October 26, 2014
Appearance and Alienation in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein she discusses many important themes that reflect occurrences in her own life and her own beliefs. She shows these themes through her characters and their actions to life and the decisions that they make throughout the novel. One of the most important themes in her book is appearance and alienation or acceptance from appearance. She shows these themes through Victor and the monster.
Appearance does not seem to be a problem for Victor and his family. The book seems to suggest that beauty indicates inner virtue. The characters in the book that are close to Victor are all beautiful and good people that are accepted by society. Victor’s family is respected by people and Victor describes his family by being beautiful and loved by all. Victor’s alienation from his family has nothing to do with his or his family’s appearance. He chooses to leave his family and stay away from them. “I must absent myself from all I love while thus employed.” Victor does not visit his family once while working himself sick on the monster. Even after the monster is completed Victor keeps himself isolated for most of his life. Most of his sufferings are brought by his alienation in the book.
Appearance and alienation go hand in hand in the monsters case. Unlike Victor the monster does not wish to be out casted but has no choice because of his hideous appearance. The monster although not good looking is still good at heart. All he wishes is for a companion to spend the rest of his solitude with. The monster longs for love and compassion but knows that he will never be accepted by human life. Inner beauty is all that really matters and Mary Shelly knows this but she shows in her novel that sometimes that isn’t enough. The monster then turns very violent because he realizes that he will never fit into society. “I am