Living in a lonely World


The book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a novel that is well known to be a cautionary tale of a scientist who is in pursuit of an idealized world; whereby, taking the role of God led him to a place of no return. I argue that one of the reasons why the book has such a strong connection between the characters and the reader is due to the fact that Mary Shelley presented the plot of the story in different perspectives, which brought out the pathos in each character allowing the reader to go through different journeys into his/her soul as a way of exploring the human conditions. My empathy with the two main character was achieved due to both Victor and the Monster’s stories via each character’s voice evoking emotions in me. However, a deeper appreciation began after a couple of weeks into the journey of the critical analysis of the book. It brought in the idea of a personal connection that I have never felt with any character before. It suddenly seemed as if Mary Shelley wrote this book in parallel to some of the incidents in my life. This book resonated with my life experiences, specifically in relation to the Monster’s experience of alienation, abuse, the desire to seen as a who we both truly are and Victor’s secrecy.

My own monstrous story began about 7 years ago. Back then, if I were told that I would ever end up living and interacting with other humans who will set their eyes on me and smile, I would have snickered with the thought of the speaker being obviously mad. As I was reading parts of the novel in the perspective from the Monster, I experienced several moments of flashback into the bad chapter from my life. This book has somehow unraveled several things that I tried so imageshard to bury deep down memory lane. I didn’t realize how horrific my life was until I compare it to the life I am living now.

In those moments seven years ago, I was at the edge of giving up on the fate of humanity because living with an abusive aunt, starting from the age of eight, taught me that no matter how strong we believe ourselves to be, the abhorrence society directs towards us has huge impacts on who we are, and who we start to believe we are. I remember the transition of character I went through from the innocent little girl, just like the Monster to the vicious vengeful monstrous product of society. I was that one kid who had the brain and ability to be rewarded as a brilliant student but I chose to sit in the back corner of the class, alone and angry due to the tribal and language differences in my class. As a child whose father is dead, living without her mother, people around me suspected me to be not only a devil, even a slave. My close family, my aunt cousins treated me like a slave than an actual 8 years old with human emotions equal to others.

This was my reality, my existence,I was eleven when I was forced to work in a group project involving the sharing of stories from our personal life. It was then that I realized the world of neglect and abuse that I was living in. I learned that  none of my classmates had a quarter of my responsibilities to bear and none of them were physical, mentally and emotionally abused. I thought all kids were treated like me because that was all I knew. It was this self-actualization as compared to the monster’s attempt to gain human kindness that completely tore a new chunk of my heart that was already filled with holes.


Moreover, Victor secrecy in terms of the creation of the monster leading him to a solitary life of guilt and eventually his downfall is parallel to a particular event in my life that still haunts me. At the age of nine, I witnessed my best friends being murdered in a tribal war. I decided to keep this to myself just like Frankenstein and as time goes by, nightmares and flashbacks affected my normal everyday routine. I know my friends and family noticed but all I told them was that I missed my friends which was partly true.



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3 thoughts on “Living in a lonely World

  1. Dear Maryam,

    My heart is overflowing with emotion. My mind is in disarray with thoughts. I’ve come to find that your words always seem to carry a great weight with them in both your speaking and your writing, in that your words provoke deeper thoughts on the subject matter, leaving my mind frantically scrambling to compose itself. I truly appreciate how you’ve shown a portion of yourself that I would have not known about you; it’s often extremely difficult to open up about yourself to people in a new school, not to mention in a class that is filled with varying grade levels.

    I am in complete agreement with you over your idea that this novel’s strong connection to readers is due to the format in which it is told. I was not, however, able to think of connecting to Frankenstein and The Monster through that pathos with my own experiences. What truly hit me, after that point, was the beginning of your second paragraph. It projected a sort of mysticism. I wanted to learn more, to perhaps dispel obscurity. I was poorly prepared for what was to come. Your words contained very strong ethos (ethos is the identity of the author), as I could, in my own head, hear you speaking out the words I was reading. My emotions erupted. I had never, not in my greatest of imaginations, could have imagined that you had been through such terrible events. To me, you had always seemed to possess a brilliant air about you, all the while maintaining a strong yet cheerful character. Your piece radiates with such brilliance; there seems to be a strong control of syntax within your writing which effectively entrances me in the world of your writing.

