Miguel EscamillaMrs. ButenschoenAP English20 January, 2018Frankenstein Essay In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the use of nature is very prominent in the metaphors and similes Shelley uses. Early on in the book, she decides to include many nature themed descriptions, such as the mountain river, and beds of flowers which represent the feelings and emotions expressed by the characters in ways more profound than traditional, run of the mill words could.
Throughout the entire book Shelly uses nature as a restorative factor for the characters, especially Victor. Early on in the book the nature references are very obvious, for example, when Shelly states “I feel pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind, and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self… I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys.” (Shelley, 21). Shelley’s clever use of the mountain river at the beginning of the book could be a metaphor that compares Victors emotions and feelings to a river, in the sense that they both have a continuous downward flow.
Using a nature metaphor this early on in the book suggests that Shelley much prefered to go for a more natural, serene way to express feelings rather than detailed descriptions. Shelley’s use of nature is at a peak point after the murders of his close loved ones. After William and Justine had been murdered by the monster, Victor was greatly affected, especially because of William, he was in a very depressed, lonely mood. At one point Victor says “I remained two days at Lausanne, in this painful state of mind. I contemplated the lake: the waters were placid; all around was calm, and the snowy mountains, “the palaces of nature,” were not changed.
By degrees the calm and heavenly scene restored me, and I continued my journey towards Geneva.” (Shelly 47). In this quote it shows how Victor finds relaxation and peacefulness in nature, which helped him heal his emotional wounds faster. This writing technique of using nature as a restorative agent, as a type of medicine, as something relaxing, is shown time and time again in Frankenstein. Although nature is perceived to be relaxing, peaceful, and healing, which it beyond a doubt is, Victor goes against the laws of mother nature itself despite being so comforted and healed by it.
Victor is a very intelligent man, he studies at the University of Ingolstadt for very little and soon discovers how to create a life, how to make a living, breathing, and most importantly, feeling thing. Bringing the dead back to life is extremely unnatural, especially since Victor uses the body parts of not just one, but multiple dead people. Nature is an incredible force, but once humans decide to go against it, everything is destined to be doomed and Frankenstein is an amazing example of this.
Take the monster for example, shortly after it was created its own creator called it “********” the monster was very confused at first, it e