Tag Archive: loneliness


“Fall 1995, One hiker found dead…”

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Illuminated only by the flicker of a dying flashlight, it likely appeared, to the outside eye, like a nervous tic — just restlessness, even. Who would even want to go hiking around here in this kinda weather, anyways? Maybe a dumbass, that’s who. My voice echoed throughout the cavern that was out loud? It’s not like anyone would hear you, either way, as faint whispers joined my hushed grievances. They echoed throughout the cavern: my mother, “I’m glad you told me this time around, solo trips can be dangerous, my brother, “look at yourself, putting yourself, us in danger.” I could feel a lump building up in my throat. Dread and guilt seem to be pretty weighted. Atlas, holding up the emotions.

“Am I just going to die here?”

This felt like the age old-question, a constantly asked one. When it’s just you, and only you and your thoughts, though, it becomes the omnipresent dictator of your own self. What could I have done better? Maybe not lose your map, for starters…but it’s a little late for that. Musing over bad decisions should be the last thing on my mind.

With that, I shook my flashlight. It already looked a little brighter —already a positive!—but? but nothing.

“That’s a start.”

My saliva tasted bitter. Being alone is just so consuming. I can’t imagine an otherwise, befriend a Wilson, it’s just too overwhelming. Hold up, consuming?

“Speaking of consuming, that’s a necessary thing. Hoooooly crap.”

The icy floor might be the only thing keeping my senses sharp right now, but crap. The zipper on my backpack slides easily, like figure skates on an ice rink no freezing right now, thank you! and I have enough for, at most? a few days, I hope.

A few days ago, I’d hoped I could go hiking solo, complete a trip and just have time to myself so I brought it on myself, I deserve everything. Maybe just end it. Yet, to me, a hypothetical headline motivates me more than I ever could myself. Maybe I can just survive here, on like ice particles. Adapt, or something. Even if it’s stupid, I can despair. Rather than do that, though, I rolled out my sleeping bag. That’s something. At least my dreams can take me away, anywhere.

Why did I not die? Mountains of ice surround me everywhere. It’s just a slow, bitter end. This is a dream, right? What could I ever hope to get out of dying cold and alone, for the sake of something,

losing,

 

 

lost?

 

Review:

I wanted to write a short vignette on some of the emotions solitude can bring up. In this instance, I focused on a small excerpt of an “explorer’s” perspective on being alone once they found themselves lost and alone, without any guidance or semblance of normalcy. In Frankenstein, I feel like the impact of loneliness isn’t touched upon as much as it could have been, especially with Frankenstein and his creation. Not only this, but when there is a focus on isolation, other emotions that go along with it that Shelley focuses on are usually things like vengeance or suffering, but to me, some isolation can be interpreted as self-loathing, or having a negative psychological impact from looking inward

While I couldn’t touch upon a lot of emotions that come up with loneliness, or go into as much creative depth as I would’ve like to, I had wanted to create a mixture between a short story and an almost spoken word or inner-thoughts/turmoil type of piece. It felt very disjointed writing it, and echoed a lot of overwhelmed, yet somehow resigned emotions one could feel in isolation. Due to its varied impact, I wanted to include a basic sense of how almost immobilizing it could be, similar in my mind to physically freezing up, or getting lost in thought. Sometimes with a lot of isolation, fantasy could even be the better-suited and maybe even the other option in regards to facing the crippling sensations along with loneliness head on. I took one quote specifically from Frankenstein, with Victor Frankenstein himself questioning “Why did I not die?” on page 153 after discovering Clerval’s death. This type of loss, and subsequent isolation brings up a lot of emotions that stem from becoming isolated — why suffering is unable to end for some is intriguing, and to me worth expanding on and looking further into, especially as we become further isolated from others with ever-growing distractions and obligations.

