Exploring Abandonment Through Key Quotes in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 689 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 689|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Victor's Abandonment of the Creature
  3. The Creature's Experience of Abandonment
  4. Victor's Self-Imposed Isolation
  5. Conclusion


Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", a seminal work of Gothic literature, is a rich tapestry of themes and motifs that delve into the human condition. Among these, the theme of abandonment is particularly poignant, as it underscores the tragic trajectories of both Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. The sense of abandonment permeates the novel, influencing characters' motivations, actions, and ultimately their fates. This essay will analyze key quotes from "Frankenstein" to explore how Shelley uses the theme of abandonment to shape the narrative and elicit empathy from readers. By examining the experiences of Victor and the Creature, we will uncover how abandonment functions as a catalyst for the novel's tragic events, highlighting the profound psychological and emotional ramifications of isolation and neglect.

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Victor's Abandonment of the Creature

One of the most striking instances of abandonment in "Frankenstein" is Victor's immediate rejection of his creation. Upon bringing the Creature to life, Victor is horrified by its appearance and flees, leaving the Creature to fend for itself. This moment is captured in the quote, "Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room" (Shelley, 1818). Victor's abandonment is not merely a physical act but also an emotional and moral repudiation. His failure to accept responsibility for his creation sets the stage for the Creature's subsequent misery and violence. This quote encapsulates Victor's initial inability to confront the consequences of his ambition, demonstrating how his abandonment of the Creature is rooted in fear and revulsion. The Creature's subsequent experiences of rejection and isolation can be traced back to this pivotal moment, making it a crucial turning point in the narrative.

The Creature's Experience of Abandonment

The Creature's journey is marked by a series of rejections that compound its sense of abandonment. Despite its initial innocence and desire for companionship, the Creature is consistently met with fear and hostility. In a poignant reflection, the Creature laments, "I am malicious because I am miserable; am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?" (Shelley, 1818). This quote encapsulates the Creature's profound sense of isolation and its recognition that its malevolence stems from its abandonment. The Creature's plea for understanding and its subsequent turn to violence highlight the destructive impact of sustained neglect. Shelley uses the Creature's plight to evoke sympathy from the reader, illustrating how abandonment can corrupt even the most inherently good beings. Through this, Shelley critiques societal tendencies to ostracize those who are different, emphasizing the need for compassion and understanding.

Victor's Self-Imposed Isolation

While Victor's abandonment of the Creature is a central focus, his own experiences of isolation also merit examination. Victor's obsessive pursuit of knowledge and creation leads him to sever ties with his family and friends, resulting in his own form of self-imposed abandonment. He acknowledges this in a moment of introspection: "I shunned my fellow creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime" (Shelley, 1818). Victor's isolation is both a cause and consequence of his actions, reflecting the destructive nature of his ambition. His detachment from society and those he loves exacerbates his suffering, culminating in the tragic loss of his loved ones. This quote reveals Victor's awareness of his own culpability and the isolation that stems from his transgressions. Shelley's portrayal of Victor's self-imposed isolation serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the importance of human connection.

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Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" masterfully explores the theme of abandonment through the experiences of both Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. Key quotes from the novel highlight the profound impact of abandonment on the characters' lives, driving the narrative forward and eliciting empathy from readers. Victor's initial rejection of the Creature sets off a chain of events that underscores the destructive consequences of neglect and isolation. The Creature's subsequent misery and turn to violence further illustrate the corrosive effects of abandonment, while Victor's own self-imposed isolation underscores the interconnectedness of human relationships and the perils of hubris. Through these portrayals, Shelley critiques societal tendencies to ostracize and neglect, emphasizing the need for compassion and responsibility. Ultimately, "Frankenstein" serves as a timeless reminder of the devastating impact of abandonment and the enduring importance of empathy and connection.

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Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Exploring Abandonment Through Key Quotes in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. (2024, Jun 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Exploring Abandonment Through Key Quotes in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.” GradesFixer, 11 Jun. 2024,
Exploring Abandonment Through Key Quotes in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Exploring Abandonment Through Key Quotes in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 11 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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