A New Light On Central Themes

Decent Essays
Life is undoubtedly richer for the human contact we share, as most of us actively seek human companionship or relationships. Social isolation, the distancing of the individual, entirely alters an individual’s perceptions and thought processes and produces unperceivable effects. On numerous occasions, it appears as if we have refuted John Donne and become individual islands, gradually drifting towards the existential view that humans are ultimately alone. Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein, and Daniel Defoe, in Robinson Crusoe, both apply isolation and extreme loneliness to characters whom appear to be rather insignificant, however, in actuality these characters profoundly buttress the authors’ reasoning and explanations. Such characters that may be superficially viewed as unimportant play pivotal roles in the development of other characters and, more often than not, shed a new light on central themes. Both Shelley and Dewey fabricate seemingly insignificant characters that experience prolonged periods of extreme loneliness and isolation, and these characters prove essential to the development of the protagonists as well as to a greater understanding of the novels. Poll, the parrot in Robinson Crusoe, and Robert Walton, in Frankenstein, further illuminate the theme of isolation in the novels by fueling the development of other characters. Poll plays an instrumental role in revealing Crusoe’s loneliness and the effects of Crusoe’s isolation. Crusoe’s sad lack of human contact in
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