The Outsider in Frankenstein

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  • The Outsider in Frankenstein
    • Creature is forced into isolation due to prejudice.
      • Creature is described as "hideous", "abhorred", "wretch", "daemon". Shelley's lexical choices depict him as a social outcast.
        • Jansson suggests that the Creature's isolation is marked by his namelessness.
    • The Creature is an outsider (could also represent Otherness theory) to symbolise societal rejection.
      • Isolation, self-imposed or circumstantial is profoundly damaging.
        • Victor's isolation is self-imposed. Perhaps he could also be considered an outsider.
        • Victor isolates himself. When in Ingolstadt, he is "cramped" and "frenzied"
          • However, when Victor is in the Alps, isolated from humanity, he describes scenery as "heavenly" and "glorious".
    • Perhaps Victor isolates himself so that he removes feelings of guilt. He is unable to see that his pursuit is so inhumane.
      • Victor's blood "freezes" in his veins. Lack of remorse due to being an outsider.
    • The Gothic outsider is a counterforce driven by strange longings and destructive needs.
    • The Outsider reinforces the Romantic ideal that human connection is integral.
    • Narrative distancing: Due to multi-layer narrative/embedded narrative structure, we are distanced from the Creature's narrative as following his are narratives from Victor and Walton.
      • Creature's narrative is at the heart of the novel. Perhaps this suggests that when we remove our layers, we are all like the Creature with physiological drives.
        • Possibly link to Humanism. Creature is unable to self-actualise (according to Maslow's hierarchy), this could lead to anger and revolt.
          • Creature's isolation leads him to be representative of the Prolateriat. (Marxist perspective).
    • Shelley herself may have been an outsider, due to facing ostracism as a female writer.
  • Pink = points, Yellow = quotes, Red = critics, Green = structure, Turquoise = genre/context.

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