Outsiders in Frankenstein

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, written Mary Shelley that tells the story of an ambitious man, Victor Frankenstein, who creates an ugly but sensitive creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley discusses the idea of isolation, the dilemma of the individualist and the desire for acceptance in society, but Shelley’s main purpose was to explore the consequences of being an outsider, with the three key figures within the text, Victor Frankenstein, his creation and Robert Walton, who are all outsiders, but for very different reasons and under very different circumstances.

Victor Frankenstein, a lonesome and troublesome man, whose own actions led to him becoming an outsider in his society. Throughout his life, there was always an underlying desire to create something that was worthy of dedicating his time to. Throughout the text, it becomes evident that Victor is very self-centred, who uses people and other things only to better himself and to accommodate to his egotistical ideals. This is portrayed by Shelley very early on in the text. During his childhood, the addition of Elizabeth to the family, who lived with peasants in the south of Italy before being adopted by the Frankensteins, was considered as a “present” for him, which he “looked upon..

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as [his]”. As he became older, he explained why he didn’t have many friends and also the start of his detachment from society. He removed himself from society as he became absorbed by his studies and his various experiments. He never had any intention to become involved with the outside world as he only used the little spare time he had with Elizabeth and Henry Clerical, his one friend from school as “it was [his] temper to avoid a crowd”. Shelley also demonstrates his self-isolation when he attends university in Ingolstadt. His studies began with an obsession in areas of science that were not discussed at the time where even his professor would disapprove of hi.

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