Throughout Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the reader is torn between the forces of good and evil, as well as which characters represent which force. Perhaps the most masterful element of this novel is conveying how an individual can not be judged as wholly good or evil, and how having elements of both traits greatly forms the human experience. By using the motifs of light and dark to represent the positives and negatives of humanity, Mary Shelley is able to effectively convey character traits, depict transitions of good and evil within characters, and employ haunting symbolism and imagery into the novel and transform it into a literary masterpiece.
Mother Nature is disrupted when Victor Frankenstein attempts to “...Pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (Shelley 28) . In the novel, Frankenstein’s interest in alchemy and natural philosophy form an irreversible desire to change natural order. Over time, we are able to see the life altering effects of altering life, and how characters who stick to nature 's path are more successful. In Shelley’s Frankenstein, a foil between Victor and Henry is developed to demonstrate that romanticism results in authentic joy, whereas altering the natural world leads to fatal repercussions.
It is quite telling that the most severe punishment in our society other than the death penalty or torture is solitary confinement. Although, isolation is in itself a form of torture, it can drive someone to the brink of insanity. Although published nearly 200 years ago, Mary Shelley clearly understood the potential detrimental effects of isolation, as demonstrated in her famous novel, Frankenstein, where both main characters, Victor Frankenstein and his creation, suffer from and cause isolation for the other. Mary Shelley directs the reader to believe that isolation is the true evil, not the monster, Victor or any emotion inside of them. At the beginning of the novel, Victor is isolated from other people, causing to forget his scientific
“Clinical gaze”, a term coined by French philosopher Michel Foucault from The Birth of the Clinic, deals with the transformation of doctor-patient relationships over time. Since the birth of modern medicine, Foucault states that doctors tend to view their patients more as a disease and less as a person. Before the improvements in science were made during the 19th century, doctor carefully listened to their patients and heavily relied on their narratives to make a diagnosis. Not only were these narratives were a central part to the doctor-patient relationship, but they also helped build a sense of trust within the doctor and individuality within the patient. Doctors were viewed more an “advisor” and “friend” rather than a complete authoritative
Numerous research has concluded that several emotional bonds exist between humanity and nature that can impact everything from attitude to anxiety. Novels of the romanticism period, a significant literary era that encompassed most European works written in the early 1800’s, are most known for describing the impacts that nature has on people and implying that unexpected consequences can arise out of this relationship; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a prime example of such a novel. The prime conflict of this 1818 science-fiction story occurs between the titular character, Victor Frankenstein, and a monster he creates through his own scientific innovations. Because of Victor’s abandonment of the monster, it becomes intent on destroying the scientist’s
In Mary Shelley’s iconic gothic novel, Frankenstein, Romantic themes are strongly represented in order to propagandize Romanticism over the elements of knowledge and the Enlightenment. In her novel, Shelley uses gothic nature settings to foreshadow dark events that are about to happen in the novel. She also uses nature to intensify the effect that is brought during significant scenes, a strong example being, when Victor Frankenstein’s monster approaches him after a long period of time. Nature and its use to influence mood is one of the most paramount themes of both Frankenstein and Romanticism.
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
The supernatural is one of the elements of Romanticism. It may not be one of the more major ones such as nature or emotions, but it is a relevant one in Shelley 's novel, Frankenstein. It is very difficult to discuss only one of the traces of the romantic movement in a novel as they are all interconnected. The supernatural, for example, is very hard to distinguish from nature as an element in some scenes in the novel as there is a very thin line differentiating all the elements from one another. Furthermore, supernature can also be related to Gothic literature, which makes it hard to identify the exact genre of the novel.
Victor Frankenstein describes nature as calming and it brings him great happiness when he is surrounded by nature because he himself is happy and adored by friends who surround him. Frankenstein has friends whom he holds strong bonds with where “harmony was the soul of [their] companionship, and the diversity and contrast that subsided [their] characters drew [them] nearer together” (29, Chapter 2). He is surrounded by companions that give him plenty of love and affection that in turn, bring him happiness and a favoring outlook on nature. Victor takes pleasure in wandering through various scenes of nature, feeling accepted by it, therefore, he can portray it as full of life and “awful and majestic” (82, Chapter 10). Nature has the “power of bestowing on
There is no other creature in existence that is as communal and gregarious as human beings, due to this, whenever one feels deserted or segregated by the rest of society, they tend to become cold and bitter. In Frankenstein, or, The Modern Day Prometheus, Mary Shelley portrays the monster, as well as its creator, as outcasts from society. Although, Victor has a family, and a wife while the creature does not, Victor feels he is emotionally detached from the rest of his loved ones. Due to his emotional confinement, Victor feels that he cannot trust even his wife with the knowledge of the horrible creature in which he has created. This sense of being an
Nature is visible throughout "Frankenstein" in all its glory and contrasts. Natural surroundings have been shown to have therapeutic powers. The natural beauty of St. Petersburg beckons Robert Walton to keep heading towards the North Pole. The immortal beauty of the mountains and lakes is contrasted with the ephemeral nature of human existence and grief. Nature overwhelms mankind with its gigantic presence. The realization of one's smallness in front of Nature's vast stature and mammoth power exerts a truly humbling
Nature is a healing power for the characters. The monster finds a healing power in nature after being rejected by the society. He feels very miserable yet his only refugee is nature as it heals his pains. Frankenstein himself gains strength from the air and the natural scenery after losing all of whom he loves at the hands of the monster. Shelley states "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, and the conversation of my friend." (Shelley 55). Nature restores Frankenstein's health. His relationship with nature goes beyond what he can have with his family or any human. It consoles him. When the monster destroyed Frankenstein's family by murdering them, he used to gain support from nature. Nature helped him to get gain his
The references made to nature throughout the novel affect the characters mood. “The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal nature bade me we know more” (77). This quotation from the book shows the impact that nature expressed to Victor that made him feel relieved and happy. “My spirits were elevated by the enchanting and parents of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the presence was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy” (96). Victor is trying to express how he can put the past behind him and go on with the present. He feels calm, happy, and hopeful at this point. “Of what strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind when it has once seized on it like a like a lichen on the rock” (101). This conveys how powerful nature can affect a person like when overcoming a sense of pain or death. “The cup of life was poisoned forever, and although the sun shone upon me…I saw around me nothing but a dense and frightful darkness, penetrated by no light but the glimmer of two
The natural world is an emotional experience for Victor because he got depressed about the death of Justine and William. To cope with his feelings he decided to escape to the hills. Victor struggles to cope with the deaths: The sceneries help Victor out by cheering him up and acting as a sense of relief. He hopes that this trip can repair his broken soul from the death of Justine and William. For Victor to cope with his feelings and heal from the deaths, he must: Victor goes into solitude so he can relax and focus on nature and forget about his worries. He isolates himself from society and the flaws that are apart of the world. In fact, the use of nature throughout the novel Frankenstein and Nature change the mood drastically.
During the Romantic era, Mary Shelley wrote one of her famous book called Frankenstein, which became respected literature of Romantic era. Even though Frankenstein was created mainly to emphasize horror, it rather developed different point of views; it captured many audiences who sought for ideas of science and nature. Throughout the story, Mary Shelley mingled science, human emotions, and nature in order to create supernatural tale that can be understood despite specks of illogical ideas. To make the story as much as smooth as possible without any disbeliefs, Mary Shelley incorporated science and morality in order to enhance her story to be easily absorbed and felt.