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Romantic Themes In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1179 words - 5 pages

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, follows the conquest of Victor Frankenstein, as he brings the dead to life, and then portrays his guilt and shame for creating such a thing. The monster seeks revenge on his creator’s family when he grasps that he will never be accepted by mankind. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a gothic novel that utilizes several different romantic themes, such as individualism and alienation, glorification of the ordinary, and the supernatural.
Firstly, individualism is something that follows Victor throughout his entire life regarding his childhood and his family, scientific work, and society. Being an only child at the time, Victor became mesmerized with the world of science, so he began to educate himself. In the novel, Victor says, “I was, to a great degree, self taught with regard to my favourite studies. My father was not scientific, and I was left to struggle with a child's blindness, added to a student's thirst for knowledge.” (Shelley 39). When Victor was young, he left his family to further his education in science at Ingolstadt. Leaving his family at such a young age did not seem to bother Victor at all and he chose not to have any contact with his family. At Ingolstadt, Victor averts all of his attention to his scientific studies, instead of immersing himself into the people there. He locks himself up in his room for studying, and does not care about being alone. What we, the readers, come to understand is that no one has forced Victor to live his life in isolation, yet he himself has chosen this solitude from people. Victor’s laboratory is “in a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house” (Shelley 55). Although Victor has not seen his family for a long time, he secludes himself in his laboratory to create the monster. Countless times, Victor blames his isolation on the creature, even though Victor, himself, chose this individualistic trait of isolation. For example, “I must absent myself from all I loved while thus employed. Once commenced, it would quickly be achieved, and I might be restored to my family in peace and happiness” (Shelley 165). Victor’s creation also displays a theme of alienation. The one true thing that the creature longs for is to be loved by others, but its hideous appearance makes people alienate it. After several attempts to be accepted by humans, the monster realizes that he will never fit into society. The very first feeling of alienation is when the monster pops its eyes open for the first time, and sees the frightened look upon Victors’ face. Even though Victor had created the creature, its own ‘father’ wants to have nothing to do with it; “unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bedchamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep” (Shelley 59). The monster is left alone like a new born child, with no information about where it is or who it is, or what is happening.
Secondly, in this novel, the theme...

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