Frankenstein Essay

580 words - 3 pages

English Honors IV
25 February, 2013

The Role of Nature in “Frankenstein”
When people think of “Frankenstein” they mainly think of the monster represented in the book and movies. Although an important aspect, one stronger portion is overlooked: the role of nature. The scene of nature changes along with the subjects’ emotions to increase the power and intensity portrayed in the scene.

Victor seeks out solitude to clear his mind and refresh his sense of being human by traveling into the mountains of Switzerland. He also finds rest at the Rhine River in Germany, and on tour of England and Ireland. Shelley refers to Victor’s childhood as a river, ever flowing and swelling throughout the story. “I feel pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my ...view middle of the document...

Shelley goes on to create a

very strong connection between Victor and nature. Shelley describes his recovery from his grave illness through his love and fascination with nature. Victor was nursed by his closest friends, but it is said that the breathing of the air around him finally gives him strength back. “We passed a fortnight in these perambulations: my health and spirits had long been restored, and they gained additional strength from the salubrious air I breathed, the natural incidents of our progress…” (Shelley, 79). Air is not only a necessity for life, Victor is so fond of it in nature that he seems to gain strength from it, inner strength he did not have beforehand. The word salubrious means "to bring health." Using this word reinforces Shelley’s intention to promote air as a restorative agent for Victor. It is ultimately nature in the absence of other people that keep Victor healthy, at least enough to continue living a relatively sane life.

Nature is even used after the monster kills Elizabeth. Victor has always been drawn to nature, and he at that point he is drawn to the fish and pebbles Elizabeth had used to try to cheer him up before. Victor then ends up falling into madness, where he then ends up dreaming of nature: “What became of me? I know not; I lost sensation, and chains and darkness were the only objects that pressed upon me. Sometimes, indeed, I dreamt that I wandered in flowery meadows and pleasant vales with the friends of my youth…” (Shelley, 210).
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” uses nature to support Victor and keep his sanity. Shelley uses it to depict emotion and voice it in a way that normal metaphors cannot. She uses nature to calm, enrage, cure, and give solace. When it comes to “Frankenstein”, nature is an aspect normally overlooked but holds major keys and inferences about Victor and his life.

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