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Frankenstein was written and published in 1818, almost two hundred years ago and the themes are still applicable today. The theme is that isolation leads to anger and rebellion against society. During the story we see the main character, the Creature, be constantly neglected by his creator, Doctor Victor Frankenstein shows no love to his creation and he actually shows resentment to him. Victor is utterly disgusted by what he has made and he lets that show towards the Creature. We see this shown today through murders, serial killers, and terrorists.
Most of these people have not been shown any love from their parents or shown any acceptance from society. This neglect usually channels these people to obtain power in other ways, mostly through the murder of those around them. In 2000, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service did a study on 36 murders, most of whom were serial killers. Their findings were astounding, almost all of the subjects of their studies were victims of childhood neglect.
But I think that it is important to clarify that if you are neglected as a child, it doesn’t mean that you will become a serial killer. But children that are neglected as children are at higher risk for becoming the perpetrators of violent crime.
Gary Ridgway is the most violent serial killer of all time and he was abused as a child by his mom. This led him down a violent path that made him become the most violent serial killer of all time. Neglecting a child during its youth can lead to terrible consequences.
This is paralleled in the book by seeing how the creature is neglected by his “parent”, Dr. Frankenstein. The reader sees this when the Creature reads the diary Frankenstein writes during his creation. This is when the reader truly sees the resentment Frankenstein shows towards his creation.
The creature says, “I sickened as I read. `Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.” (Shelley, Chapter 15) Through this we see just how affected the Creature is through the words that Dr. Frankenstein uses to describe him. The Creature says, “Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?” As a child, how would one feel if the parents that created you left and abandoned you? Or if that same parent could not even look at you because they are so disgusted with your appearance. This is what happened in the case of the Creature. It even dares the reader to ask the question: If Frankenstein would have nurtured the Creature would the whole story have turned out differently?
I think it would have because then the Creature would have had someone to turn to. The Creature says, “Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.” This shows how lonely he is. The Creature is absolutely cut off and isolated from society. This is where the theme connects back and still carries to the problems of today. Through bullies at school and abuse inside of a household it is much easier for a child to feel a sense of isolation and loneliness. This sense of isolation and loneliness can cause a rebellion towards society or the members inside of it from the one that is isolated. The theme of Frankenstein is still applicable to life today and while it may be rare, isolation can lead to many bad things in society. As members of society, the reader has the responsibility to accept all those they meet without judgement.
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