Dangers of Isolation By: tanya poltavets

Isolation is a condition of being separated from other individuals.

We Come Across Three Major Types of Isolation.

1. Isolation by Ignorance: This occurs when people are isolated from society because they do not know there is another life outside their small village or home.
2. Isolation by force/involuntary: This is caused by a natural disaster/accident or hostage situation, such as being stranded alone.
3. Isolation by choice: This happens when a person decides to spend their time alone rather than in a city.

What Type of Isolation Do We Come Across in Frankenstein?

Isolation by choice: Victor isolates himself from the rest of society because of his obsession to create life.

He describes his new place as "A solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase" (pg 33).

In other words, Frankenstein Isolated himself by choice in order to engage himself in his invention of the creation of a human.

Frankenstein's monster was also introduced to isolation... Multiple Times

Isolation by force/involuntary: The creature was abandoned by Victor and isolated by the society.

The creature speaks to his creator about how he isolated him. He states, “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.” (Page, 93)

In other words, the monster compares how neither good nor evil were isolated yet his creator abandoned him from his very 'birth.'

The monster understands that he will not be accepted by society. He quotes, "What chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people, and I longed to join them, but dared not. I remembered too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers, and resolved, whatever course of conduct I might hereafter think it right to pursue, that for the present I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching and endeavoring to discover the motives which influenced their actions" (pg 105).

Because of the creatures hideous looks and his obvious monster like form he is treated with immediate rejection by anyone who crosses his path.

The question is, what does isolation actually do?

"Isolation can increase feelings of loneliness and depression, fear of other people, or create a negative self-image."

Scientists state that, "In one study, Cacioppo measured brain activity during the sleep of lonely and non-lonely people. Those who were lonely were far more prone to micro awakenings, which suggest the brain is on alert for threats throughout the night."

Meaning that lonely people were far more easily disturbed, perhaps just as earlier humans needed if they were separated from others.
Here is a mentally ill inmate under solitary confinement at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Va., peers from behind his cell door, November 29, 2004. (AP Photo/Virginian-Pilot, Chris Tyree)
This picture provides us with a man who is mentally ill and is being isolated, yet could it be that the isolation is making him mentally ill?

Stuart Grassian, a board-certified psychiatrist and a former faculty member at Harvard Medical School, "has interviewed hundreds of prisoners in solitary confinement. In one study, he found that roughly a third of solitary inmates were 'actively psychotic and/or acutely suicidal.'"

In other words by isolating prisoners, they become at a greater risk to others as well as themselves.

Loneliness definitely makes us sick yet studies prove that, it is killing us. "Loneliness is a serious health risk. Studies of elderly people and social isolation concluded that those without adequate social interaction were twice as likely to die prematurely."

Indicating that people with less social interaction were not only sick but were at greater risk of dying sooner then those who weren't lonely.

How Frankenstein and the monster apply to the illness of isolation.

Every time Frankenstein is isolated he becomes gravely ill and lifeless.

Victor states, "For I was lifeless, and did not recover my senses for a long, long time. This was the commencement of a nervous fever, which confined me for several months" (pg 38).

In other words, Victor was physically and mentally sick. He took everything with bitterness and felt only pain.

He states that his "limbs now tremble, and his eyes swim with the remembrance; but then a resistless, and almost frantic impulse, urged him forward; He seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit" (pg 33).

Victor is starting to acknowledge himself that there is a problem and that the only thing keeping him going might be causing it.
The monster is alright at first, yet when he completely becomes isolated he commits suicide.

He cried, "But soon...I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames" (pg 166).

In other words, being isolated only caused him misery leading him to the decision of suicide in order to no longer feel that pain of loneliness.

How this applies to modern Connections.

Isolation plays a huge rule in modern society especially with all the modern technology that seems to influence it more and more.

Jessica Olien states, "You could be surrounded by hundreds of adoring fans, but if there is no one you can rely on, no one who knows you, you will feel isolated."

Meaning that although we may have many followers and friends on social media, if we do not have one on one interactions then we increase our chances of being lonely.

Isolation is a major issue that is only growing in modern society and could potentially increase in the future. If we do not address the illness now we may lose our individuals to sickness and death.

Works Cited:

Gupta, Sanjay. Why You Should Treat Loneliness as a Chronic Illness. EverydayHealth.com, 4 Aug. 2015, http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/loneliness-can-really-hurt-you/. Accessed 20 Jan. 2017.

Olien, Jessica. Loneliness Can Kill You. Don’t Let It. Slate Magazine, 23 Aug. 2013, http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/08/dangers_of_loneliness_social_isolation_is_deadlier_than_obesity.html. Accessed 20 Jan. 2017.

Breslow, Jason M. What Does Solitary Confinement Do to Your Mind? FRONTLINE, 22 Apr. 2014, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/what-does-solitary-confinement-do-to-your-mind/. Accessed 20 Jan. 2017.


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