Frankenstein, a story of selfishness and tragedy demonstrates the overall theme of knowing one’s limits. Within Victor Frankenstein’s tyranny of trying to emulate God caused his disunion with his family and all that he loved. It is through these turn of events that we can conclude that an individual must stay a part of society, for nothing can be fully appreciated by one’s self. Victor Frankenstein was able to create the unimaginable, something that even people of today aren’t able to comprehend. Even though he was able to accomplish such feat his exclusion from society was what caused the death of many innocent people and left his creation to never be further explored. The importance of society is also demonstrated in the writings of Walt Whitman in the poems, “One-Self I Sing,” and “I Sing the Body Electric.” Through all three of these accounts it is clear that if Victor Frankenstein had never became caught up with himself, the huge scientific accomplishment that he was able to achieve could have revolutionized the world.
In the first two lines of Walt Whitman’s poem “One’s-Self I Sing,” the speaker demonstrates that he is only a person but is the “Democratic” world that has caused him to represent a larger cause. It is because of the people of the United States that we are able to execute justices that are underlined in the Constitution. Even though this in itself might be stretching the purpose of a community is clear that without so many people bound by a cause we would not be as independent as we currently are. The speaker goes on to say that he sings or is appreciative with all aspects of life. Through his appreciation of “physiology,” the speaker is taking into consideration everything that was needed in order to create the world that he lives on. In the fourth line, the speaker conveys that no mind is worthy for all the pleasures that the world holds and that everyone should be considered equal, “man and woman”. Walt Whitman then states that it is through our equality that we as a society should appreciate life equally.
In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein had all of the things that Walt Whitman spoke of in “One’s-Self I Sing.” Growing up to a wealthy family in Geneva, Victor Frankenstein quickly saw the pleasure of live, growing as an individual he lost track of the importance of family and society and began trying to defy them. Devoting two years in Ingolstadt towards the creation of a human being gave the impression that not only did Victor begin to doubt the intelligence of mankind but also the power of God as well. During this time Victor states, “And the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time. “ (pg.33) This not only defied his mother’s wanting for him and Elizabeth to be in union with each other but also his father’s wishes for communication with each other while he was gone. Victor’s success with the creation of the monster was a success up until he wasn’t able to handle the hideousness of what he created. Realizing that what he created was out of his ability to contain it was clear that no person can handle life by oneself. Maybe if Victor was more open to the idea of bettering mankind rather than pure selfishness which he turned to in the later part of his story, the lives of his loved ones would have been saved.
Walt Whitman also demonstrates the importance of community with the poem, “I Sing the Body Electric.” Within the poem the speaker conveys that whether it is the head or the toes that make up the body, everything contributes to make the body “whisper, shout aloud..., sweat, sleep.” This not only makes the individual able to function but represent the “soul” of the person. Everyone for the most part has the same body structure, it is how the organs, and muscles work in one’s body that determines someone’s overall ability to compete, comprehend, and apply themselves. I can say from my own experiences that training to better one’s self both physically and mentally takes every part of you just as it does in a community.
The Monster like Victor was disassociated with society, but not by choice. The true difference between Victor and the Monster was that the Monster was incapable of being a part of society and Victor was. Through this the Monster stated, “Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect.” Victor’s ignorance toward the repercussions of his actions has caused the Monster to live a life of denial, unable to comprehend what it felt to be loved. This not only demonstrates Victor’s inability to achieve what only God could handle to create, but also the fact that no one can go on living a life if they are unloved by a group.
Through these three writings one can determine the importance of a community in one’s life. Proclaiming that without one’s community you are by yourself. Victor’s isolation from his family and his selfishness to play God broke his family apart and eventually led to his death. The Monster on the other hand had to live a life of pain and anguish because of his loneliness and failure to be accepted by society. It is clear that if Victor shared his success with others and didn’t take matters into his own hands an advancement in science would have taken place rather than the destruction of a man’s life.