Samantha Shapiro

 

An Unaccepting World

Composition

In a world abundant of people, I find myself alone
In a world where acceptance is a friendly interaction away, I find myself as an outcast

I was hopeful once
I was an optimist
Living a lonely life, but in anticipation of a future with companionship

My days were spent watching others through the shadows
My nights were spent in contemplation of how I was to gain the approval I desired

I quickly learned the ways of those I yearned to be like
Their manner of speaking
Their manner of acting
Their manner of being

Excitement filled my veins with every new piece of knowledge I acquired
Soon I would be accepted
Soon I would be acknowledged
Soon I would be “normal”

The day finally came
The day I emerged out of the shadows, ready to take on the world

A friend was all that I wanted
A friend was all that I needed
A friend was what I could have gotten
Perhaps in a different world this dream of mine could have become a reality
Perhaps I would have escaped my wretchedness and traded it for happiness

But a dream is all it was
They ran in horror at the very sight of me
They shouted insolent words that shattered my spirit
They rejected the improved version of myself I worked arduously to become

And there I was
Left to fend for my own in a world of people who abhorred me
Left with nothing but my melancholy
Left completely abandoned once again

Nothing had changed
Nothing at all

 

Review

Dear Reader,

       Loneliness, I believe, is something we all experience once or twice in our lifetime. It is also a very obviously seen theme in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I chose to write a free verse poem of which mirrored the sense of isolation the Creature in Shelley’s novel felt because I feel it is something everyone can relate to no matter what time period you are living in. Following the Creatures abandonment on behalf of Victor, it finds the DeLacey family; these humans of which it spends months watching and learning from in hopes to one day be accepted by them. We all know that this hope ends in utter chaos and rejection. My poem, “An Unaccepting World”, is a different approach to telling the Creatures pessimistic emotions due to its constant loneliness. In the same way, its purpose is to relate with a more recent audience and their similar feelings when living life in a world where acceptance is something everyone desires yet can be very difficult to gain. Personally, when reading Frankenstein, the aspect of which I related to the most was the Creatures sense of isolation. In a world full of people, it is very easy to feel alone just as the Creature did. Many times, we spend our time and effort trying to learn the correct way to be “normal” but in all reality, it will never enough. The difference between my piece and Shelley’s original novel is that my poem is a shorter version of the Creature’s efforts and hopes to be integrated into humanity. Another difference is the fact that I do not mention the Creature or anything relating to the novel anywhere within my piece, although the resemblance is quite obviously there. My reasoning behind this being that I feel it helps my poems audience relate to it on a more personal level rather than relating it solely on what it is originally based on, Mary Shelley’s novel. In addition to the poem, I have also included a drawing of what I envision my piece to depict. The two swings, one empty and the other with a girl, represent feeling lonely. The fact that the girl is swinging alone above the Earth portrays isolation from the rest of humanity. I sincerely hope that my interpretation of a widely seen theme within Frankenstein serves the purpose I intend.

With all my gratitude,

Juanita Espinoza

Varying Intentions

Written by Cathryn Flores

Throughout the course of the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelly discusses the relationship between the creature and his creator, Victor Frankenstein. This relationship reveals the different ways the working class, represented by the creature, is treated by capitalists, which is represented by Victor. Warren Montag’s essay “The “Workshop of Filthy Creation”: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein“, gives a Marxist perspective on the functioning and structure of the story of Frankenstein and his creation. I agree with Montag’s statement that the creature is “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” because the creature has no real self-identity, and can therefore not be a true member of the working class, but only a sole figure of society that contains no true purpose.

Montag expresses his idea that the creature is the sign of the proletariat’s unrepresentability because of the fact that he was solely created to exist in the world, rather than to truly live in it. This concept is contrary to the idea of a proletariat, which  signifies the working class and their duties to continue the cycle of a capitalist society. For example, when devising a plan to create his “creature”, Victor Frankenstein states that “a new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (Shelly 57). Frankenstein reveals his intentions for creating this “monster” was for his own personal, capitalistic gain, rather than to give an inanimate object the chance at a life of well-being and free will. Instead, the scientist explains that he will reign as the master of this creature and expect praise and glory throughout this process. Victor’s intentions for this creature do not include the possibility for the it to even exist as a proletariat in society. Instead, the creature is only intended to be misrepresented by his lack of ability and opportunity to reside in the working-class, and is destined to live its life in the shadows of other beings.

