In “Frankenstein”, Mary Shelley presents the idea that alienation can cause a decline in both mental and physical health.
There are many examples of this throughout the novel such as when Victor is working on his creation and bringing him to life, as well as when the monster sees Victor and begins to explain his life, during the making of the female monster, and throughout Victor’s life. Ultimately, both mental and physical health can be directly impacted by alienation.Throughout the novel there are many examples of how alienation impact mental and physical health. Victor alienates himself quite a bit and his health is impacted by it. An example of this is when Victor was finishing the monster and getting ready to bring it to life. “Every night I was oppressed by a slow fever and I became nervous to a most painful degree..
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.”(Shelley, 49). This tells of how Victor, without social interaction, had nothing else to think about other than his creation. This lead to a disturbance in his mental and physical health. Another example of this would be during the same time as the previous example, “..
. the fall of a leaf startled me, and I shunned my fellow creatures…” (49). This shows that Victor had cut off most outside interaction and had no desire to mingle with other humans. This kept him even more alone and affected his mental health as he began to think he had committed a crime. A third example of this would be when the monster fled Victor’s room at the University. When Victor realized that the monster had left he lost all control, ” I imagined the monster seized me; I struggled furiously and fell down into a fit.” (55).
This tells of how, by being the only one to see the creation alive, his mental and physical health was affected by the thought of the monster. A final example of how Victor’s health was affected would be after his hallucination and fit, “This was the commencement of a nervous fever which confined me for several months.” (55).
This quote shows how Victor’s mental health directly impacted his physical health. This quote also tells of how Victor was confined for several months which also alienated him. In conclusion, there are many examples of how alienation can cause a decline in both mental and physical health. In the novel Victor is not the only one affected by alienation. The novel has the monster being affected by mental health issues because of alienation.
An example of this would be when the monster approached Victor in the mountains of Chamounix, “All men hate the wretched; now, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond living things!” (95). This quote tells of how the monster is placed alone in the world because no man is not scared of his appearance. Another example would be when the monster is speaking with Victor, “If you comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace, but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be the blood of your remaining friends.” (95).
This quote explains how the monster’s mental health was not in the right place as he threatened to kill to prove a point. This quote also shows how the monster’s mental health was affected by having to be alone. A third example would be when the monster was first living in the hovel, ” I lay on my straw, but could not sleep.” (108).
This quote shows that while the cottagers are sleeping peacefully the monster can not sleep as he is picturing the end of his loneliness. This quote also shows how the monster’s mental health was changed at the hope that the cottagers would end his alienation. In conclusion, this novel includes more than one character suffering from a decline in health due to alienation.
In the novel there is a time when Victor alienates himself for the benefit of the monster. During the making of the female monster, Victor alienates himself to finish the task assigned by the monster and out of fear of the monster’s threat. An example of this would be during the journey to Scotland where Victor will create the female, “I waited for my letters with feverish impatience; if they were delayed I was miserable and overcome by a thousand fears…”. (165). This quote shows how the monster’s threat changed Victor’s mental health by becoming obsessed with what the monster will do if he does not create a female. Another example would be when Victor is working on the female in the remote area of Scotland, “But now I went to it in cold blood, and my heart often sickened at the work of my hands.” (168).
This quote shows that although Victor knows it is wrong, he has to do it or his mental health will deteriorate even further from the loss of his remaining family. In conclusion, Victor alienated himself to protect his family and for the benefit of the monster. There are several times throughout this novel where Victor alienates himself. He spends a lot time by himself at school, with family and friends close by, and when overwhelmed by guilt and grief. An example of this is when Victor is young. During the time when he was first studying natural philosophy he spent a lot of his time studying alone, “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…”. (31). This quote tells of how Victor was left alone, at a young age, to study which changed the way he thought about life. This affects his mental health after because he becomes obsessed with creating life where there is none. Another example would be when Victor is looking to kill the monster, “They were dead, and I lived; their murderer also lived, and to destroy him I must drag out my weary existence.” (209). This quote explains that Victor is left alone with no friends or family, so he will leave everything he has ever known to destroy it.
This also shows a change in his mental health as he is now overcome with grief and guilt strong enough to want to kill his creation. Finally, he is the only one chasing the monster, as well as the only one knowing of the monster, “I pursued him; and for many months this has been my task.” (210). This quote shows how Victor, having been the only person knowing about the monster and having his whole family killed by it, becomes obsessed in the creature’s death. In conclusion, there are many times that Victor has spent alone that have altered his health.
Ultimately, both mental and physical health can be directly impacted by alienation. There are many examples of this throughout the novel such as when Victor is working on his creation and bringing him to life, as well as when the monster sees Victor and begins to explain his life, during the making of the female monster, and throughout Victor’s life. In the end, Victor spends a lot of his life alienated from everyone and everything of importance.