The Inevitable Downfall of the Truly Unique Man was created as a species, a group, so that no one would ever have to be alone. There are millions of people all over the world so that anyone can find someone to connect with. When someone is forced to be isolated from society, it causes one to lose their sense of self. In both the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly and the film Edward Scissorhands by Tim Burton, isolation is critical in the creature’s and Edward’s development as it leads to both characters downfall.
Although the evolution of the isolation differs, Victor’s creature is isolated from the beginning, while Edward is accepted briefly into society. In both works the creator abandons their creation but while Victor abandons his creation from the moment it awakes, Edward’s creator teaches him as much as he can before abandoning him through death. The creators are not the only people to isolate the creations most people the creatures come in contact with abandoned them eventually. In both works, the creator is essentially responsible for the downfall of their creation simply by creating it.
In Victor Frankenstein’s case he created the monster simply out of curiosity. The creature is left alone because Frankenstein is a selfish coward. Victor shows his selfishness when he says, “what had been the study and desire of the wisest men since the creation of the world was now within my grasp. ”(45) When victor says this he is displaying his lack of interest in the creature as a being and only cares about his own personal achievement. The fact that the creature’s only “family” does not even care about him does not give him any reason to have any hope in humanity.
The lack of interest in the monster post-creation displays to the reader that Victor has no interest in helping the monster to grow or learn. Victor will not stay with the monster after the rush of success and personal pride wears off. The rush wears of very quickly, in fact it disappears the moment the monster comes to life. Frankenstein explains this experience this experience to the reader in this quotation; “I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.
How can I describe the wretch whom such infinite pains and care I had endured to form” (50) This quotation shows how inconsiderate victor is because the moment the creature awakens, he does not like what he sees and takes off, leaving the monster defenceless. The monster depended of Victor to teach him how to behave and how to survive. The monster never experienced anyone’s love, or genuine emotion besides hatred. This experience led the monster to the later realization that mankind is close-minded and that he would never be like them, leading to his isolation.
The effect of victors instantaneous disgust with the monsters appearance is apparent when he says the following to Victor, “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. ”(95) This statement shows the creatures understanding of human nature. He understands his relationship with Victor as well as Victor’s views on him.
The monster is affected by his abandonment because he understands he will never have anyone of another species understand him, therefor he must be alone. He must be isolated because he is one of a kind and misunderstood. However creature is not the only misunderstood creation of man. Edward Scissorhands is another example of an abandoned creation. Edward’s creator was a lonely old man longing for company. His creator made him out of love. The inventor shows this when he offers Edward hand to replace his scissor hands. This shows the inventors love because he wants Edward to fit in.
He successfully creates new life, now he wants Edward to be able to live his life to his full potential. The inventor’s reasons for creating Edward effect Edward’s isolation because even though he was made for the right reasons, the two were not given enough time together. Edward still does not understand society and does not know how to interact with others. Edward is isolated from society due to his lack of education in regards to humankind. Edward experiences some second hand knowledge from the inventor who tries to teach Edward all he can.
The inventor never purposefully left Edward’s side, therefore he was not abandoned, rather left with no one. By only partially educating Edward the inventor has done Edward an injustice because he has left him curious about society, but unable to anything about it, unable to join society, leaving him isolated. In both works the creator has left their creation unable to join society because of lack of tools. The reasons for creation differ, but the outcome is in the end, the same. The attempts made by the creatures to enter the society unfit for them, leaves both creatures as outcasts.
Although their creators left the creatures unfit to join society, they are determined to associate themselves with others. Victor’s creation was at first apprehensive, he sat back and observed, gaining understanding of the people before approaching them. This was the case when he approached the DeLaceys. He had been overseeing the family in their daily lives, and had gone as far as to help them, all while remaining unseen. The monster grew fond of the family and was very anxious about showing himself to them. His anxiety is shown when he announces; “Now is the time! Save and protect me!
You and your family are the friends whom I seek. Do not you desert me in the hour of trial! ” (135). When the monster cries this, he shows how vulnerable and desperate he is for company. This quotation is a direct result of his isolation because he is so companionless and yearns for accompaniment. The creature wants to be loved by someone so badly he is willing to put himself out there, full well having experienced society’s close-minded views. He wants to have someone to care about him, so he places himself in a position with little chance of success and only a small glimmer of hope.
