Nature As A Maternal Presence In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Nature; a Maternal Presence
During strenuous times, it is common for people to grab onto something to aid them through that struggle. In the novel Frankenstein, nature is the aid that is provided to characters. From the very beginning of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley incorporates nature, with Robert Walton writing, “I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man” (11). This fascination of nature has a prominent role in the remainder of the novel, with more characters than just Robert Walton. In fact, nature is so frequent in Frankenstein, that it can be perceived as another character, helping several characters deal with stress, depression, pain, and the loss of family members. Throughout the entire book Victor is forced to deal with guilt and stress. He explains, “Often, after the rest of the family had retired for the night, I took the boat and passed many hours upon the water” (Shelley 95). This is a prime example of how Victor would deal with his emotions, through the use of nature. Right before Victor says this, he is talking to Alphonse about the death of William, which was completely Victor’s fault. Taking the boat onto the water is the only comfort Victor has, because of the lack of ability to elaborate the truth to anyone else, even Elizabeth. Victor continues on, “I was often tempted, when all was at peace around me, and I the only unquiet thing that wandered restless in a scene so beautiful and heavenly-if I expect some bat, or the frogs,
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The importance of nature in the novel is most likely a result of the influence that nature had on Shelley’s life, which is known to have been an over ruling presence throughout Shelley’s childhood, as well as adult
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