, Frankenstein was never at peace until the end when he seeked his final stage of illness; death. He could not forgive himself until he openly...

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