Frankenstein and Friendship
In Mary Shelley's book "Frankenstein", friendship and relationships play a key role in the novel.
Robert Walton writes letters and mentions a need for a friend.
The creature hopelessly wants a companion because he feels entirely alone.
Throughout this book, the creature longs for a companion or friend of some kind. He realizes his deformities and quickly turns angry at the world, and his creator, Victor.
Victor relies on his family, friends, and lover. When he does not have them around, he changes as a person. It is apparent that he needs interactions with others in order to function well.
Robert Walton is always longing for the companionship of others. Much of the first part of the novel is Walton writing to his sister, complaining that he is alone. When Walton meets Victor, he is thrilled to have someone to associate with.
The creature becomes aware of what he is, and hates Victor because he is doomed to loneliness.
Robert Walton is very lonely. He writes to his sister and admits to his solitude.
Victor explains here his excitement of seeing an old friend from home.
The creature longs so dearly for only someone to talk to. He does not do so because he is aware of how he looks and believes that he will only suffer continued misfortune.
Victor is miserable without his lover. He is losing everyone he was close with, and it is taking a toll on his health and well being.
Frankenstein portrays friendship and companionship a necessity.
"Being social boosts your immune system. Being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions, which in turn may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress, say health experts."
Perhaps some of the characters in the novel Frankenstein could have been healthier and happier if they had proper interactions with others.
How does social media come into play?
This can mean a few things:
Businesses and companies are able to get the names of their product out to consumers faster and more efficiently than ever.
The general public is online frequently, which means more people are interacting with each other.
But of course, there are negatives.
When 25% of users don't bother with privacy settings, that means that their information is easily accessible to anyone in the world. Aside from just friends, this includes strangers, employers, families, and possible attackers.
What this can do is prevent a person from getting hired, this can exploit personal information to those the user may not have intended, and because so many users are online so frequently, that information gets passed at a rapid rate, in more areas than just your hometown.
Connections to social media and Frankenstein
This was noted on an article that discussed all the negatives of social media.
"According to Cornell University's Steven Strogatz, social media sites can make it more difficult for us to distinguish between the meaningful relationships we foster in the real world, and the numerous casual relationships formed through social media. By focusing so much of our time and psychic energy on these less meaningful relationships, our most important connections, he fears, will weaken."
Victor Frankenstein had meaningful connections with others, and "casual relationships" were not exactly in existence in his day. In the time period of the book's setting, all communications were done directly for the most part. There was no "celebrity gossip". There was no scrolling through BuzzFeed quizzes to determine which musician you related to most. Everything was done face to face.
Other characters in the novel also had real connections with people, and they either wrote letters, or spoke to someone in person.
Society's idea of socializing, relationships, and friendships has surely changed since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.
A final thought...
Humans have clearly begun to shift in their morals and in their ideas of what friendship and relationships mean.
But overall, humans have always had a desire for relations with others. In society today, that statement still stands true.
Mary Shelley was correct in her ideas that friendship and relationships are a key to a happy life. As readers, we must interpret those ideas and concepts into a modern view, even if that means we make flowcharts on how to socialize with others.
- Vann, Madeline, MPH. "The Importance of Friendships."EverydayHealth.com. Everyday Health, 22 Dec. 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
- Jung, Brian. "The Negative Effect of Social Media on Society and Individuals." Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
- Cooper, Belle Beth. "10 Surprising Social Media Stats To Make You Rethink Your Strategy." Buffer Social. Buffer Social, 16 July 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.