Frankenstein Passage Analysis

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A Key Passage Analysis: The Ascent is Precipitous… This passage taken from Mary Shelley’s horror novel, Frankenstein, on page 66-67 describes the atmosphere and ponderings of Victor Frankenstein as he solitarily ascends to the summit of Montanvert. After feeling grievance and despair as he blames himself for the death of both his brother, William and his servant, Justine, Victor attempts to find solace in the majesty of nature to repair his emotional state. However, his descriptions of the environment are somewhat grim and bleak, contrasting the pleasant and peaceful mood that being in the natural world typically evokes. This scene causes him to question man’s desire for superiority against nature as it reflects upon himself. In this passage,…show more content…
Shelley sets the challenging tone in the beginning by hinting to a possible dangerous predicament that Victor may find himself. He describes the landscape as “terrifically desolate” (66). This is a recurring description that Shelley often uses when Frankenstein desires solidarity and secludes himself from society. It can be seen again when he isolates himself on the Orkneys Islands, “[…] whose high sides were continually beaten upon by the waves”, as well whose “soil was barren” (119). Shelley’s description of the soil and the roaring tides add to the dreary and treacherous scenery she attempts to create. She uses descriptive nature as means to perpetuate the depressing mood. Victor then describes the condition of the trees in the area -where many of them are broken, destroyed or bent-emphasizing the severity of the scene. This reflects the beginning of the novel when Victor first encounters the powerful wrath of nature. At the age of 15, he witnesses a thunderstorm so terribly violent that “the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens” (22). The strength of the lightning was so strong that it struck and engulfed a tree in flames in Victor’s front yard and “reduced [it] to thin ribbons of wood” (22). Shelley uses the destruction of trees as a representation of nature’s…show more content…
Victor questions why men so instinctively attempt to become superior to nature when men are also a product of nature. He criticizes that if humans reverted to our primal instincts, “hunger, thirst, and desire” (67) that we’d be free, or content with our lives. This is his subliminal self-reflection as he understands that seeking the secret to life, by creating the monster, did not bring him happiness but rather brought him misery and self-loathing. In this last line of the passage, Shelley highlights a major morale and theme of the story which is using science to tamper with nature, a critique against the enlightenment period. The consequences of Frankenstein’s creation have not only caused the death of William and Justine but will also become the reason for his own inevitable doom
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