 

Gravity

Rilee Hoch

In his essay “The Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein.” Warren Montag seems to state many ways that Frankenstein’s monster seems to represent the emergence of the middle class (proletariat). Yet, at the end of his essay he says The Creature is, “Not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480). I do agree with Warren’s interpretation of the novel in the sense that he cannot represent the proletariat. I believe that the Creature struggles with identity and simply cannot be anything but himself. It is almost a paradoxical sort of way of thinking, but The Creature represents the proletariat in the sense that he cannot find proper representation. Like the proletariat there is no explanation for his creation and there is no existing group he can identify with. He is new and never before been seen by human kind, just as the proletariat is to the bourgeoisie.

The Creature goes into detail of his loneliness which is a prominent theme throughout Frankenstein, and the story is conveyed to us through Victor and then Walton in the frame style of the Novel. He says, “Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured on me.. and I found no shelter” (124). Interestingly enough he cries out, “Oh earth” (124) asking why he is suffering this coldness from humanity. He does not mention, where he going, only his current isolation from the world around him. This is just like the unknown future and social alienation of the new class. The image this conveys to me is quite like Sandra Bullock’s role in the movie Gravity. Existing in space alone with nothing to grab on to, no one to relate to you, and no set place to belong. So just like the proletariat who came into being from nothing and struggled to find a place to exist in a society that rejected them, The Creature too could not be represented by anything known to man. Therefore the monster does just as Walton has said, and represents their unrepresentability.

By: Mark Acuña

            The story behind Frankenstein stems off a long timeline dating back all the way to the early eighteen-hundreds. A young woman named Mary Shelly was an intelligent writer and poet that was born into a sad life as the absence of her mother took a toll on her development as a writer. Although her work on her most renown novel Frankenstein introduces the story of how Victor Frankenstein creates a so called “monster” through the work of alchemy – we are presented with an image of the creature being called Frankenstein itself as well as a portrayed image that left us millennials with the perception that Frankenstein is some sort of green creature that is heavily portrayed during the season and holiday of Halloween.

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            With the very depiction of how Frankenstein is portrayed as through films and plays, it is safe to say that most of society most likely does not know about the truth and meaning of what lies behind the story of Frankenstein. With the beginning pages of the novel we are greeted with a character that seeks the attention of others through “friendships”. Walton is shown to carry some parallel with the actual story of Frankenstein – where in which the novel Frankenstein reflects the very same story of how Mary Shelly loses loved ones throughout her lifetime as well as seeks the attention, care and love from a “woman” or mother in this case. We learn that the “monster” that is portrayed as a monster in the novel is actually hurt, lost, confused and in the end – all alone. The creature that was created as a reflection from Mary Shelly, she is isolated by her works in gothic literature and the curiosity of myth with reality.

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Mahealani LaRosa

My knowledge of the Frankenstein myth relied solely on Halloween and Scooby Doo movies before I read the novel. Growing up, the word Frankenstein put the image of a square-headed, green-skinned, illiterate, sewn-up creature in my head. What I never knew and never could have imagined was that there were so many layers to the story, so many complex characters and emotions. I always thought Frankenstein was the monster, not the scientist. That really shocked me. What really shocked me, however, was the rawness and intensity that poured out of every character. I never expected this simple, childhood story of a mad scientist bringing a huge green being to life to be so intricate.

I actually saw a lot of myself in every one of the characters. The longing, the fear, the exclusion. Right from the start, the novel resonated with me in ways I never thought it would. Although what I am going to write about is not exactly about the monster itself, it is about Frankenstein the novel, which is what this post is supposed to be all about.

In the first letter, Walton says “I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me…” (30). Starting in a new place, as I and many of my other classmates are, feels a lot like this. I would never expect to find myself represented so clearly in a book about a monster. But that is the thing… The novel is not really about the monster. Every interaction the reader has with the creature is fleeting and brief. I was surprised to find much more of Walton and Frankenstein’s life, and even the French family living in the cottages life, represented in the novel. Walton expresses this craving for friendship right from the start, and he seems to be rewarded with Frankenstein. What is funny is that Frankenstein also expresses this craving for a friend, and a fear of making new ones, by saying “In the university, whither I was going, I must form my own friends, and be my own protector” (50). Once again, I share these sentiments. And once again, the scientist seems to be rewarded with Walton. They refer to one another as brothers, and in the short time they have together, they form a strong familial-like bond.