    In terms of something you could work on, there were a few GUMPS within the writing, which could be avoided through multiple proof-reads; however, given that this piece contains more vulnerable parts of you, GUMPS are more likely to occur, as your mind would most likely be preoccupied with the stronger content. Something I would’ve loved to see in your writing, would be the use of simple sentences. Although this is more of a personal preference, I find that simple sentences carry the most emotional strength in terms of influencing the reader; simple sentences can express the power in the writer’s emotion in as little as three words!

    Overall, I am sincerely honoured to have been able to learn more about you. You have given me a gift. You have allowed me to understand you better, at the cost of a portion of your internal secrets. You have given me the treasure of being able to further get an understanding of Frankenstein, along with human nature as a whole.

    Thank You.

    With great respect,

  2. My Dearest and Most Beautiful Maryam,

    Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable part of you with us, thank you for being brave and courageous; most importantly thank you for being honest. I respect you and your past for it has developed you into the beautiful individual you are today. You are who you are today because of everything you’ve seen and experienced and no one can take away your past nor your opportunity-saturated future. For, you are an accumulation of all the good and bad you’ve experienced.

    As for the blog and your connections to Frankenstein, I love how you interweaved in the constant motif of alienation and the direct relation it has had in your life. It reminded me of how reading is more than simply an escape, it’s a therapeutic journey whereby old memories are dug up only to teach us or reiterate to us a lesson from our pasts. Furthermore, I also appreciated how you didn’t only relate yourself to the monster but also to Victor symbolizing the many sides or layers to a human-being.

    If there is anything I’d offer for you to work on it’s just editing your GUMPS, making sure that when you read it aloud it’s cohesive and grammatically correct. Along with that, I suggest trying to tie together your blog at the end to create a sense of closure, bringing together all of the elements you put forth.

    Warm Wishes,

  3. Dear Maryam,

    Hunniesett had asked me to read your piece a long time ago and offer a response as a member of your family group back when I was first missing comments and now I have to say I feel so bad for not getting to it as quickly as I should have and I’m sorry. If I had just taken the time to do so, I would have offered you all the support I could have a long time ago.

    I identify so well with one of the lines you said: It was then that I realized the world of neglect and abuse that I was living in.” It’s always that drastic comparison that makes you realize just how different each situation is and it makes you realize the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I was in an abusive relationship last year. He had made me believe that I was what was wrong with him, and that I should be the one bending backwards in order for the relationship to work. I was blinded by my constant need to please everybody and “do my duty” and by my feelings of losing someone I cared for deeply. I knew I wasn’t happy, but at the same time I had no idea, because I didn’t know what true happiness was. I just want to say that if you aren’t happy, that’s not love, and you should remove yourself from it as soon as you can (even though I know that was not an option for you 🙁 ).

    I’m very glad that you now have the support of family; not just of blood, but of friendship as well. Although this semester has mostly come to a close, and I don’t believe I will be seeing you at AP exam prep, I just want you to know that I will always be here for you. And I am not just saying this as a friend, but as a sister. There are obvious differences between the culture in Canada and the culture Nigerians are familiar with, and not everybody gets that. I am very lucky to have a taste of both worlds, so do not hesitate to grab me out of the hallway when you see me in between classes or consult me when necessary. I will be here for you in any way I can be.

    I cannot bring myself to mentioning any corrections in your work, or even searching for any because I was so absorbed in the pathos and emotion of it all.
    You are a blessing to this class Maryam, and you have touched everyone’s lives in some way, shape, or form; and I know for a fact that you have touched mine.

    I want you to always be happy.

    With love,
    Mama Timi ♥

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