Unfortunately for the monster, the DeLaceys show him once again just how cruel people can be. The moment they lay eyes no him, they are disgusted and decide him a cruel evil being. The creature describes to the reader; “Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me?… in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick. ” (135). The DeLacey family becomes enraged upon seeing the creature, the decide instantaneously that he means them harm and Felix DeLacey goes about attempting to protect his family from the danger standing in his living room.
The rejection leaves the monster feeling on complete solitude. His “protectors” had been the only thing giving him hope, when they turn on him he is devastated to realize that he will never be accepted or understood. The monster tells the reader how he feels when he states; “ my protectors had departed anf had broken the only link that held me to the world. For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, and I did not strive to control them, but allowed myself to be borne away by the stream, I bent my mind towards injury and death. ” (138).
The DeLacey’s betrayal leaves the monster deserted and bitter. This quotation shows his change in attitude toward humanity. He no longer sees it as a place of hope and possible comfort. Humanity is now a place of discontent and hatred. The monster has been scorned to many times and his mind now turns to revenge as a result. The creature is made into a hate driven and violent being by the people who deserted him and left him scorned. This hatred is what eventually leads to his desolation. As opposed to Edward whose abandoners turn him into a non-violent introvert.
The society that Edward is placed into is on stuck in the forties. The women stay at home all day while their husbands go to work, the women have nothing better to do all day then to gossip. In the film, Peg “rescues” Edward from his home where he has been living on his own, to live with her, and her family. When he is brought down he sparks the interest of the communities’ women. These women accept him in in order to satisfy their own curiosity. This community is mostly full of selfish fake women who used Edward and strip him of whatever remaining innocence he had left.
They do this when they chase him out of town and back to his hilltop mansion (Edward Scissorhands). The effect of this event on Edward is he turns back into an introvert for he feels as if he had been misjudged and knows he will not be able to redeem himself for the townspeople have already made up their minds on his intensions. He is unaware of the fact that the town’s people only chase him away because they come to realize that he is a pure innocent child and they are all artificial selfish people.
After the town is no longer amused by his differences and now see that he poses a possibility of change, they try and find the smallest imperfections and use that to drive a wedge. This is not hard due to his physical differences; the town is able to use Edward’s lack of personal development and insecurities as well as his protective nature to scare him away from the town. The town’s people do not stop there; they do not stop until they believe he is dead. Edward is then completely isolated because if he ever emerged from his house, they would know he was still living, and kill him for real.
The town’s insecurity leads to Edward’s isolation. The abandonment of his “family” leaves Edward heartbroken because he has found people he is able to relate to and who accept him, but because the rest of society is not ready for diversity, he is driven from those who he has grown to love. Unlike Edward he does not turn to violence, possibly because his creator did not purposely make him different, nor did he purposely abandon him. Edward instead turns to keeping his only loved ones happy, he shows this when at the end of the film, he is shaving ice to create snow for the town (Edward Scissorhands).
He does this because he knows Kim enjoys the snow. Instead of focusing on those who betrayed him, he decides to focus on those who he loved. In the end, both Edward and the creature are driven to exile by society’s intolerance for change and anything remotely different. Although the two characters are very different in their reasons of formation, circumstances, and attitude, the end result is generally the same, isolation. In both works, the main characters end up isolated due to their differences.
The characters are both man made and both are left by their creators, although the creature is left because of the lack of love and overwhelming amount of hatred between him and his creator, whereas Edward’s creator dies prematurely. While the events prior to the seclusion may be different, the end result is the same. While Victor Frankenstein’s creature is constantly isolated and Edward is temporarily accepted, both end up cut off. The stereotypical world that society has created for themselves, is safe and comfortable world.
The moment someone is asked to think outside of that realm, they are being asked to leave that safe little bubble of networked people working together to ensure similarity, and stand on their own. These man made creations are a result of man’s curiosity and loneliness, the same man who rejected and abandoned them. If humanity is ever to achieve true equality and acceptance, society must abandon this world of sameness, and live in the world of differences. People must truly stand on the outside in order to accept others differences.