Nature In Frankenstein

Shelley uses nature as a restorative agent for Victor Frankenstein. While he seems to be overcome with grief by the murders of his friends and family, he repeatedly shuns humanity and seeks nature for health, relaxation and to strengthen his spirits. Even in the early chapters of Frankenstein, Shelley uses natural metaphors to describe Victor’s childhood:

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)

The use of a mountain river to describe Victor’s feelings is the beginning of a theme that is continued throughout the story. The introduction of an association of nature and human feeling, even in this early chapter, shows how Shelley prefers to use metaphor of a natural setting rather than other descriptions. Instead of relating Victor’s feelings and experience in rational discourse, intellectual description or by dialogue with other characters,...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 724 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4179 literature essays, 1402 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in