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Themes, Motifs and Symbols in Frankenstien

            Frankenstein started out as just a scary story. Mary Shelley was writing it as a playful competition. However, this story became very successful. Shelley, knowingly or not, used many literary elements throughout her story. Shelley's use of themes, motifs, and symbols is very prominent. There is more than one theme within Frankenstein; however, isolation is the most important. Isolation has a huge effect of the social skills of both main characters, Victor and the Monster. This story is full of murder, despair and tragedy, all of which link back to the lack of connection with society. Neither Victor nor the Monster are evil. The real monster is isolation. For example, while Victor was working on his creation, he became obsessed. This obsession caused victor to withdrawal from society which made him lose sight of his responsibilities and consequences. Also, after the Monster is out on his own, he became vengeful because the isolation fueled hatred and anger within him. Ultimately he just wanted Victor to experience the same pain that he, himself had had. The Monster expressed this in chapter 10 by saying "All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us." It is easily sensed that the Monster feels rejected, and isolated from humanity, society and his very own creator.
             As seen, everything comes back to the theme of isolation. The most important motif however, is the Monster never receiving a name. The lack of the Monster having a name is very significant to the story line. Victor never named his creation because that would imply a feeling of love or responsibility over the Monster. Frankenstein did not have those feelings though. Rather, he was disgusted by his own creation. Victor showed this straight from the time of animation by calling him a "fiend", "wretch" and "daemon".

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