Frankenstein and Metamorphosis

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As humans we are able to tell ourselves apart by differentiating our looks from others. This action of labeling a person as someone who belongs to an inferior social category is the concept of “othering.” Othering excludes people from a social group, these people are excluded because they do not fit into what is believed to be the social norm. Othering and isolation are two very similar concepts, the idea of isolation “separates something or someone from other things or people with which they are joined and mixed, or to keep them separate.” Isolation and othering both tend to have a negative perception towards people.

In the novel of Frankenstein, the Creature lives in isolation and is categorized as a horrific and grotesque colossus. He is mistreated simply for the way he looks. Everyone who comes across the Creature in the novel excludes him due to his physique, no one takes into account that he is a creature with feelings. They simply exclude and mistreat him. In the novel of Metamorphosis, Gregor one day wakes up from a stressing dream to find out he has turned into a cockroach. Once his family finds out they feel differently towards Gregor, their emotions begin to change towards him. His father wants to get rid of his cockroach son, his mother is always in a state of shock and cannot stand to be near him while his sister turns her back on him. Gregor is isolated from his family who only used Gregor for their own benefit. The inability of people accepting these two distinct characters lead to the deaths of the Creature in Frankenstein and Gregor in Metamorphosis. These two characters were victims of “othering” and isolation which caused them a great sorrow and their death.

The novel, Frankenstein, is a scientific novel with an emphasis on the Creature as the primitive, exotic other. The Creature is a creation by Frankenstein but he is abandoned by his creator due to his monstrous appearance. The Creature has to endeavor loneliness in the unknown world he was brought in to and faces abandonment of his creator. Throughout the book he is mistreated and ignored by society, he does not find a place to fit in. Although the Creature shares human attributes, no one tends to see him as anything but a monster. The concept of othering and isolation share a connection with this story. Victor Frankenstein became lost in his studies that he removed himself from human society, and therefore lost sight of his responsibilities and the consequences of his actions.

The Creature turns vengeful not because he is evil, but because isolation fills him with overwhelming hate and anger. The abandonment of the Creature lead for him to doubt in himself and question his identity, when he finally captures the attention of his creator he says, “Everything is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and loathsome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors and rendered mine indelible. I sickened as I read. `Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. `Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even YOU turned from me in disgust?” (15.8) This quote is able to capture how desperately the Creature wanted to make Victor understand he was hurt by the harsh words he said and by his action of abandoning him. The creature grew isolated from human society and began to doubt in is own identity. The concept of isolation and abandonment in the book sees isolation from family and society as the worst imaginable fate, and the cause of hatred, violence, and revenge.

In Metamorphosis, we come to an understanding that Gregor is the only one who is dependign for his family financially. When Gregor wishes he could quit his job and become free of family obligations, he wakes up as a cockroach. This is important to take in because the theme of isolation does not start when Gregor became a cockroach but these feelings of alienation and isolation existed long before his transformation. Gregor’s isolation was not something new when he turned into a cockroach.


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Frankenstein and Metamorphosis. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/frankenstein-and-metamorphosis/



How are Frankenstein and Metamorphosis similar?
Frankenstein and Metamorphosis are similar in that they both explore the theme of alienation and the consequences of playing God. Both novels also depict the physical and psychological transformation of their main characters.
What are the 5 themes of Frankenstein?
The five themes of Frankenstein are: 1) the dangers of playing with nature; 2) the importance of family and friends; 3) the power of knowledge; 4) the dangers of obsession; and 5) the importance of acceptance.
What is the main lesson of The Metamorphosis?
The main lesson of The Metamorphosis is that change can be difficult but it can also be liberating.
What is the message of Kafka's Metamorphosis?
Kafka's Metamorphosis is a magical realist, allegorical tale that touches on the theme most central to us all—that of struggling to find and express one's own identity in a world of ever-present, all-consuming obligations .
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