What I noticed is that the creature does not. There are many more instances in the novel where the monster yearns for friendship and connection. However, he is never rewarded. While watching the cottage-dwellers, he says “I longed to join them” (101). Aware of his absence of companionship, he asks himself “But where are my friends and relations? (110). He questions his own existence many times, thinking “Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination?” (115). All he longs for is a friend, much like the captain and the scientist, but he never gets one. He never gets anything.

And this is not what I was expecting. I thought the monster was exactly that. A monster. A killer. A mindless, numb murderer. I was never expecting to find someone so similar to myself in the creature. It is shocking, comparing myself to this being. He is a killer, but he has complex ideas and intimate thoughts, and in the long run, is just a lonely guy. And I get that. I wish him good luck, and I wish more people would read this novel and learn . the true Frankenstein story. I know everyone can find a bit of themselves in this story.

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Frankenstein: The Novel vs The myth

by Alex Luna

If I were to see an image like the one I have chosen, a large series of misconceptions would occupy my brain regarding Frankenstein. This creature I  see would be illiterate, and would be trying to choke the life out of people. I would see this creature often during Halloween, seeing the green makeup. Now imagine my surprise, when I discovered that Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. While a surprising fact, everything regarding the monster and the myth remained in my mind. Dr. Frankenstein was surely a mad scientist, who must have yelled out “It’s Alive!” upon the birth of the monster. The monster must be illiterate, have green skin, and have bolts coming out of its neck. 

Upon reading the original novel by Mary Shelley, I have come to find most of my preconceptions to be completely false. For one, the monster is completely literate and intelligent. Victor, while still a bit crazy, isn’t such a maniac and expresses regret at his creation.

There are many characters that have been completely lost from the myth, such as Felix and Safie, as well as Robert Walton. To me, Felix and Safie are the most tragic, because they reflect a much deeper side to the story that most aren’t aware of. This missing piece relates to the creatures attempts to be accepted by humanity, to be loved and have companionship. The creature watches Felix and Safie from afar, hoping to recieve their friendship.  It’s tragic that this aspect of the story has been lost, because it makes the creature feel less like a creature and more of a misunderstood figure that eventually embraces their role as a monster upon being rejected by society. This makes me as a reader relate more to the creature, because most people have experience some sort of alienation from others at some point in life. 

Shelley’s novel has essentially caused a huge shift in the way I think whenever I hear the name “Frankenstein”, or see an image like the one I have chosen. Rather than seeing a big bad green monster trying to kill whatever comes its way, I now see a misunderstood being, who became what it did due to a sense of isolation caused by humans. The monster is truly more than a monster.

 

frankenstein

The initial thing that a lot of people, including myself, seem to notice when they read Frankenstein, is that the novel is named after the scientist rather than his monstrous creation. The identity of Frankenstein seems to be the first preconception that is vanquished when one actually reads the book.

Our culture is inundated with references to the hideous abomination that is called Frankenstein, from it being used as an argument against any controversial scientific advances, or as a potential Halloween costume. This is what comes to mind when we think of Frankenstein, this green, sub-human, destructive creature, very different from the eloquent, intelligent, deeply emotional being that is depicted in Shelley’s novel. Not only have we gotten the identity of Frankenstein wrong, we have completely changed his character too.  This is a very odd and huge misconception for an entire society to have, and after reading the book it seems incredible that it hasn’t been corrected.

I think its because we have forgotten, or maybe would like to forget, that this story is not about the Creature but about its creator. If it was simply about the Creature the novel could be passed off as a horror story and warning to think on the repercussions of an act before going through with it, and this is indeed how I thought of it before reading it. The depiction of Frankenstein as a lumbering, dim monster also makes the horror story more convincing than having the more disconcerting, very human, reality. However, the novel is truly about Frankenstein the creator, and is much darker, as it is a discussion of the arrogance of a man who brings himself to the same level as ‘God’ by bestowing life, and finds only loneliness and a burdened soul in that ultimate power. The arrogance may be subconscious but it raises questions as to the arrogance residing in each one of us. The picture below is of the Dr. Frankenstein from a modern TV show called Once Upon A Time. In this show magic and the like is very common, but even in that environment Dr. Frankenstein’s power to bring people back to life is treated as extraordinary and God-like. I chose this picture because you can see Frankenstein’s complete confidence in his abilities and his arrogance in his almost disdainful expression, and also see the supernatural power that is held in his hand.

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